It was a slightly touch and go! BT had problems with the line and we didn’t think they would be able to sort it in time… but at 9.20pm on Friday19th May less than 12 hours before the start of our Spring Food Festival we went live for the first time!  And my word! It is a mighty clever bit of kit! Yes its exactly what it says on the tin – it provide free open air wifi within the town centre. The High St, Market Place and Bulls Head yard and Waitrose Carpark all benefit. Users can register to use it via social media or via a simple registration form and then they are done – they automatically connect when the come in to town next. Their details are then added to a secure database that allows the Chamber to send out emails, push notifications and invitations to events. We can drill down into age group, interests, gender, location etc and mail out to specific groups or we can send out to all! The best marketing tool the retail, tourism and Hospitality partnership could wish for!

The other marvellous bonus is the geo sense footfall tracking software that is incorporated into the system. It works by picking up & tracking mobile devices – let’s be honest, nearly all of us carry one. It can recognise devices seen before so we are able to see exactly how many new/repeat users are in the Town Centre at any one time, over a period of time or during an event and see the journeys they take.

The visitor numbers for 20th may topped 11,000!! – Food Festival Day! Given the weather was not as fabulous as it could have been the turnout was extraordinary!