Info You Can Use: Standards For Your Website

Apropos to my post yesterday about standards for arts marketing personnel is today’s a review of arts organizations’ online marketing efforts. Drew McManus unveiled his 2011 Orchestra Website reviews today.

Drew has been doing this for a number of years now. Bless him for it because it is a pretty time and labor intensive effort. From the number of social media reactions to the post, it is pretty evident that his efforts are appreciated by a large number of people. Drew will actually be on a panel at the National Arts Marketing Project this weekend called “Your Website Is Ugly.”

So don’t let yourself think that you can’t learn anything from the reviews, the standards he uses are applicable to pretty much anyone who is trying to communicate information and sell tickets using the internet as a medium. Basically everyone then.

The great thing to take away from the report is that you don’t need a big budget to be effective. Two of those who appear the top ten rankings are ensembles with smaller budgets.

Tomorrow (11/9) Drew will take a more detailed look at the scoring for the different organization. If you don’t have time to read the reviews, here are some of the things which kept some sites from getting better scores-

“A lack of direct buy tix links for events featured on the landing page.
-A convoluted donation shopping cart (some systems actually required users to remove ticket purchases before they could add a donation).
-A lack of search features and/or sitemaps.
-No social media share buttons on convert event pages.
-Concert calendars that displayed nothing more than an event’s name (no what/where/when details, no “buy tix” link, etc.).
-Inefficient optimization for tablet platforms.”

Now that I have a person with the time and ability to implement the solutions to some of these problems, I am forwarding Drew’s posts on to her.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

I am currently the Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Butts In The Seats and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Thank you for subscribing.

Please enter a valid email address

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend