Our New Website: A Guided Tour

By jacob on July 15, 2008

Welcome to the new pcmsconcerts.org!

Launching a new website is a bit like premiering a new piece of music - you work hard for months in relative solitude, only to place your efforts on public display and hope for a positive response.  We hope you like what we've done!

As one of Philadelphia's largest music presenters (60+ concerts and an additional 50 education events this season) and the most expansive presenter of chamber music in the country, PCMS is constantly looking at how it can improve patron experience.  For us, service is very personal - we retain our own box office staff (instead of outsourcing), know most of our ticket buyers by name, and are available at concerts to meet and listen to audiences.  As a result, we've been listening to people ask question like:

  • "What about music on the website?"
  • "Do you offer student ticket programs?"
  • "I didn't even know that you presented jazz concerts!"
  • "How can I learn more about the violinist who is coming next week?"

When I started working at PCMS last October, I was immediately excited about how we were in a unique position to raise the overall experience for our patrons online.  With a background in internet marketing (6 years running a design firm with my wife, Meghan) and a passion for live music (I'm trained as a bassoonist) along with the outstanding staff and board at PCMS, I knew we had the right energy to get it done.  Working with  the entire staff, we came up with the key items to address in the new site:

  • Improved navigation - with such diversity of events, we needed to help people find things easier/quicker
  • A way to connect with audience members and carry over the warm customer service we have in person and on the phone
  • Cutting edge technology to help speed up load times, optimize content for Search Engines, and help the staff manage a much bigger site with "Web 2.0" features

We've tried to make it easier to browse our concerts by including "recommended" and related events alongside the one you're exploring.  Also, we spent a long time building a sort feature on the main tickets page, so that you could choose an artist name, venue, month, or genre to help you get to know our season quickly and easily.  Finally, we've started an organizational blog so that you hear directly from the committed staff members that make PCMS and its wonderful events possible.  We'll be writing about the artists we're presenting, how to prepare for and enjoy concerts, the music scene in Philadelphia (and beyond), and more!  We hope this helps you - our audience and friends - to stay connected with the PCMS family.

If there is one thing we at PCMS want to accomplish each day, it's to help you explore the great music we present, and to make your concert-going experience the best it can be.  This includes your experience on our new website, so please drop me a note or comment on this blog entry to let us know how we're doing, and what we can do better.


Jacob Smith
Development Director