Interesting Early Statistics

I spent a little time this week preparing for an interview about Southwest Fox on The Fox Show, (not posted yet), and came across some interesting statistics with respect to the registrations.

  • 31% of registrations are first time to Southwest Fox
  • 11% of registrations are first time to a Visual FoxPro conference

The way we receive registrations has definitely changed since we tweaked the registrations process a bit:

  • 51% email
  • 29% fax
  • 13% snail mail
  • 7% in-person

Email and fax have flipped percentages and email and in-person remain almost the same. This past week I came up with a couple of ideas I might implement for next year.

81 days until the conference convenes in Mesa!

Registration One-Day Record Set

The pace of registrations yesterday was exhilarating and exhausting, but at the end of the day I processed 22 registrations. This sets a new one-day record for Geek Gatherings. The previous day record was 14.

Fingers are soar and I am behind on the processing of the registrations. So if you are thinking you missed the deadline to save on the early-bird, your right. But…we are a group who believe in second chances. {g}

Based on the fact I am tired and in a weak state from all the data entry, I am officially extending the deadline until Monday July 7th at Midnight, EDT. Consider this the last chance to get in on the $75 discount and the free pre-conference session.

Registrations are just a little behind last year’s record setting pace, but just by a little bit.

Registrations heating up, so are prizes

My day started with some sweet news I wanted to share with everyone. Just in case you have not read the news on the Southwest Fox site, I wanted to let you know that Tightline Computers has donated three licenses for Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite and MSDN Premium Subscription (1-year), valued at US$11,000 EACH.

That means we have six licenses to give away! Imagine yourself returning to the office on October 20th with one of these licenses. How good would that feel?

Thanks to Andy Kramek and Marcia Akins for this fantastic contribution to the conference.

Not long after I read Marcia’s email, six registrations dropped in the registration email box. Looks like it could be a very busy day.

Southwest Fox Just Got Better

Southwest Fox 2008 Gold sponsor xSQL Software is giving away a free license of xSQL Data Compare Pro (a $399 value — allows you to compare and synchronize data in two SQL Server databases) to every conference participant. What a great offset of the conference price – you pay $695 for the conference and get back more than half of it ($399) with this offer alone! Even better, you’ll receive your free license as soon as you register for Southwest Fox 2008 so you don’t even have to wait until October!

Registration Streamlined for Email

I had a recent discussion with some people coming to Southwest Fox 2008 concerning the registration process and possibly streamlining it. They asked a question about online registration and why we don’t have it. The basic reason is simple: I don’t want to store your credit card information on our Web site or someone else’s Web site. The merchant setup we have is relatively economical and integrates with QuickBooks seamlessly, but requires me to enter in the credit card number into QuickBooks. I literally have had nightmares about someone calling claiming we were responsible for their credit card getting out for hackers and thieves. Not going to do it (in my best impersonation of Dana Carvey impersonating George Herbert Walker Bush).

The reason the person was interested in an online form is the fact they have to print out the form and sign it, then scan it in to send to me via email. Some registrations come in with a scanned signature image pasted into the Word document. Others have printed out the registration and fax the printed form with the added cost of a one or two minute long distance phone call. All this because they had to sign the form. This takes more time for everyone using either technique. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just fill out the form and email it in and have the signature somehow be electronic? Sure. Several registrations emailed in have a note on the signature line about the signature being “on file.” The fact the individual emailed it to us is good enough for the electronic signature. So feel free to email those registrations in.

Earlier this year I was streamlining the data entry part of the registration. I was curious on the distribution for the way people sent us registrations for last year’s conference. I was surprise by the results back then:

  1. Fax: 49%
  2. Email: 29%
  3. Snail Mail: 13%
  4. In Person: 9%

I expected email to be the clear winner. So far the distribution for this year’s registration is:

  1. Fax: 43%
  2. In Person: 24%
  3. Email: 19%
  4. Snail Mail: 14%

Now I might have a better understanding why so many people prefer fax. It makes no difference to me how you send in a registration. The streamlining of the process is designed to help you save time and possibly a little bit of cash.

With the biggest bulk of registrations expected over the next few weeks I think this streamlining of the process is being timed well. Let me know your thoughts. We are open to different ideas especially if it reduces administrative overhead.

The updated registration form is on the Southwest Fox Web site. No need to get it if you already have it filled out, just note on the signature lines that your signature is “on file.”

Only 22 days to take advantage of the early-bird registration benefits: save $75 for the registration, get a free pre-conference session, a chance at a $300 scholarship toward your registration from White Light Computing, and the bragging rights that you are already registered for Southwest Fox 2008.

Only 129 days until we meet in Mesa!