Friday, November 29, 2013

Ronald Reagan Building mobilizes visitor center with new app

By Rebecca Borison

September 6, 2013

Ronald Reagan Bldg

The Ronald Reagan Building

Washington's Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center is releasing a mobile application that will help its visitors access the building?s numerous events, restaurants and other offerings.

The app will provide users with detailed maps and self-guided tours along with educational and interactive games. Trade Center Management Associates, which operates the Ronald Reagan Building, partnered with XCO Digital to develop the app.

?We are a unique federal building, chartered by congress, open to the public 365 days a year, 7 days a week,? said Julia H. Rapley, vice president of sales and event planning at the Ronald Reagan Building, Washington. ?We host over a 1,000 conferences and special events every year. It?s a very dynamic and exciting place.

?Because there is so much going on all the time, the start of the development of the app was really to come up with a way to help people find where they were going and find things of interest in the building,? she said.

Mobile trade center
By the end of the month, the Reagan Building?s app will be available for free in Apple?s App Store and Google Play.

It will offer an interactive guest experience for people visiting the building.

The app will list the various public events and conferences taking place in the building as well as direct visitors to the locations within the building. Maps will locate exhibits, tenants, restaurants, shops, restrooms and parking.

Visitors will also be able to create customized self-guided tours that explain the history, artwork and highlights of the Reagan Building.

Additionally, the app will list building hours, directions, contact information and a calendar of events. It will also provide transportation information, including next Metro train/bus, Capital Bikeshare locations, airport departure times and taxi cab information.

Not only will the app provide practical information, but it will also offer fun games that relate to the building?s history and goals.

If the building wants to send relevant information out in real-time, the app enables push notifications as well.

Enhancing the building experience
Many different buildings have related apps that guide visitors through the venue itself.

For example, the Museum of Modern Art offers a number of apps that guide guests through the museum. The apps give visitors information about the artwork and provide maps of the museum to help them make their way through the building (see story).

Lowe?s also recently added a map feature to its app to help consumers navigate the in-store experience (see story).

?I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of people coming to the building have a mobile device with them, and it offers us a great way to put a lot of information about the building right in someone?s hand,? Ms. Rapley said. ?With the enhancements and functionality that XCO gave us, it also gives those mobile users great opportunity to customize and put together their own tour of the building.?

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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