The Rocks Estate Creates Mobile Farm Tour using QR Codes

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The new Rocks Mobile Tour uses Quick Response (QR) code technology. When visitors snap a photo of the QR codes with their smartphones, a mobile page is displayed featuring interesting snippets from the property’s history and landmarks.

Rocks QR Code Tour where visitors learn more about the Rocks Estate

Visitors Scan QR Codes to learn more about the Farm

"It’s a really fun and easy way for visitors to learn about The Rocks, whether they’re here to select a Christmas tree, visiting our Maple Experience museum, or just exploring our trail network,” said Nigel Manley, Manager of The Rocks Estate.

When Nigel Manley, manager of The Rocks Estate, wanted to create a new tour of the historic property, he knew where to turn for help. Manley has been working with local Web guru Veronica Francis at Notchnet Web Services in Littleton, NH for more than five years to provide the best online services and information to Rocks Estate fans and potential visitors.

"We always try to keep things fresh, and our Mobile Tour is a fun new way to explore the farm,” said Manley of the latest way to discover the 1,400-acre Christmas tree farm, which also serves as the North Country Conservation and Education Center of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “Veronica has been a great help in getting programs off the ground and inspiring me to keep looking at new opportunities in Internet marketing for the farm.”
The new Rocks Mobile Tour uses Quick Response (QR) code technology. The codes, which look like squares of abstract black and white designs, are posted on signs at each of the 13 stops on the Mobile Tour. When visitors snap a photo of the codes with their smartphones, information from each Mobile Tour stop appears on the phone’s screen.

The Mobile Tour reveals interesting snippets from the property’s history and historic buildings, information on current wildlife habitat and forest management, and tree facts about the three types of Christmas trees growing on the farm.

Although his focus on growing Christmas trees, providing experiential tours for visitors in all seasons, and coordinating a variety of natural education programs keeps Manley busy, he strives to use the latest technology to share the beauty and rich history of The Rocks Estate. To that end, Manley maintains a Facebook page and a Rocks Estate Blog and works with one of his employees to develop regular and informative YouTube videos about the property.
In an information era where people rely increasingly on the Web to get information about everything from where to vacation to how to get there, having a grasp on the latest technology is paramount to successful marketing.

“It’s really not enough for most businesses to simply maintain a Website anymore,” Francis said. “With social media, smart phone technology, and all the ways people search for information it’s really important to have a dynamic online presence.”
Notchnet was founded in 1999 by Francis and her husband Charles Flanders as a Web design and hosting company. In the years since, the company has evolved along with Web technology to offer Web marketing, E-commerce, mobile sites to work with smart phones and tablets, and social media training and support.

Francis and Manley worked together, along with Manley’s daughter Linnea, to identify places of interest throughout the property, which was once the home to the well-heeled Glessner family. The QR Codes allow visitors to view images of the Estate’s original buildings and explain each featured building’s history and modern day use. The Mobile Tour also shares the staff’s knowledge about different Christmas tree species and their attributes even when there are no Rocks employees nearby to answer questions.

“It’s a really fun and easy way for visitors to learn about The Rocks, whether they’re here to select a Christmas tree, visiting our Maple Experience museum, or just exploring our trail network,” said Manley. “History is very important to us at The Rocks, but we try to be a little bit cutting edge, too.”

The Rocks Estate is the North Country Conservation and Education Center of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests The Forest Society is a non-profit membership organization founded in 1901 to protect the state’s most important landscapes and promote wise use of its natural resources.

The landmark 1,400-acre Rocks Estate includes numerous buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers Agri- and Eco-tourism opportunities throughout the year. For more information please visit http://www.therocks.org.

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