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Chamber members hear details about welcome center upgrades

August 20, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Members of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce learned about the welcome center's renovations, which will offer modern technology for today's traveler while keeping its coastal feel.

Doug Ralston, the president of Omni Experience - the company installing the new technology at the center - was the guest speaker for the August business luncheon at the Captiva Island Yacht Club.

"Doug has been crucial in planning where everything will be laid out to improve the flow of the welcome center and use of the technology," chamber President John Lai said. "Our objective is to begin immediately following Labor Day and be completed by mid-November."

Article Photos

Doug Ralston, left, was the guest speaker at the August business luncheon for members of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. He is pictured with chamber President John Lai.

The 90-day project will include interior renovations of the ground floor and digital displays that will change dynamically versus the current static displays. Ralston discussed the next generation of traveler and the use of interactive technology in personalizing each visit. He explained that visitor engagement through technology drives experience, which results in revenue.

"We will be able to better understand the travelers walking through the doors of the welcome center," Ralston said. "This will help us know what to do better and different as a destination. Ultimately, what we are introducing into the new welcome center is value to the traveler - mixing online with offline."

Ralston has 19 years of experience in the technology and digital industry, focusing his career on creating impactful products in order to redefine brand experiences. His industry-wide background in commerce solution, sales, and social and digital strategy has equipped him to work with some of the biggest brands in travel, hospitality and retail commerce.

"We are very excited about this project, as it is unlike anything you have ever seen," Lai said.

Matzaluna The Italian Kitchen sponsored the business luncheon.

The next one will be held on Sept. 11 at the Sundial Beach Resort and Spa with guest speaker Jeff Mielke, of Lee County Sports Development. It is sponsored by the Sanibel Captiva Lions Club.



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