DMI Digital Leader — Bryan Hardman, Herschend Family Entertainment

Digital Leader -- Bryan Hardman, Herschend Family Entertainment

Mobilizing the Guest Experience at our Nation’s Top Theme Parks and Attractions

Tell us about Herschend Family Entertainment.

Herschend Family Entertainment, based in Atlanta, operates theme parks and attractions around the country including Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, and Dollywood in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. We’re considered the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions corporation. Our team of more than 10,000 employees operates entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties spanning 23 locations in six states. We’re proud to be named one of the 2020 top places to work in Atlanta by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

What prompted you to select DMI as a mobility solutions partner?

DMI came highly recommended from another theme park for mobile app development. Though we had been using off-the-shelf mobile app technology for several years, in 2017 it became apparent we needed to develop features unique to our properties. We wanted to develop our own apps as opposed to custom development within the SaaS product we were using. DMI has now successfully built iOS and Android apps for Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, as well as the Harlem Globetrotters which our company acquired in 2013.

How have the apps worked and describe their most valuable features?

The apps have been extremely well received and we’ve continued to invest and enhance them every year. Through this project we’ve been able to successfully deliver mobile features to our guests that include wayfinding, live show schedules and ride wait times. We also now have the ability to send messages, promotions and real-time safety information in case of severe weather causing certain attractions to have to close.


Why do kids particularly enjoy the Harlem Globetrotters app?

The Harlem Globetrotters app is innovative and indeed a fan favorite. Fans can learn about the players, find stats, game day information and even transform themselves into a Globetrotter with help from augmented reality! Photo filters transform guests into basketball stars and fans can test their skills in a basketball shooting challenge. The apps deliver alerts about special promotions and links for fans to purchase Globetrotters gear including player jerseys, basketballs and novelty items.

What other projects do you have on the horizon?

Our ultimate goals is to roll out the same mobile app platform that is now in our two largest properties to all of our properties including our smaller amusement parks, aquariums and water parks. Additionally, the Dollywood app currently serves the theme park. We’d like it to eventually serve the entire Dollywood brand experience including the resort, waterpark and dining destinations so all are connected.

Describe your overall experience partnering with DMI.

Working with DMI has been great. In fact, we would rank DMI among our very best partners. From the account side, to project management side to the development side, it’s been stellar. The team gets it. Over the years we’ve worked with a lot of vendors. Without exception, DMI is fantastic to work with. They anticipate our needs, keep it simple and come up with great ideas!

Improve Health Outcomes Through Digital Patient Engagement

It is widely accepted that patient engagement is an important focus for our NHS. It is critical to achieve better health outcomes for patients. Studies suggest that patients who are well-informed, educated about their condition, and involved in their healthcare decisions not only have greater satisfaction of care, but also have better outcomes. The benefits lead to healthier lifestyle habits and adherence to treatment plans. Patients who are active participants in their own health care have fewer unplanned hospital readmissions, medical errors, and delays in care.

COVID-19 has shown the importance of NHS services being able to engage patients remotely, but has also highlighted the inadequacies of some virtual channels for engaging patients, including:

  • Misinformation and confusing guidance.
  • Patients being directed to different government websites, which are often difficult to navigate, and sometimes have conflicting information.
  • 111 call centres unable to cope to with the peaks in call volumes.
  • Virtual channels are often inaccessible to elderly and vulnerable patients.

That said, the current trend for non-physical engagement is here to stay beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.