South Shore convention bureau unveils a souped-up website
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent December 9, 2012 8:00PM
Home page of the new South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority website.
Updated: December 10, 2012 9:06AM
HAMMOND — The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority’s new interactive website is more than cutting edge, the agency’s director said.
“It’s bleeding edge,” Speros Batistatos, executive director of the SSCVA. The agency unveiled the website — which plays on the region’s beloved South Shore poster series — Wednesday.
“The work that has happened on the website is nothing but monumental. It is absolutely spectacular,” Batistatos said.
Pages of the website re-create with real people and places the images depicted in the South Shore poster line including events like Pierogi Fest, places like the Indiana Dunes and time periods like autumn in the dunes so visitors can see how they can participate in the activities depicted.
It took nine months to design the new website that includes features such as social media integration, custom mapping integration, and for the first time, online room reservations to the area’s lodging, according to Luke Weinman IV, director of information and technology.
“We’re very happy the way it turned out,” Weinman said.
“Widgets” allow visitors to the site to access layers of information without leaving the webpage, speeding up the browsing experience. “Uniquely South Shore” widgets along the bottom of the page are images that allow visitors to quickly access information specific to the region. For example, you can click on the plane for information about the Gary Airshow.
The website — southshorecva.com — also allows the SSCVA to gather information from visitors to its website using applications like Google Analytics to tailor emails to their specific interests and enhance the agency’s marketing capabilities.
Weinman said the next phase will be an improved mobile application of the website for smart phones.
Details are not being released at this time.
“It’s basically a souped-up mobile site,” Weinman said.