Community/Chamber Success Story - Graham, Texas Goes Mobile
Graham, TX located in North Central, TX with a population of just under 9,000 has gone mobile. The Graham Community App is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Krisa De La Cruz, the CEO of the Graham Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), spearheaded the effort. The objective behind the app was to bring in the other key community players: the City of Graham, the Graham Economic Development Corporation and the Graham CVB into one integrated community resource for locals, visitors and people considering relocating to Graham.
“One of the key functions for the chamber is communications - what is going on in the community. We strive to utilize every tool for communication we have available. Mobile technology provides a convenience that we felt was a necessity for our residents and visitors. Honestly, going mobile has turned into a need versus just a want.” said De La Cruz.
The development of the app was a group decision involving the City of Graham, the Graham CVB, EDC and of course the Chamber. What we really liked about our vendor's solution, Bar-Z Mobile Development, is that they integrated with our Chamber Master CRM and other web sites so that populating the content was simplified. This integration was key in the decision to go with Bar-Z Mobile.
“The CVB has seen immediate benefit using the push notification feature for upcoming events and both locals and visitors have received it well. We even used the app for event registration, since social distancing is now the norm, which made the registration process smoother than it has ever been.” said De La Cruz.
The chamber also utilizes the app to provide members with additional occasions for business promotion. Even though the Graham Chamber announced the new Graham Community App at the start of the original COVID19 Shelter in Place order, businesses were excited to increase exposure through a new platform and participation exceeded expectation, totaling over $17,000 in non-dues revenue. The aim of the Graham Community App was never centered around generating a profit, but the Chamber did want to break even on the project while also increasing the value of a Chamber membership. De La Cruz stated, “the Chamber is a membership-based organization, and during a global pandemic we found a way to continue adding value to a Chamber membership. I am very proud of our community!”
When it came to constructing the app, yes there was a learning curve but the vendor, Bar-Z Mobile provided unlimited tech support and has had video-based training which De La Cruz uses often. “If there was a hard part,” De La Cruz says, “it was bringing a large group to consensus with so many individuals invested in seeing the app succeed.”
De la Cruz said she would do it again and would recommend other Chambers to consider a mobile app from Bar-Z Mobile Development. Covid is a game changer and our members need our support more than ever. A mobile app is a convenient way to communicate with your community and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a source of non-dues revenue especially in a year where we were unable to generate projected revenue through events. “I would recommend you talking to Bar-Z Mobile to see if this app would be a good fit for your organization,” De La Cruz stated.
Krisa De La Cruz, CEO
Graham Chamber of Commerce and CVB
Lee Little CEO
Bar-Z Mobile Development, firstname.lastname@example.org