SCA launches The Locals’ Guide, an events guide available on smart speakers

the locals' guide

• Users will be offered a curation of events, activities, sports, and markets in their area

SCA today launches The Locals’ Guide, an Australian-first, interactive, voice activated guide accessible through smart speakers for community events, curated by locals, for locals. 

By asking a smart speaker or smart assistants on phones to open The Locals’ Guide, users will be offered a curation of events, family activities, sporting matches, and markets in their area. The Locals’ Guide is available via Alexa, Google Assistant, Sonos, and Android Auto, or however you use your smart speaker. 

Users of The Locals’ Guide voice skill also have the option to receive an email with a direct link to the showcased event they are interested in or to continue learning about other events. 

The Locals’ Guide was created and built in Brisbane by SCA head of news and current affairs, Natasha Jobson, and SCA head of The Studio Brisbane, Jeanna Manifold. While neither has an extensive background in tech, their experience in news, content, integration and commercialisation was key to creating this innovative solution. 

“We are seeing growing engagement with SCA’s local news content across the smart speaker ecosystem with 776,000 interactions in 2020, an increase of 25% year on year*. As a leader in voice technology, The Locals’ Guide is a natural extension to our existing news and event coverage across our 99 metro and regional markets,” Jobson said. 

Initially available in Brisbane as a trial market, The Locals’ Guide has since rolled out to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. As of today, multiple regions across Queensland will also hear their local breakfast announcers showcase local events with The Locals’ Guide, now live in Far North Queensland, Townsville, Mackay and The Whitsundays, Wide Bay Burnett, Darling Downs, and Central Queensland. 

Tourism Events Queensland has partnered with SCA in Queensland on The Locals’ Guide to promote a series of “Good to Go” events across the state.  

“Voice technology is gaining traction in Australia, however the cost of entry has been prohibitive until now. The Locals’ Guide offers advertisers an affordable entry point into the world of smart speakers without the need to develop their own platform,” Manifold said. “We are thrilled that Tourism and Events Queensland has partnered with us to kick off what will become the go-to events guide around Australia.” 

Tourism and Events Queensland chief executive officer Leanne Coddington said events were a key part of the state’s offering. 

“Our It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar offers an incredible range of major and destination events that can be enjoyed around the state,” she said. 

“We are delighted to partner with SCA to launch this new technology as we continue to seek new and innovative ways to share our messages and get people travelling around the state. Some of Queensland’s most creative and unique events will be on show through The Locals’ Guide, bringing that truly authentic insight to them through locals’ eyes. 

“From Roma’s Easter in the Country’, Winton’s ‘Way Out West Fest’ to the Gold Coast Film Festival and the Sunshine Coast’s Australian Body Art Festival, through this partnership we’ll be telling listeners from all around the state about the events that are ‘Good to Go’ in Queensland.” 

SCA has collaborated with voice tech company TalkVia to develop the skill and Amazon’s Alexa has worked closely with the team behind The Locals’ Guide to bring it to life. This includes a co-marketing campaign and the development of a “one-shot” which allows users to access the content by saying “Alexa, what’s happening in Brisbane?” 

The Locals’ Guide will provide regular information on Featured Events, Kids Activities, and Markets, with special interest pillars around seasonal events like local festivals, key retail periods, school holidays, and grand finals.  

The Locals’ Guide will be promoted across SCA’s Hit and Triple M networks, large format out-of-home and via a co-marketing campaign with Amazon.  

The Locals Guide is also available as a podcast across 10 locations on LiSTNR

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