Project Description

Challenge

The State Fair of Texas is a large, annual, state fair held in Dallas, Texas, for 24 consecutive days beginning the last Friday of September. Since 1886, the fair is one of the most highly attended and best recognized state fairs in America.

The organization’s website, bigtex.com, offers an incredible amount of useful content and the ability to buy tickets, season passes, and a build-your-own itinerary function. However, the user experience for the “Daily Schedule” (www.bigtex.com/schedule) page was not very engaging or user-friendly. Also, the existing hosting platform was having trouble maintaining the full-functionality of the site during the 24 days of the state fair because of the volume of site traffic. The site was continually locking up, going down numerous times, and creating an overall bad user experience.

Solution

After researching the user experience and functionality of other state fair schedules, WrightIMC created a “Daily Schedules” page that is engaging, easily updateable, and enables the user to create and print a customized “Build Your Own Fair Itinerary” experience.

Also, WrightIMC recommended and set up an Amazon (AWS) load-balancing server system that consists of four Amazon EC2 servers to remedy the issue with site downtime.

Results

The new “Daily Schedule” page was completed in August 2015 – one month before the 2015 State Fair of Texas began. The AWS load-balancing server was set up a few weeks before the State Fair began and just recently completed its 24-day run on October 19. Because of WrightIMC’s efforts and recommendations, the State Fair of Texas incurred ZERO downtime during the fair – which led to a year-over-year traffic increase of more than 45% and more than 4,000 unique itineraries were created.