Case Study: Cherry Hills Community Church's Christmas Lights for a Cause

Holiday Throwback!

The Cherry Hills Community Church Christmas lights spectacle is a local staple for the holiday season. The light show, spanning the church’s ¾ mile campus in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, draws thousands of parishioners and locals each year. In 2019, the Church enlisted the help of STQRY to add an audio element to the drive-through tour, bringing multimedia into the show to create an entertaining and immersive experience for visitors.

Known simply as LIGHT, the audio tour in 2019 shared the story of Jesus—e.g. the “Light that Leads You Home”—through light displays. The story had been narrated and synced to beacons in the Christmas lights display around the Cherry Hills campus, bringing this timeless Christmas tradition into the modern day.

The LIGHT app is a unique STQRY client because the app needs to run without user engagement, as the user is driving through the light display while the app plays the synced music and custom audio tracks. This created the need for a unique solution to enable the Cherry Hills Church to expand their show creatively and technologically.

The Challenge

Chris Thomas, Cherry Hills Community Church and lead on the LIGHT app development project, shared some insight into the challenges they faced and how his STQRY Client Success Manager, Travis Luty, helped solve these challenges in order to meet the event deadline. 

“When we finally got into the testing phase, we discovered a challenge with the app and our unique situation. Because it was a driving experience, we needed the app to be completely on auto-pilot once the guest began the route,” said Thomas. 

Due to safety issues, users could not manually keep the app open while driving through the light show. Even with a passenger controlling the app instead of the driver, they would miss the actual light show if they were constantly looking down at the app.

The Solution

Thomas called on his STQRY Customer Success Manager to figure out a special solution to this digital usability issue. “Our Customer Success Manager assisted by quickly doing some custom programming that allowed the app to force the user’s device to stay awake so that the mobile device could be placed out of the way, but still be triggered by the beacons,” he explained.

STQRY’s flexible and customizable platform allows builders and clients to create unique app experiences that can meet the needs of any on-site display. For Cherry Hills, as visitors drive through the campus, their cars trigger beacon points located throughout the route that signal the STQRY app to play matching audio. The custom music and vivid storytelling gives new life to this locally cherished Christmas display.

The Result

With over 50,000 people per year sharing in the 2019 experience and $125,000+ in donations raised for eliminating homelessness in the area, the Cherry Hills LIGHT app experience is a testament to the power of an idea and the importance of using the right modern solutions to make that idea come to life.

“After working collaboratively with STQRY, we were able to create a truly unique, immersive hands-free Christmas lights tour experience that resulted in extremely high usage for a temporary, seasonal event,” Thomas said.

If you’re in the Highlands Ranch, Colorado area and want to see the free yearly LIGHT display at the Cherry Hills Community Church for yourself reserve a spot here.

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