- and more to come in 2003?'
INNOVATION that has served Crufts well for the past few years
is undoubtedly the Internet and the advantages this offers to
management, exhibitors, visitors, observers and media alike.
The 2003 show is set to be a great success and will, like its
immediate predecessors, benefit greatly from the role played
in the shows results projection by the Internet.
But going back just slightly less than two years to the 2001 show, it is interesting to speculate that, without the benefit of Crufts online, interest in the show may have waned slightly, especially as the event had been postponed form March to the end of May, due to the outbreak of foot and mouth. In terms of exhibitors, visitors and TV and newspaper coverage, that year's show - the first at which foreign dogs could openly compete - the whole event was extremely positive.
But one area in which the show scored a big hit - or, more accurately, over 400,000 hits - was the official Crufts website which literally attracted the attention of visitors from around the world. Apart form a few technical glitches early on during the first day, the site's Show Results service received nothing but praise, with prompt updates as soon the results of judging became available from the show office. The site in general was packed with useful information about the event that made it the natural first port of call for anyone wishing to know about the show at short notice.
The actual statistics for visits to the Crufts site in 2001 make fascinating reading. The internet information service for website owners, WEBTRENDS swiftly produced statistics relating to the Crufts site during the period May 20th to June 2nd, which took in the pre and post-show period as well as the four days of the show itself.
The entire site scored 436,799 successful hits during this period, averaging a staggering 48,533 hits per day. With regard to 'Visitor Sessions', a total of 22,239 were recorded, averaging 2,471 visits per day, with the average length of each visitor's session being 9.12 minutes. Interestingly, 'visitors' from the United States accounted for the bulk of the visits at 57.48 per cent.
As to the visitors themselves, 10,878 visited the site once, accounting for 82.92 per cent of all visits, whilst 2,240 visited more than once. In fact, visitors logged onto the site more than 10 times, equalling 1.85 per cent of the total.
Although Crufts is renowned worldwide, it is classed, like Shakespeare as a British institution. Interestingly, like Shakespeare at Stratford-on-Avon, the show attracted more interest from the United States (as far as the website was concerned) than from the UK. The USA accounted for 12,825 visits, almost four times as many as the UK's 3,418. However, this figure might be accounted for the proliferation of American-based Internet Service Providers (ISPs) based or routed via the USA. Australian surfers made 784 visits, followed by the Netherlands with 459, Canada with 361, Sweden with 242 and New Zealand with 218. In 8th place came Germany with 199, Denmark 9th on 173 and Belgium with 170. Ireland recorded the smallest number of visits with 45, only nine less than Japan on 54.
The ISP that accounted for the greatest number of hits was British Telecom Net (btinternet.com) with 46,676 (11.98 per cent), followed closely by American On line (aol.com) with 24,130 (6.19 per cent). As for the different types of organisation to visit the Crufts website, individual 'companies' accounted for 220,183 hits (70.91 per cent) and 13,283 visitor sessions. Networks were listed next with 84,405 hits, (27.18 per cent) and 3,942 sessions. Educational organisations scored 3,785 hits (1.21 per cent) and 115 sessions. For conspiracy theorists, Government organisations scored 656 hits (0.21 per cent) and 25 sessions, while Military organisations scored 49 hits (0.01 per cent) and 4 visits.
When all is said and done, however, Crufts is the world's most famous dog show and nobody does it quite like the Brits (whether good or bad) and it follows that the official website, so well constructed and full of information, should generate such a great deal of interest.
Top Ten most active countries for visiting crufts website:
1 United States - 12,825:
2 UK - 3,418:
3 Australia - 784:
4 Netherlands - 459:
5 Canada - 361:
6 Sweden - 242:
7 New Zealand - 218:
8 Germany - 199:
9 Denmark - 173:
10 Belgium - 170: