I'm looking for...

That is

DSO Updates Its Web Presence
by Jerome Weeks 2 Aug 2011

The new site looks clean and starched. Gone is any of the populist razzmatazz. This one says “class.” But it also offers some improved ticket-buying and calendar-searching.


… with what, frankly, looks plain vanilla.

I love crisp white space as much as the next aesthetically repressed person (“Must. Not. Let. Pictures … touch one another”), but this re-design, courtesy of Dallas’ own Slingshot, is very clean and starched.  This is not the splashy, populist hooplah like the Dallas Summer Musicals and Fort Worth Symphony sites. Nor is it the attempted majestic swoop and sweep of Texas Ballet Theatre.

This baby’s bone-dry. It says “classy” and “impeccable” and “internationally renowned” on par with outfits like the Kimbell Art Museum

What the re-do  does have going for it are some seriously refined functions, notably the ticketing process and  calendar. The whole deal feels simpler, easier. Click on a chosen date on the calendar — say, September 9th — and a postage stamp image of the lead performer appears with the title for the evening  (“Ax Plays Brahms”). If that’s not your preference, you’re not bogged down. But if you want more info, click on ‘View details’ and you learn Ax is tackling Brahms’ piano concerto No. 1 while the DSO with Jaap van Zweden will also handle Prokofiev’s 5th symphony. Yes, you got info like this on DSO 1.0 but not like this.

There is a seating chart outfront, but the button for it is way down at the bottom of the page. Instead, you get a nifty little view of the Meyerson when you go to buy tickets. Mouse over different seating sections and up pops a tiny image of what the stage would look like from the loge boxes or the up-up-and-away ‘grand tier.’  It’s a very tiny image, but that view is probably what most ticketbuyers are wondering about with any given seat, that and the sound, of course. Decide on a section and a more detailed map of the possible seats appears, which lets you wonder why the two aisle seats in every row of the concert section cost exactly seven dollars more than the other seats right next door in the same row. How was that price point chosen?

The website’s list of the DSO’s “Core Values” is the usual potpourri of impressive adjectives and empty nouns beloved of all management (“Integrity” and “Teamwork” but never, you know, “Obsessive-Compulsive”). My own favorite is “A community of passionate music lovers making more music lovers.”

Now that’s the way to market classical music. Concertgoing just took on a more delightfully promiscuous promise.

The full press release:

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Unveils New Website

August 2, 2011 (Dallas, TX) The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) unveiled its new website today after 8 months of research, planning and production. Slingshot, the award-winning, full service advertising agency based in the West End of Downtown Dallas, transformed and redesigned the site to improve ticket sales and provide more information for visitors.

The new website (www.dallassymphony.com) provides a more fluid ticketing process, including a fully-functional calendar and patron log-in system.  Event information pages include audio and video clips when available, concert program notes and biographical information about the artists.

The DSO Blog includes insider stories and interviews with DSO musicians and guest artists, concert reviews and links to media coverage, up-to-date information on concerts and events, and seamless functionality to Facebook and Twitter. All press releases, relevant news and reviews on DallasSymphony.com are easily accessible on the new site.

Tessitura, the ticketing system used throughout the Dallas Arts District, has been streamlined to provide a user-friendly ticket purchase experience. Patrons who set up an account online will be able to see past order history, donation history, set e-mail preferences and print receipts.

“This streamlined approach should provide a more user-friendly, enjoyable experience for our web visitors,” said John O’Dell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the DSO. “Slingshot was a great development partner, and through this partnership, we have created a site that best satisfies the needs of our patrons and organization.”

Also new, all tickets and season subscription packages will be available for purchase and single tickets can be printed at home through DallasSymphony.com.

“This site is going to raise the bar in digital presence for arts groups around the country. The content management system makes it easy for the DSO’s marketing department to update information in an instant. I know Dallas Symphony patrons are going to be very pleased,” said Owen Hannay, President and CEO of Slingshot. “Because the DSO has been around for more than 100 years and has such a presence in the City of Dallas, we wanted a site that reflected that history of community and musical excellence, but that would also benefit its future.”

Visit www.dallassymphony.com for more information on the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and to buy tickets online.

Visit www.davidandgoliath.com for more information on Slingshot.