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This year marks the third anniversary of launching a new website and branding for the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, Iowa.

The center serves the region as a premier entertainment, meeting, and special events venue. As a business with a large variety of customers, the site needed to be easily navigable so visitors can find the information and services relevant to their needs. As a result, community members can quickly access upcoming events on the homepage and event planners can immediately browse through the site’s “Plan Your Event” or “Our Facility” pages through the site navigation. To celebrate the anniversary, we reminisced with Scott Hallgren, Bridge View Center’s executive director, about the site.

Our core philosophy at Bridge View Center is ‘Delivering Outstanding Experiences’ to all we serve. I believe our website is a great first step in allowing us to ‘Deliver Outstanding Experiences!’

Scott HallgrenExecutive Director, Bridge View Center

Q & A with Bridge View Center Executive Director

How has your website benefitted users over the last three years?

Bottom-line, our new website and new brand image took Bridge View Center to the next level, and we are grateful we now have a website, the brand and image, and tools to hold our own and even be a step above our local, regional, and national competitors. Our old website was piecemealed together over several years, a bit confusing, and just did not convey the look and message we wanted to send to all those we serve.

With the Neapolitan Labs team, we were able to sit down, walk through our overall goals and what we wanted to accomplish, and give them the freedom and breathing room to do what they do best — and we were and still are very happy and pleased with what our new website and brand have been able to do for us. We have so many national meeting planners, agents, concert promoters, theatrical shows, and other folks from across the US and even internationally going to our website to learn more about Bridge View Center, and it’s imperative we can hold our own and even be a step above the other venues they are comparing us to. Otherwise, we’ll lose business opportunities before we even have a chance to talk with them person-to-person; they will just move on to the next venue they believe can meet their needs.

We have many customers we serve, from a local company representative planning a small half-day meeting all the way up to a professional meeting planner organizing a multi-day convention, national concert promoters and agents, recently engaged brides to families celebrating a special quinceañera, volunteers organizing a nonprofit fundraising event, theatrical events, and corporations looking to host a special event for their organization. It was important for us to create a website that was easy to use and navigate, encompasses all we do and was organized so all our customers can easily find the event information they need.

With Neapolitan Labs’ guidance and work, they have helped us to meet these goals and achieve results. We have seen key segments of our business grow over the past three years, and we have also seen our image and reputation grow after the launch of our new website.

The last two years have certainly been very unique to our industry with shut-downs, lost business, and all the other challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, we had very limited staff working, and having a website to assist us online with all the pertinent information our meeting planners and guests needed was a huge benefit to us and helped us survive COVID-19.

How has our platform benefitted staff members in updating the site over the last three years?

The back-end platform for our website is definitely user-friendly and allows us to make quick updates and adapt on the fly when we need to with last-minute event changes or updates, weather notifications, and other urgent updates to ticket buyers and event attendees. I’ve received very little to hardly any feedback from our Bridge View Center team on any challenges or difficulties they’ve had navigating the back-end platform to keep our website current.

What is your favorite website feature?

Compared to our old site, I have too many new favorites. Many positive changes and updates.

If I had to pick the top one or two, I do like our very first home page — the first thing folks see when they arrive at bridgeviewcenter.com. It’s colorful, dynamic, highlights our key public, and has a brief listing of upcoming key events and other information — a nice landing page for all the guests we serve.

I also like our Upcoming Events page — one of our most highly visited pages on our site. Easy to navigate and colorful, it identifies event info, times, and key information. A great location for us to highlight all the events we host at Bridge View Center.

How was the rebranding process with Neapolitan Labs?

Easy and very beneficial.  The new brand and look were badly needed. We had some ideas and provided our thoughts on the direction we wanted to go, and then we let Neapolitan Labs and their team do the work. We really liked the final concepts, and once we decided on the final concept and brand image, they took us to the finish line and we finished strong!

Anything you’d like to add?

I believe Bridge View Center’s website is a bit unique in that we serve a very diverse, wide-ranging customer base. We have our clients who are wanting to do business with us and rent our venue for their special events, we have national touring shows and entertainment events wanting to partner with us on events, and then we have the general public and all those who are interested in our public, ticketed shows and inquiring about ticket prices and info, show dates, and all the other show information we have. Neapolitan Labs did an awesome job pulling all this together, gaining an understanding of what we do and why we do it, and then delivering us a final product we’re proud of.

When I travel to conferences and trade shows, when I’m talking on the phone to an agent in New York City, Los Angeles, or Nashville, or speaking with a local person from an Ottumwa business, I am proud to send them to our website for further information, and I am proud of how this website represents us at the local level all the way to the global level.

A microsite was made to focus solely on weddings at Bridge View Center.

The wedding microsite was a great addition, and I’m grateful we moved forward with this concept from Neapolitan Labs.

Scott HallgrenExecutive Director, Bridge View Center

Ottumwa Weddings

In addition to the Bridge View Center website, we also had the opportunity to develop a microsite specifically for the center’s weddings. The site keeps Bridge View Center’s new branding while incorporating softer, romantic design choices. OttumwaWeddings.com provides couples and wedding planners with details about ceremony and reception packages, a photo gallery, and news about the next Southern Iowa Bridal Showcase. The microsite gives potential customers a better understanding of how the Bridge View Center can transform for their special day.

To Many More Successful Anniversaries

We are so grateful to have clients like Scott and his team at the Bridge View Center and are thrilled to know the site, microsite, and the center’s rebranding have assisted them in meeting their goals! We look forward to their future site anniversaries and other upcoming client milestones.

A special thanks to Scott Hallgren for taking the time to write up answers to our questions and look back on the site launch with us!

Ashley English

Ashley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in political science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. After graduating, her career path in a variety of industries (political campaigns, education, outdoor recreation, and tourism among others) strengthened her skills in writing, graphic design, social media marketing, photography, and proofreading.