Thursday, July 31, 2008

To count only visitors: relevancy?

The website of Timbres magazine published the daily number of visitors at the Paris stampshow Planète timbres last June.

95247 visitors came voluntarily between June 14 and 22, and 20253 school boys and girls and their teachers, who could be seen and heard on the playful areas.

The most charged day was the opening Saturday with 15853 visitors and schoolers. Monday and Tuesday were the most quiet to visit: between nine and ten thousands visitors or schoolers (but I witness that, even on Tuesday, the first day sale booths were heavily crowded).

These data are informative but with negative aspects: they only tell that the news of a stampshow reached philatelists and Île-de-France schools. Not the commercial satisfaction of stamp dealers and collectors looking for necessary items, wished or lucky finds.

The wisdom is in Mike Czuczman's position, organisator of the London Stampex, reproduced in August 2008 Stamp Magazine. As always, he communicated the number of visitors of February Stampex (4917 people). But, a reader asked the magazine how visitors were counted: there was no ticket, nor mechanical counting device.

Czuczman explained that there were 4917 given welcome booklet with a souvenir postcard to visitors at the entrance. He accepted the number as visitors because some took one per entry, others not when coming a second time, etc. At least, it gave an idea.

He continued: "However, we are considering not issuing numbers in future, as it seems to concentrate minds on a rather irrelevant aspect. What really counts is whether the visitors, exhibitors and dealers have an interesting and productive experience".

Next September, will one of two French philatelic magazines go beyond the visitor numbers to report the stamp dealers' and collection exhibitors' satisfaction?

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