Huntington is bringing the future to the present with their new parks and recreation brochure.
For the first time, the town’s parks and recreation department seasonal catalog will be available online in a digital version. Aside from including the standard information like information on the town’s athletic programs, camps and other activities the town offers, this digital brochure also included videos of some activities and the ability to sign up directly from the guide with a single click.
“This interactive brochure brings the Town of Huntington into the 21st century,” Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said in a video as he welcomes residents to the department’s new online brochure. “This is government of the future, allowing residents to find necessary information and to take care of business without having to come to town hall. We are proud of this brochure and the way residents can access the brochure and its great features from their home computers, tablets or smart phones.”
The guide, which changes pages just like flipping pages in a book, has real-time information on whether an activity is oversubscribed or if there is a waiting list, as well as updates on schedule changes. If someone has questions or concerns with any program, they can fill out a brief message in one click that will be sent to the head of whichever program they are asking about.
“The concept came about because we were sending these out to every household in paper format,” Stephen Carballeira, who works in the information technology department for the town, said in an interview. “Ninety-three percent of people were signing up online anyway, but the biggest complaint we used to get was that they’d get it [the brochure] in the mail but they couldn’t really figure out a way to work our system and sing up. It was just a big frustration.”
A.J. Cater, town spokesperson, said that the possibilities with this brochure are “endless” and that this guide will continue to grow and expand.
The parks department has stopped mass printing and distribution of the brochure, which will save the town $50,000 each year. Not only is this decision cost effective, but it also greatly reduces the amount of paper waste the town produces, making it an environmentally friendly move as well, officials said.
But there’s more.
This new brochure saves money, makes programs and information more accessible to the public and reduces the town’s carbon footprint, while also making the town money, the town said.
While the interactive brochure cost about $3,000 to create, the town has made $7,000 in revenue from ads — and that’s just from this first issue alone. Carballeira said ads have a life of about four weeks, and then are replaced with new ones.
Currently, many town businesses cover the pages of the brochure, and their ads are just as interactive as the rest of the information. The Little Gym of Huntington has an ad that features a video of young children playing in the gym, and Roar Energy Drink has an ad with a coupon anyone can print out.