Ticketing – We are Switzerland

While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it is how we approach the ticketing vendor options both within DWG and to our clients/potential clients. Sprechen sie Deutsch?

Very often, clients are in the midst of making a decision regarding a ticketing/development/CRM vendor. We are happy to consult and provide our expertise to help them make the correct choice.? But, there is no one size fits all answer.

First, we ask these questions:

  1. What do you / don’t you like about your existing ticketing vendor?
  2. Who are your internal constituents?? (marketing, box office, development, finance)
  3. What must it have?
  4. How do you price?
  5. Cost considerations?
  6. Do you have any specialty events/uses that are important?? (i.e. very complex CYO, donation add-on, products, integration with another system).

After that conversation and a some discussion, we can give you some ticketing vendors to consider.

In most cases, this is a discussion about features and functions.? However, there are ticketing vendors that we know provide great customer service and are open to working with us to meet customer needs….we will certainly pass along those impressions.? And, if we have a vendor that hasn’t played well with others, they probably won’t make it on our option list.

—–LaMae

Love on San Pedro and other things I saw

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Cornerstone Theater Company present “Love on San Pedro” last night at the Los Angeles Mission. It was funny, intense and educational……thought-provoking. (My apologies for leaving a bit early). The acting and story were very well done I find myself both anticipatory and anxious about how it ended. If you have time and want to learn more about issues on Skid Row and beyond please go see it: http://cornerstonetheater.org

As a member of the LAMP BOD, I was proud to know that our members helped and participated in the show. Three cheers.

While we are leaving, we saw some other things that are images I can’t (and should not) shake. I often travel to that area of town during the day for business and to visit LAMP. But this was my first visit at night in some time.

I was amazed at the strength of the residents of Skid Row for their determination and won’t give up attitude.
I didn’t realize how many people, tents and shopping carts there were.
I was speechless at how as we traveled the distance of only one block the environment transformed from residents trying to keep warm under their tarps to 20-somethings carrying designer bags in-between the stores.

Have we turned such a blind eye to other human beings? I don’t’ think so. But, I do wonder if we often try to avoid those images and experiences because the gravity and cultural messages are disturbing and perhaps overwhelming. We might wonder if there’s anything we can do to help…or if there is something within our own wheelhouse we can contribute. I think so.

If you are able to help, please consider helping LAMP at http://lampcommunity.org

You don’t need fancy clackers

Borrowed from our inspiration, Gil Cates’ use of a gong to announce successes and celebrations. The DWG team now ‘clacks’.

After shopping for an appropriate gong, I thought we might need to be more original when I came across two what we have been calling Clackers that we bought on our last China teaching trip. (It’s sort of a tambourine with balls on strings – so when you spin it – it drums).

Initially, we used it to make our team meetings more fun and to announce new projects or web site launches. It has evolved in a way that makes me smile. The guidelines for when to clack has diluted, it is now a team activity. People will clack when they have a celebration or a milestone and the entire team perks up their ears.

You don’t need a Clacker to Clack

A few months back, we had a meeting and no one brought a clacker….so we all just said “clacker, clacker, clacker”. We laughed and that is now part of our team ritual.

It’s important to celebrate the big moments for the organization….but it’s also important to celebrate the moments that are important to team members.

…clacker, clacker, clacker….

Lamp Community (The People Concern)

LaMae Weber Joins Board of Directors

It’s been some time since I had the pleasure to be of personal service to members of our community (since my time as ED of Family Services Alliance of Southeast Idaho). While my work often allows me to help by working with non-profits, I now have the honor of being a bit more ‘hands-on’.

I’m sure I’ll be speaking a lot about LAMP and the amazing work they do on Skid Row and beyond. But….what attracted me was the Housing First model of the most needy and most underserved in Los Angeles including those with mental illness.

Thank you for having me LAMP – I look forward to being of service.

Cowpath Website Navigation

We’ve all heard the experts and read the articles about the best way to set up your web’s information design. Graphics, detailed menus, right navigation, left navigation, heat maps, intuitive, topical, functional – STOP STOP STOP.

I propose Cow-Path navigation design.  Behnam Ataee, CTO of Dream Warrior Group, Inc. shows his expertise every day when designing and implementing the information design on web sites from The Arts to E-Commerce. He consults with clients about their goals, researches and then uses his knowledge of user behavior to design the best possible initial site navigation.

But is that enough? I say it’s the ideal and necessary start but we can’t stop there. This is where observation and analytics come in to the picture. Now that we have a logical and amazing looking navigation, we need to see what happens. Because (and I know this is a shock), people don’t always act logically. As marketers and developers, we need to see what is happening – figure out why and if we can and adopt the navigation schema to behavior.

Certainly, we still want to design a site that funnels folks to the desired end… But they may have a better way to get there. Or, it may not be better but it was they want… give them what they want.

As I was discussing this with our new friend and client, John Olchak from The The San Diego Repertory Theatre, he likened it to landscape designers who don’t put in the concrete sidewalks until they see where people are making their own paths. Smart. I recalled my college days at UWSP. Outside the Science and Natural Resources building there were signs saying ‘Don’t make cow-paths!” because the student body was forever cutting corners and tearing up the grass (I confess to nothing). For the record, good design is not making paths for students that involve any amount of extra steps from the library to the business building.

So, with Web site navigation I say “Let’s embrace the cow-paths”. Check out your analytics how are people getting to your desired goal/conversion? Can we make that navigation easier and more enticing for others? So, don’t ever pour concrete on your web site. Leave the navigation open to change to match the cow-path or add a second path. Keep it simple, clean and give the visitors what they want.
Now… are your visitors not converting or choosing to make a path to your goal page? That’s another blog and conversation about goals, page content and ease of conversion. We’ll talk soon.

Mooo