While the full impact of this economy is hotly debated, the undeniable reality is that it is going to affect all of us for a long time. This is now the condition under which we operate, fund raise, market and perform – and not an excuse for poor results.
We have discussed pricing, packaging, and access issues. There are more breakthrough ideas that will emerge, driven by the necessity of this climate. Some may radically change the way we package and market concerts. Other may be more market-specific, addressing the issues of an individual orchestra and the community it serves. There is no single answer, no magic bullet. These successful new initiatives will emerge as our core marketing competencies when, in what is likely a distant future, things improve.
In the meantime, audiences still hunger for the intellectual nutrition of great music in live performance. The communion between artist and audience becomes more necessary, even perhaps more gratifying, in the times that test us. The economy can’t impact that need. We all must assure it doesn’t impact our ability to meet it.