Jarrod Pickford

Jarrod Pickford

Founder, Director – Storytowns


Session title

Forging deeper connections between visitors, locals and place


Providing a sense of connection to place for both locals and visitors is critical in an increasingly transient world. The sharing of culture and stories is a powerful tool for deepening that connection. And who better to tell those stories than locals. They are like gold dust for your community; they understand and love the place they call home. They inspire local pride and promote your community to outsiders like no other.

In this presentation, Jarrod Pickford, CEO of Storytowns Audio Guides, will demonstrate how his team discovered the secret sauce for deepening connections between the visitor, the local and place, and the transformative power locallydriven storytelling has had on the communities he’s worked with.


Jarrod Pickford, a passionate globetrotter, is the visionary behind Storytowns a travel app born out of his extensive hitchhiking adventures across the planet. What initially began as a personal love for exploring the world and meeting locals has evolved into the remarkable platform we now know as Storytowns: Audio Guides As You Travel. This intuitive app plays or sends a notification as users approach significant sites or towns, eliminating the need for QR codes or fumbling with phones.

Boasting 25 years in audio storytelling, Jarrod and his team have curated and designed over 600 audio guides spanning across Australia. These highly produced audio guides feature local residents who passionately narrate the towns and landmarks for travellers as they move about.

Whether embarking on a road trip along the Silo Art Trail, walking through the lively streets of Perth, or riding the trains across Melbourne’s Metro, Storytowns audio guides prove to be an indispensable travel companion, giving outoftowners a reason to stop, stay, and delve into the cultural tapestry of local communities.