#TBT The Value Of Creative Design

A perennial problem that is particularly vexing for opera and theatre groups is how to approach event graphics when production photography for most events won’t be ready when season announcements roll out. One of the best options is to invest in quality graphic design to provide visuals until principal photography is available. Recently, one of my newest clients, Opera Festival Chicago, put that approach into motion for their three events this …

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Alex Ross Could Not Be More Right

There’s a wonderful article by Alex Ross in the May 16, 2022 edition of The New Yorker where the author declares the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) is one of “America’s Boldest Orchestras.” Granted, he roped me in right out of the gate by framing the piece with a comparison of SDSO’s budget and the salary of Chicago Symphony’s music director. The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, the musical pride of Sioux …

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Creating A Good User Experience Doesn’t Have To Include A Fight

When it comes to the concert experience, it’s impossible for anyone inside the business to go through the process with new patron empathy. Everything from buying tickets online to the in-person event are designed by people with varying degrees of experience with the process. Granted, I’ve been focusing on these questions as they apply to the online process and much of that time is spent helping clients get past their own …

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Scarcity Is The New Black (no one wants to wear)

I don’t usually recommend books but every now and then there’s an exception to that rule and in today’s case, it’s Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. Drawing on cutting-edge research from behavioral science and economics, Mullainathan and Shafir show that scarcity creates a similar psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need. Busy people fail to manage their time …

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Not All Data From The Pandemic Was Negative

There’s a fascinating report from SMU Data Arts on the Fundraising Performance over the first half of the pandemic. Spoiler: the arts sector saw a sizeable increase in their Return on Fundraising. For the purposes of the report, Return on Fundraising is determined by dividing Total Contributed Revenue but total Fundraising Expenses. Based on the data they collected, here’s what they discovered: 2017: fundraising efforts raised $6.16 for every dollar spent. …

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