It is pouring rain in Chicago this weekend, so I feel it is an ideal time to post some quick thoughts on the recent WHD USA event.
1. The inaugural US event drew about 800 attendees. From my perspective, it was a high quality audience. Great foundation to meet with various execs the the web hosting, telco, and domain registrar space.
2. There was strong attendance from overseas web hosts. I was surprised because I felt most international companies would not make the trip or had attended WHD Global. This was great to see -- biggest country in attendance in my opinion? Latin America!
3. Strong New TLD registry presence. Make sense -- this is a great forum to get exposure to your new tlds to some of the biggest distributors in the Hosting space.
WHD USA was a natural choice for me and Team Weebly. We exhibited, sponsored the main conference party, and presented a keynote on Wednesday. During our keynote session, we focused on some of the key trends we are seeing in the web site creator industry, with a particular focus on mobile. In our opinion, we see the consumer migrating to mobile more and more. One of the key stats we shared with the audience is that 33% of traffic to Weebly is driven from a mobile device. We expect this number to grow QoQ. In addition, we announced that we plan to extend to Weebly Resellers access to our portfolio of mobile apps. This includes iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android tablet.
One last note about the recent conferences we have been attending this year --> there are many web site creator companies there as well. This make sense to us. The market is big and the opportunity is big. There are still many consumers offline. There are still more consumers coming online in emerging markets. Thus, we should expect that there would be a number of companies looking to capture this customer. That said, I think it also validates how critical the "web site creator" product has become in the Hosting market recently. Its no longer a value-added service. It has really become a core product for web hosts. In the various meetings we had at WHD USA, I heard this theme repeated more and more.....web hosts are raising the priority of web site creators as a core offering so they can more aggressively compete in the market. Lets face it, if you can provide a great web site building experience for the end user, you are in a great position to upsell email, domain names, and ideally have strong renewals across all of these products.
Next stop for Team Weebly is the Internet Retail Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago!
Here are some pictures from our keynote at WHD USA - enjoy!