We, the staff of Woodworking Network, knew upon entering 2011 that we were in for another challenging year. And from that perspective we unfortunately were not disappointed.

But in anticipating another sluggish year for the U.S. housing market, and subsequently the wood products industry, we made a conscious decision and concerted effort to not only aggressively pursue the business opportunities that were available but to position ourselves for the better days that most surely lie ahead.

To this end we have been squarely focused on investing time and money in continuous improvement and new product development. Our ultimate goal has been to offer more ways than anyone else for wood products suppliers (our customers) to connect with wood products manufacturers (our readers) through print, online and live event opportunities.

This same mindset has carried over to our CLOSETS media division.

As we approach the holidays and dawn of a New Year, I pause to reflect on some of the great successes Woodworking Network experienced in 2011. It's been a lot of work but ultimately well worth the effort.

  1. PRINT PUBLICATION MAKEOVERS: 2011 witnessed substantial redesigns of flagship publication Wood & Wood Products, Custom Woodworking Business and CLOSETS magazines. Most importantly, our commitment to publishing W&WP and CWB to service the distinct needs of production and custom woodworking companies has paid off in significant market share gains of advertising pages.
  2. WEBSITE RELAUNCHES: WoodworkingNetwork.com relaunched on a new content management system in August, allowing us to deliver far more news, features, videos and blogs than any other media serving the North American wood products industry. The move also substantially enhanced our visibility on Google and other major search engines. The impact was immediately measurable. September's record page views of 108,619 was 45.1 percent greater than that of September 2010. Just a month later, we launched ClosetsDaily.com on the same robust platform as WoodworkingNetwork.com. We also debuted a new site for the Woodworkinng Machinery & Supply Expo (WMS). Coming soon is a new online home for Closets-Expo.com.
  3. E-NEWSLETTER PROWESS: I long ago lost count of the dozens (hundreds?) of comments from advertisers and readers alike complimenting us for our daily Woodworking Network e-newsletter. Many woodworking professionals have told my colleagues and me how much they look forward to opening up the newsletter to start their day. The e-newsletter has become the unofficial record of the woodworking industry covering everything from the downer of plant closings, fires and OSHA citations to more uplifting news like plant expansions, product innovations and design trends.  
  4. WELL-ROUNDED WEBCAST SERIES: WOOD 100 Success Strategies, Finishing & Sanding Technology and Professional Closet Designer Certification, were among the topics presented this year as part of the free Woodworking Network Webcast Series.  Look for more online education opportunities courtesy of Woodworking Network in 2012.
  5. EVENTFUL EVENTS: Vance Communication Canada's production of the 2011 Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo, Oct. 27-29, in Toronto attracted 3,650 attendees, up nearly 10% over WMS 2009. The 2011 Closets & Home Organization Conference & Expo held in Charlotte in February also registered a healthy attendance increase over the 2010 event. We're currently gearing up for the 2012 Closets Conference & Expo in Austin, TX, and will announce plans for SIBO 2012 in Quebec, Canada, soon.

I'm sure your company recorded successes as well. I encourage you to share them here by posting a comment.

Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.

Guest Blogs Welcome
Got a viewpoint you would like to share with our online woodworking community? Woodworking Network welcomes guest blogs from wood products professionals. Submit your opinions to Rich Christianson, Editor at Large, at rchristianson@vancepublishing.com.

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