Another successful year with The Chicago International Film Festival
October 28, 2013 by Eric and Steve
Blame the fall weather if you’d like, but here at Intersites we’ve been feeling reflective. We can’t believe it, but it’s been 4 years since we first starting working with Cinema/Chicago on the Chicago International Film Festival. That’s 4 years of sustainment, adaptation, growth, and free tickets – to one of the largest film fests in the world.
That’s also about 4 years of traffic, in only about 4 months.
Cinema/Chicago is a unique client, because they aren’t your standard company that sells a product or a service. The Film Festival is an artistic event, and it only happens once a year. It’s also international. Combined, this means that every year when the Festival comes around, the website receives about a year’s worth of traffic in just a single month.
Fittingly enough, this traffic pattern is almost exactly like that of trick-or-treaters on Halloween – which, if you forgot, is this Thursday. As we all know, the way Halloween works is that you don’t just get a random kid coming to your door one night in June wearing a cape and asking for candy. Instead, you get 50 of them, on the last night of October, between the hours of five and nine.
There are multiple ways to handle this type of behavior, whether it’s from adults visiting your website or from children coming to your door. One way – the easy way – is to just put a bowl full of candy on the porch and go out to dinner. But we all know how that works, and with a website it isn’t much different.
Cinema/Chicago needs everybody to be able to visit their site, no matter when they showed up or what they came dressed as; and so we at Intersites decided to do what all overly enthusiastic parents across America will be doing this Thursday night.
We dressed up like zombies, turned the living room into a haunted tomb, and doled out king-sized candy bars to everyone who knocked on our door. I.e., we built a solid, lasting website. It took a little more effort, but in the end it was worth it, and so far it’s made things that much better for everyone involved.
Naturally, a site built for traffic is a great means of promotion. Our approach has actually benefited the Festival in more ways than one, though. Cinema/Chicago receives a few grants to help promote the event and encourage tourism and participation. Our analytics-centric process made it easy to gather statistics that helped to answer questions and maximize funding when the grant writing process came around.
Beyond this, the site is also designed for ease-of-management on Cinema/Chicago’s end, and it also features an archiving system that has allowed the Festival to share their 49-year history with anyone who pays a visit.
This includes the thousands of excited cinephiles they get throughout October from around the world... and the random costume wearers who want their candy in June, as well.
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