Drew McManus recently wrote in his blog Adaptistration about the best (and worst) websites of 2006. Check out his complete list of the worst websites here. Check it out–it is a fascinating read. It is amazing to see some of the problems that many orchestra websites have, such as the inability to make online donations. The Los Angeles Philharmonic sold 73% of their single tickets online last year, but they have no system to accept online donations. What kind of craziness is this? Every other blog I visit has a “donate” button on it, but the L.A. Phil can’t get it together enough to put this system in place? This is unbelievable, especially given the obvious heavy usage of their website by their patrons.
Many orchestras obviously make their websites a priority, and it is reflected in the excellent content management system and user experience. Drew singled out the Nashville Symphony’s website as the best recent orchestra website, and it certainly is a polished and attractive experience. Check out the Nashville Symphony’s website for yourself here.
Having a quality website didn’t come cheaply for the Nashville Symphony. Drew states in his recent post:
If you pump enough money into a website, at the very least you will likely end up with something that looks good. However, according to Michael, they ended up getting much more for their money than they initially expected.
“The cumulative price for all of the start-up work, the special seating module, and content creation came to approximately $220,000,” said Michael. “Out of that figure, the seating module alone cost $70,000 and although it wasn’t a necessity, we decided it was worth pursuing. The good news is we expect annual maintenance from here on out to cost approximately $35,000.”
Much of the start-up work was to integrate the new website design with Tessitura, an enterprise-wide, integrated system for marketing, development, and box office management. According to Michael, if Nashville already had Tessitura integrated into their previous website, their start up costs would have been closer to $75,000.
Come Fly With Me
What exactly is a seating module and why did it cost $70,000? Simply put, the seating module is the most impressive adaptation of the traditional seating chart I’ve ever come across. It’s cool, entertaining to use, and oozes an unmistakable techno-panache. Better yet, it goes a long way toward alleviating the stereotype that everything connected with orchestras is old, unimaginative, and stuck in the 1960’s. All of this should conspire to have an especially powerful impact on new ticket buyers.
The Nashville Symphony makes their website a priority, and it shows.