It Was Right In Front Of My Nose

It’s always good to look at something with a different pair of eyes. Case in point, when designing the Venture Platform, I had always envisioned it as hosting an art organization’s primary website. Sure, one of the added benefits for the service is groups can also use it to build ancillary microsites for no additional cost but for whatever reason, it never occurred to me that groups could use Venture solely as a microsite publishing platform.

Fortunately, a shop-talk coffee meeting with Sean Hopp, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) Web Director, helped bring about a light-bulb moment.

In the CSO’s case, Sean and the CSO web development team determined that using Venture as a platform to build microsites was just the sort of option they could use; in particular, for an upcoming redesign for their popular Beyond the Score® series website.  As a result, the CSO has become an archetypal example behind how large budget organizations can use Venture as a high quality platform to quickly build and manage purpose specific sites to showcase everything from artistic initiatives like Beyond the Score® to tours, archives, gala events, and just about anything else they can imagine.

And since everything with Venture is a cloud solution, meaning all of the technical aspects are managed for you, there’s zero load to your existing IT resources. What you end up with is a trifecta of arts org tech solutions: affordable, reliable, and no hassle.

In short, it’s never been so easy to create purpose built websites while keeping things so simple; I’m indebted to the folks at the CSO for uncovering what had been overlooked.

[ilink url=”” style=”tick”]Visit the CSO’s Beyond the Score® website. [/ilink]

[ilink url=”” style=”tick”]Learn more about the project at the Beyond the Score® user portfolio page.[/ilink]


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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