So That’s Who You Are

During Wednesday’s radio discussion at Soundcheck with John Schaefer I mentioned the results from a recent readership segmentation survey here at Adaptistration and I thought it would be useful to post those statistics…

The chart below illustrates how more than 500 Adaptistration readers identified their relationship to the orchestra field (click to enlarge):

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Although the results are condensed a bit from the original questions, they demonstrate a rough division into three equal parts. At the same time, this is the first survey which showed musicians taking a slight lead in readers but this is likely due to the fact that when this survey was conducted there were a number of articles about a labor dispute, a topic which is likely more interesting to the average musician as opposed to discussions about telephone etiquette. Historically, managers outpace musicians and patrons by approximately 3% while musicians and patrons have nearly equal representation.

Once the time materializes, I would like to cross reference these results with a comment index to determine if there’s any connection between trends in posting comments and the readership segmentation. In the end, the more that can be learned about who the readers are and how they participate, the more positive influence they will have on how Adaptistration evolves.

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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1 thought on “So That’s Who You Are”

  1. About FREQUENCY: You define “frequent” attendance as six times or more per year. I have usually used a lower number for orchestra audiences — three. I assumed that a survey respondent attending my orchestra would also be attending other arts events, performances, museums, festivals, etc. I will admit that I have no real scientific basis for this number, but will admit that subscribers for fewer than five concert series renew at a notably lower rate than those for series of five or more. Then again, those with series of four or more strongly skew towards new subscribers, who historically renew at a lower rate. When comparing “new less than five” and “new five or more” subs, these differences lose their statistical significance (at least in the surveys Ive done). Anyone care to comment on the issue of frequency of attendance and what constitites a “regular” attender?

    I think it is fair to say that a definition for “frequent” is certainly flexible. for example, a small budget ensemble or a local chamber group may only present six concert events per season. In that case the number I attached would likely be too high.

    However, I typically consider the number of professional symphonic orchestras (meaning ensembles which perform several concerts per season with more than 72 players on stage). As such, even the lower budget ensembles among this group usually offer no less than a dozen performance events with the full ensemble on stage. and for the sake of creating an accurate frame of reference, there are approximately 75 such ensembles in the U.S.

    Reagrdless, I think the conversation is certainly worthwhile and any final definition will depend on context. Thanks for brining up those points. ~ Drew McManus

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