GREENVILLE — Members of the Great Darke County Fair Board are considering creating a smartphone app to enhance visitors’ experience at next year’s fair.
Faith Wilker, a Junior Fair Board member and Versailles High School senior who was one of the first to propose the idea of an online app, has been involved with the county fair since she was in the third grade.
“I signed up for 4-H the first possible chance I could,” Wilker said. “At the time they didn’t have cloverbuds.”
It was while running for Fair Queen this past year that Wilker first got the idea for the app.
“There was an essay question: what would you change about the fair, or what would you do differently?” Wilker said. “And it stumped me at first. I couldn’t really think of anything! So I talked with my mom, and together we came up with the idea for an app. And the judges said it was a really good idea.”
After winning second place and earning a spot on the fair court, Wilker was determined to make sure her idea became a reality.
“I wanted to follow through with what I said,” Wilker said. “And since then I’ve been constantly going to meetings, because I want to get this going as soon as possible. Because before long, it’s gonna be the fair again.”
Wilker is currently working on plans for the potential app with fair manager Brian Rismiller and newly elected fair board member Thomas Shaw.
“I think it’ll be good having people of different ages work on the app, because we all see different perspectives of the fair,” Wilker said.
Wilker was enthusiastic in explaining the value she believes an app could bring to the County Fair experience, including as a potential source of advertising revenue.
“We have a lot of vendors who come to the fair, and you hear them all the time calling out over the loudspeaker, advertising,” Wilker said. “A lot of people come to the fair, and they come from all over, so you also have other businesses around Greenville that might want to advertise.”
Another potential benefit for fairgoers, according to Wilker, would be features to help them locate specific shows, vendors, and other locations within the large fairgrounds.
“One thing I want for sure to be a part of the app is a map of the entire fair,” Wilker said. “ As part of the Fair Court, we go to a lot of different fairs and walk around, and we’re like, ‘We don’t know where anything is.’ And most fairs around here aren’t even that big. I can only imagine how lost people are when they come to our fair.”
Wilker also felt the app could be useful in helping guests manage their time, as well as allowing parents whose kids may be participating in different events at different locations throughout the day to keep track of where their children are at any given time.
“We could link the app to the iPads junior fair board members use, and have real time updates if events are running late, and so on,” Wilker said. “We could also have a schedule of events for each day. Anything is possible once you get this started, because you can keep adding to it.”
Finally, Wilker thought it would be a good idea to have the app be a source of other types of information as well.
“I’d like to include information about the history of the fair,” Wilker said. “I think people might be interested in learning about the history of the fair, and how it started, and how it’s grown.”
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