Expo Numbers

I like working with numbers. Viewed in the proper context, they can tell you a great deal.

The International Custom Rod Building Exposition has grown each and every year. Starting in 2004 with a crowd of just over 500 rod builders, the event pulled in almost 2500 rod builders in 2010. At some point, it will surely top out and no further growth will be possible. Or will it?

Beginning in 2010, a statistical index was added to the administration portion of the official Expo website. It allows me to view how many folks are viewing the page each day, or even each hour. It records how many “hits” we get, how many pageviews and how long each person stays on a particular page.

This past month I’ve been extremely interested in the actual number of individuals (unique IP addresses) that view the site each day. That number will skyrocket about one week after I send out a round of direct mail postcards. Likewise, when one of the Expo print ads hits the stands, that number climbs steeply for a few days.

This year, the amount of advertising for the Expo has been effectively tripled. And… the site stats tell me that folks are seeing the ads and taking a few minutes to visit the website. The thing is, even with the amount of additional advertising I can’t explain the absolutely huge increase we’re seeing in individual visits to the website this year.

Take a look at last year’s individual visits for the 2nd week of January, 2010:

Now take a look at this year’s number of individual visits for roughly this same time period in January 2011:

Something’s up. Not sure what it is but I’m happy to see it. Of course, none of this means that everyone that visits the website will attend the Expo. Regardless, the numbers are up. Way up. And it would be pretty rare for such an increase in overall interest to result in anything but the continued growth of the Expo in 2011.

Tom Kirkman