As the festival season comes to an end, we’re taking some time to reflect on how festivals can provide their visitors with the best possible experience. We love going to festivals of all sorts, whether to listen to great artists, learn new things about science and tech, or simply have fun. The magic of festivals comes from being placed in the centre of a live event where you can soak up the atmosphere and interact with everything going on. And of course we want to enjoy the event to the fullest, seeing everything there is to see and doing everything there is to do. Whilst the most important thing at festivals is to be present, the festival experience can be further enhanced by adding on a digital layer of participation, for example with an app. Indeed, apps can play an important role not only in making the whole event more enjoyable, but also in solving large or small problems.
Drawbacks of festivals (as of life) are lurking around every corner. From making sure that you know where your friends are to avoiding clashes between events, festivals make us face challenging and potentially stressful situations. One of the great things about technology is that it makes our lives easier, and apps for festivals are no exception. Many websites and newspapers (including the Telegraph) have drawn our attention to the number of ways in which apps can serve the festival-goer.
When it comes to navigating a festival, apps allow you to make sure you don’t forget where your tent or car is – BC Tent Finder is the app to use in this case. If it’s your friends you’re looking for, you should use Find My Friends, instead of bombarding them with countless ‘Where are you?’ texts. Apps are also useful in case of emergencies. The British Red Cross has developed a First Aid app, which contains simple advice, videos and quizzes for everyday scenarios, such as burns, choking and heavy bleeding. If you’re worried that you might miss your favourite artists’ performances, ClashFinder assists you in planning each day and avoiding last-minute dilemmas. Finally, using all these apps is bound to make you run out of battery more quickly, but there’s an app for this too. Easy Battery Saver detects how much battery you have left and adjusts your phone’s network connectivity and screen brightness accordingly. As it’s become clear, apps can save you precious time during the festival, allowing you to plan things in advance and tackle all kinds of unanticipated situations.
And these are applicable to all kinds of public events, including science festivals. The Cambridge Science Festival app, for instance, helps visitors to plan and enjoy their time at the festival. It provides news, updates, maps and contacts, to make sure people have all the information they need throughout the event, and that all this info is ready at hand. It also allows users to plan their visit in advance, browsing the events programme to see what’s on, and selecting what interests them the most. On top of these functionalities, apps have a lot more to offer to enrich science festivals. They can entertain visitors with games, puzzles, and quizzes, whether during idle or waiting times or as a follow-up activity to consolidate what they’ve learned. Apps can also give the chance to re-watch talks attended (or not attended) or to listen to them as podcasts. The WILD LIFE Festival app has a whole ‘event look-back’ section, in which visitors can enjoy the event again, or have a glimpse of what they missed. And after the festival, apps can be a quick way for people to give feedback, allowing the festival organisers to improve their services for the year ahead. This can be done in a number of ways, from simply linking the app to your email account, to giving the visitor multiple choice questions.
At Open Creative Communications we are keen to enhance our clients’ reach and accessibility. We achieve this by creating apps that may open up new possibilities, get more and more people engaged with science, and thrill them about the same things we’re passionate about. We believe that delivering accessible information and creating interactive content is the way in which science festivals can be enjoyed by wide and fascinated audiences.