How Does Your Website Stack Up?

Are you in the event, venue or destination industry and want to know how your website analytics stack up to others in the industry? We pulled Google Analytics from over 150 clients in these industries and found some extremely useful information.

Google analytics stats from 2013 to 2014


Pages per Session and Average Session Duration
These analytics refer to the average number of pages a visitors looks at and how long they’re staying on the site.

Bounce Rate
Bounce rates refer to the amount of users who have landed on a page and left after viewing only that page. The lower the bounce rate, the better. Low bounce rates mean visitors are finding the information interesting enough to pursue information on other pages of the site.

This represents a big shift for this industry in the last year. Desktop and Mobile traffic swapped a total of 16%. It’s amazing to see that mobile traffic now accounts for over half of this industry’s traffic. Another trend we noticed as the year went on is that on an average day, desktop traffic is still typically higher than mobile. However, during an event, mobile traffic spikes and overtakes desktop traffic. This highlights how the mobile device is used for gathering more immediate data while at events or destinations.

What came as no surprise, we saw a big change in the number of referrals our clients received from social media sites, increasing the importance of maintaining multiple online presences. One incredible statistic (but also not very surprising) is that 93% of the social media referrals were from Facebook, proving that they are still king of the social jungle.

 

Ensuring your website and analytics are up to par can be a very tedious and confusing task. We hope that this gives you a few goals to strive for along with some basic Google Analytics information. One great resource is to go directly to the source, and check out Google’s help desk for analytics here.

TTIA 2015 – Unity Dinner and Matket Place

This week, the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA) hosted the annual Unity Dinner, a night where tourism professionals and their supporters unite to express the impact the travel industry has on individual communities and the U.S. as a whole. The event continues to become more and more popular, averaging around 1,000 in attendance this year! This year’s featured speaker was the one and only, Tilman Fertitta, sole owner, chairman and CEO of Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. Fertitta is a native of Texas and has made a remarkable impact on the tourism industry through his 500 properties (including the San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center, Galveston’s Pleasure Pier, the Kemah Boardwalk and ALL of the Landry’s Restaurants).

This dinner has grown to become a 3 day event, starting with a speed-dating style tradeshow and concluding with a day-long event known as “Converge on the Capitol” where travel and tourism professionals come together to address tourism-related issues to local Senators and Representatives at the Texas State Capitol.

As ALWAYS, we loved seeing and bonding with many of our Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) friends over the three days and we look forward to our next tourism adventure!

SFEA 2015 in Chattanooga

Chattanooga

Every year at Saffire, we are privileged to travel to new and exciting conferences and meet more amazing people than the year before. This year, Cassie and Elaine had the pleasure of going to the Southeast Festival and Events Association in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There, we were almost snowed in, met scores of fun people from all over the Southeast, and went sight-seeing in Chattanooga!

Since it was unusually cold outside, everyone at the conference stayed inside most of the time! One exception was to go to the Tennessee Aquarium in downtown Chattanooga, which had been closed off and privately catered for the conference attendees. It was such a good time, especially thanks to the face painting artist and delicious food.

At the end of the conference, we had some time before their flight and were personally shown around by Dave Jones, the East Tennessee Regional Manager from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Needless to say, we had an expert to show us all the beautiful attractions in Chattanooga and we went to a fabulous local burger joint called Urban Stack. A huge thank you to Dave for helping us kill the time before their flight and for representing Tennessee so well! His enthusiasm was a pleasure to experience!

We want to thank everyone at the conference for being so welcoming and warm! Who doesn’t love Southern charm and hospitality?! We also can’t wait to get back to SFEA in 2016 in Charleston, SC….hopefully without the snow and ice! (Maybe next year we’ll get to ride on the Segway again??)

You’ve Got to Pin it to Win it!

Seriously Saffire, another Social Media site we have to maintain? Yes! With 70 million users and 28% of online US adults using the site, it is definitely worth pinning for a few minutes a day!

Do you know what the fastest growing demographic on Pinterest is? Men! Currently, 79% of users are female with only 21% male. But when you consider that in 2014 the number of men using Pinterest doubled and there are now more men using the site than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined, Pinterest is quickly breaking free of the stereotypical recipe and interior design rapport. Pinterest recently announced a change to its site’s search settings, which will now filter search results based on whether you’re interested in products for men or for women. By introducing these new search filters, Pinterest shows its devotion to diversifying its customer base.

In late 2013, Pinterest introduced one of its best features: Place Pins! If you are a destination marketing organization (DMO), Place Pins provides users with great, rich information about your destination in a map format. Place Pins allows for more context and information for travelers and requires minimal effort from a DMO. Below is an example from two different Pure Michigan’s boards which shows how much more interactive a destination post can be when placed on a map.

Pure Michigan

Pure Michgan

If you are planning an event, one of the best ways to get pinners involved is to easily collect photos from attendees! The Pinterest mobile app allows event attendees to pin photos from their mobile devices. At some point during the event, invite attendees to contribute to a collaborator board (i.e. a board named 25th Annual Saffire Valley Rodeo) and you have a real-time, crowd-sourced photo album! To make it even more successful, you can even turn this board into a contest and give prizes to the pinner with the most repinned photos.

If your organization does not have a Pinterest yet and need help getting started, check out our  tips on creating a successful Pinterest page: Click Here! Let us know what Pinterest strategies you use and what has been successful for your organization!

Follow Us!

Welcome Osceola County Fair and Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show

Osceola County Fair and Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show

 

The Osceola County Fair and Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show is held every February in Kissimmee, Florida and is attended by over 98,000 people. This 10 day event showcases Osceola County’s agriculture through 4-H and FFA programs.  During the fair visitors can enjoy great food, a variety of shows, entertainment and youth/commercial exhibits, along with exciting midway rides!

We are so grateful to add another amazing Florida event to our Saffire Family! Next week they kick off their 2015 fair and then shortly after that will kick off a great new online destination!

Welcome Tanana Valley State Fair

Tanana Valley State Fair

Located in Fairbanks, Alaska, Tanana Valley State Fair is now our northernmost fair and first client in the great state of Alaska! This August will be the 84th Annual Fair, which is held for two weeks! In 2014, the Fair had an attendance of over 92,500!

We are excited to be working with the team at Tanana Valley State Fair! We will soon have an awesome website showcasing this amazing fair and all of the fun it offers!

Welcome New Mexico State Fair & Expo New Mexico

New Mexico State Fair & Expo New Mexico

The staff of Expo New Mexico is tasked with putting on the State Fair and other great events throughout the year on the 236 acre parcel of land located in the center of Albuquerque.

Expo New Mexico has been the site of the annual New Mexico State Fair for 74 years!  The Fair is held in September and features concerts, agriculture, rodeos, carnival rides and much more!

We are currently working with the awesome staff at Expo New Mexico on revamping the Expo site and then adding a dedicated, stand-alone New Mexico State Fair website.

Welcome Williamson County Fair

Williamson County Fair

The folks over at Williamson County Fair in Franklin, Tennessee are great! We met this great, young fair at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE). The Fair just recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary and have won numerous industry awards for their successes!

Today, we are working with them on maximizing their online presence and showcasing their 9 Days of Fun to the world!

Welcome Seafair

Seafair

Seafair is Seattle’s traditional summer festival that brings an entire community together in celebration. For over 60 years Seafair has been about community events, parades, Miss Seafair, the Navy and Coast Guard, amateur athletics, airplanes and of course, boat racing. But most of all, Seafair has been about people!

We are thrilled to work with Seafair on creating a beautiful, interactive online destination! We were so excited about the potential to work with “Seattle’s Summer Celebration” that Cassie, our Partnership Director, traveled over 2,000 miles to visit the awesome Seafair staff!

Welcome Delta Fair & Music Festival

Delta Fair & Music Festival

The Delta Fair & Music Festival takes place annually in Cordova, Tennessee. With a mission to produce an annual Fair & Music Festival that is exciting, interactive and educational, they strive to bring the surrounding communities together with safe, wholesome family entertainment while celebrating and promoting the rich art, music and history of the Delta.

With music, chainsaw sculptors, tractor pulls, livestock shows and more, Delta Fair & Music Festival has fun for everyone! We are excited to work with this great event on revamping their online presence and showcasing their event to the world!