What’s New For The 2006 Orchestra Website Review

Although the evaluation parameters between 2005 and 2006 have not changed as much as between the 2004 and 2005 evaluations, there have been some modifications along the following key points…


The Orchestra Information | Press subcategory has been divided into two subcategories: Press Contacts and Media Content. As a result, the cumulative number of subcategory points for the Orchestra Information category has been increased from 60 to 70.

  • The Press Contacts subcategory evaluates how easy it is to find name, email, and telephone contact information for the organization’s PR representative as well as information on how to contact a musician representative.

  • The Media Content subcategory evaluates, but is not limited to, the availability of downloadable media content that can be used by media outlets such as digital photos and biographical information for guest artists, conductors, musicians, etc. It also takes into account availability of current and archived press release material.

  • The subcategories of Purchasing Tickets | Secure Commerce Server and Making Donations/Secure Commerce Server include expanded evaluation criteria for providing a visual notice of web encryption, web encryption without a visual notice, and no or partial encryption on all pages that request credit card information.

    Required registration was a point that snarled many orchestra websites into lower scores in the 2005 evaluation. The 2006 review includes an expanded evaluation criteria for the Making Donations | Subscription Series and Making Donations | Single Ticket Sales subcategories that takes into account whether or not registration is required to view seat availability or to simply purchase tickets.

    One final change for 2006 was the way the orchestra surveys were designed. In order to make the review as comprehensive as possible, the survey is distributed to every orchestra included in the review. Each respondent’s answers are included with the detailed results for their respective organization (those results will be published on 9/22/06).

    A new component for the survey in 2006 is the opportunity for each respondent to include any additional information they feel is relevant to their organization and/or the current condition of their website. This information is presented unedited and in its original form. Additionally, the new survey format provides improved data collection tools that make it easier to identify trends in website design, maintenance, expenditure, and income data.
    For all of those out there sending me email messages seeking a preview of the rankings, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow. However, as a prelude to the full list, the top five orchestras are located in the following states (listed in alphabetical order):

    1. California
    2. Illinois
    3. Ohio
    4. Tennessee
    5. Washington

    Click here for the 2006 Adaptistration Orchestra Website Review publication schedule.

    About Drew McManus

    "I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

    I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

    In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

    For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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