We first started asking visitors to sign a guestbook in 2010, primarily as a way to ascertain whether we should continue to spend money on expensive print and internet advertising. Three years later, visitors have filled up one rather large book with their names, hometowns, and how they heard about us. It makes for interesting reading, and we've gained a few insights about our visitors in the process.
Mindport visitors tend to:
a) use the internet to figure out what's fun to do in a town they are visiting (and are sometimes visiting from quite a distance)
b) notice ads placed on public transportation but are only occasionally prompted to visit Mindport as the result of a brochure or advertisement in a magazine
c) are not opposed to a little aimless wandering on foot
d) have kids, grandkids, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles, friends, sweethearts, veterinarians, counselors, employers, coworkers, roommates, baristas, teachers, and "nice ladies on the street" tell them about Mindport
e) be enthusiastic, descriptive, funny, and curious (but we could have guessed that)
Here are a few visitor responses to the question: How did you hear about Mindport?
I love reading that "GABE!!" or "my friend Gracie's stepmom who works across the street at the Blue Horse Gallery" or the "Sehome Starbucks drive through barista," or "my doctor's nurse," or "fellow campers at the Cedar Park campsite" told a visitor about Mindport, and then imagining the conversation and the path they took to wind up here.
What we say matters. Not always, that's certainly true, but perhaps more often than we think. In Mindport's case, all those people saying, "Hey, check out Mindport" means we can spend more money and time making things and welcoming visitors and less of both trying to just get folks in the door. Thank you for your kind words. Keep on talking.
(And thanks for sharing these milestones with us. Congratulations!)