New Year, New Looks, New Tricks

2014 was a banner year for the Venture Platform; the number of users more than quadrupled, the amount of e-commerce and CRM integration work exploded, and we’ve continued to set the bar even higher for what arts organizations and artists should expect out of their web providers.

Some of the really fantastic work has centered on automating a variety of time-suck activities that make arts managers less efficient than they could be. For example, we developed something no other provider offers in the form of fully automated email campaigns for upcoming and recently added events. In short, our users can let patrons subscribe to one or more email lists notifying them of upcoming events from whatever combination of event categories the organization wants to offer.

For our users that routinely add events throughout the season, letting users subscribe to a “what’s happening today” email list that require zero work beyond creating the email template is a powerful ticket sales force multiplier without overloading patrons with email burnout.

We’ve also automated everything from invoicing, scheduling, and CRM synchronization for systems including Salesforce, Freshbooks, and a host of email marketing providers. Several users have expanded into offering a wealth of member-only online content and Venture has crafted unique solutions that make dynamic member-only content management alongside the end-user experience a pleasure.

If that wasn’t enough, we also came up with one of the most advanced custom e-commerce reporting tools available; it’s so good that some of our users have started to rely on it over and above their integrated CRM reporting tools.

After all of this work, we finally squirreled away some time to update our own website with not only a restructured look but we’ve integrated many of the UX and performance enhancements in place at our user sites.

Venture 2015

  1. New homepage: we set our new full width layout functionality in motion along with updated hero image designs that help maximize the impact.
  2. Expanded plan offerings: you can now see a complete list of add-ons Pro plan users enjoy.
  3. Updated user profiles: our user profiles have been revamped to include additional responsive thresholds and updated content.
  4. Updated feature overview page: new graphics and offerings that have been introduced throughout 2014 have been included in the review copy.

By the end of January, 2015 we plan on releasing the latest major update for our proprietary event management system. Granted, it’s already an industry leader thanks to a host of functionality but this round of updates is going to make our peers within the development field more than a little green with envy.

Oh, we managed to do all of this without raising rates for the 2014/15 season while simultaneously helping many of our users reduce expenses incurred by third party providers. Not too shabby!

If your group is looking to step up its online presence (or just join the 21st century), swing by the Venture Platform’s updated site to learn more or feel free to skip to the end and get in touch.

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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