Hi Mike, thanks for sitting down with us. First up, how did you come up with the idea for the Welcome 2 Liverpool App?
Mike: Chris (W2L’s other co-founder) and I got fed up of missing events and hearing from friends what a great time they’d had at somewhere we knew nothing about. In desperation someone said ‘well they (all events) just need to be in one bloody place’’. Then the light bulb went on and the app was born!
So then how did Joe Anderson become involved in the project?
I emailed him saying I had a great idea to help the city, businesses and everyone living in it or visiting. I sent a brief over view and he gave me an hour one morning to explain it to him. He loved it after about 3 minutes.
Now that the app is live, what next for W2L?
To get more businesses on board, spread the word for more users, get more events data and well being data. We host loneliness, dementia, Alzheimer’s event data free of charge so we want as much as possible so people can take advantage of the events. We also plan moving it to other cities.
What has the initial response to the app been like?
Incredible!! No end user has said it’s unnecessary or pointless and as a free app with events on they would have missed – what’s not to like? They like the educational videos too and the quiz and the selfie competition. Makes it more like a magazine too so you want to come back to it. Businesses loved the idea and wanted to see it in the flesh and working. There’s something very straight talking about Liverpool businesses – yes great, sounds great, I imagine it will be great – come back when it’s ready – which of course now it is.
Now, a little bit about the man behind the company – what is the most interesting part of your job?
Without doubt visiting businesses – going inside buildings I’ve never been in, learning fresh facts about Liverpool , finding out more how the city works and interacts – it’s been a fantastic learning experience.
And closer to home, where is your favourite place to grab a drink or a bite to eat near the office?
Ohhh tough one – to drink the nearest place is the bottom of Mount Pleasant so I like to go to Lanigan’s on Ranelagh Street as they are customers, very friendly and always full of good ideas. The Philharmonic on Hope Street is always nice and iconic. To eat I like Liv on Bold Street or Moose café on Hope Street.
What is the one thing you think everybody should do at least once in their lives?
Wow another belter! Scuba dive, freefall skydiving or some sort of flying. All are surreal and leave you thinking about the experience for weeks after.
Desert Island scenario, which three things would you take?
Well as its open I’ll start with 1.a GPS satellite phone with spare batteries, my family and an endless source of food and drinks. But in the spirit of what you are asking: 1. a radio 2. clothes and the app so I knew what was going on. 😊
And finally, what do you enjoy most about being at LSP?
The prestige of the address – seriously when you give it to someone their eyebrows raise as it is known as a centre/hub for digital excellence so by association they presume you must be good at what you do! The Staff are exceedingly friendly on all levels and in every interaction – nothing is too much trouble and they are great at pretending to smile all the time when dealing with us!
A massive thank you again to Mike for taking the time to talk to us. If you haven’t already downloaded the Welcome2Liverpool app then you can check it out on the App Store or from Google Play now or give Mike a shout if you need any advice on jumping out of an airplane at 20,000 feet!