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InstantEncore is the leading provider of mobile solutions to performing arts organizations around the globe. Our partners use the InstantEncore platform to power their mobile apps, enhance live experiences and create deeper relationships with their audiences. InstantEncore partners include Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Curtis Institute of Music and Dallas Summer Musicals. With Tessituraā„¢ Network, Inc., our partners include the New York Philharmonic, The Shaw Festival and Santa Fe Opera.

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The Grand 1894 Opera House Reveals the Anatomy of a Geofence Message

As you set up the Geofence feature in your app, take a moment and think: What is the purpose of this message? Or more specifically, what benefit does your organization get out of sending the message and what benefit does the user get out of receiving it?

Although there are a few ways you can setup a Geofence message, the “Custom Message” mode is no doubt one of the most powerful. It lets you address the above questions on a ‘per event’ basis. The Grand 1894 Opera House shows us how we can set up different messages for each performance instead of using one generic message.

Now, what elements make up an effective Geofence message? There are three basic qualities you will want to include (just remember to stay under the 100 character limit!):

A greeting should be the first thing people see. Think of the context. People are parking their cars or walking up to the front door of your venue. They cross into your Geofence which triggers the message and makes their phone buzz. They pull it out to see what message they’ve received. Starting off your message with “Welcome to…” or a similar greeting is not only polite and friendly, but it sets the stage for the next quality.

Unique and Relevant
This is where the real power of Custom Messages come in to play. The Grand could have set a generic message which says “Welcome to The Grand!”. It wouldn’t be wrong, but think of your frequent attendees. Every time they come to an event they would see the exact same message. Eventually they would grow to expect it and then start ignoring it. Including the name of the program in your greeting makes the message unique. When someone gets the message, it will affirm that the event is taking place and can help build anticipation.

Finally, include a call-to-action at the end of your message. If your message is only a greeting, as nice as it is, people will take out their phone, read the greeting, smile, and then put their phone back in their pocket. A call to action like “Open for program information” is what prompts people to go to the next step: Using the notification to open the app. This is a great way to bring people to all the special At-The-Venue content you’ve set up for them to enjoy. Without this Geofence message, people might not remember they have your app on their phone. (Hey, it happens.. people get distracted and aren’t always thinking about apps.)

So let’s re-cap. You want a Greeting, something unique and relevant, and a call-to-action:

What is the purpose of this message?
An alert to engage people as they arrive at the event.

What benefit does your organization get out of sending the message?
You now have a way of organically reminding audience members that they have your app. This gives you the chance to engage them with social features, donation asks, upgrade opportunities, and other offers.

What benefit does the user get out of receiving the message?
They receive a pleasant greeting (which builds anticipation) and are provided easy access to interesting and useful digital content at their fingertips.

So how did The Grand 1894 Opera House do all of this?

The best part is, these are extremely easy to set up. Just manage your Geofence and click the “Add From Events” link to get started. You will be given separate custom message text boxes for each event listing. They will also have the dates and times automatically set to align with your events. And you can always adjust them as needed.

Fill out your messages, copy & paste elements as needed, add extra information where appropriate, then at the bottom of the page click the “Submit” button to schedule all of your custom Geofence messages.

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