Ravinia Festival

Ravinia
Ravinia Festival is an seasonal outdoor music venue located on the Northshore of Chicago. I worked with the Ravinia Festival for three seasons, and loved it. Populating, creating and managing content for the site, loading content all through the custom management system, finding and helping develop solutions to make a more efficiant CMS, coordinating with a number of departments to make sure that the content on the site was up to date and correct before and after each season. My title was “Manger of Interactive Media”, a fancy name given to me that really means webmaster and online media manger.

I started off on a contract basis with Ravinia festival in August of 2010. They took me on for the full-time position in October of 2010. When I started managing the website, it looked like this…

HomePage2011_Ravinia

Digital Promotion Graphics for the site:

Santana2 RufusWainwright_Andthensome
rod_y_gab RisingStars2011
Carrie_underwood_magazine DemiLovato
disclaimer Idina2
2012SealMacy Guster_JacksMannequin_feature
2012DuranDuran 2012NatallieMerchant 2012Sara
DemiLovato EWF feature_JenniferHudson
GlenCampbell Guster_Contest_Feature Idina
Lifehouse LosDoubleBill1 nelly_furtado_feature_box_3_flat_255x133
sample_gift_certificate_feature tedeschi_trucks_feature_box_2 WhosComing

The design of the site was set up as ASPX files and had over 50 unique informational pages. It was all configured through a custom content management system built by the Director of Technology and integrated with the Enta ticketing system. Having the pages set up the way they were and my prior knowledge on how to edit PHP pages, made it easy for me to make style, copy and image changes throughout the meaty informational pages of the site using the CSS styling and ASPX set up.

So moving forward with the site and as the branding changed, they asked me to redesign the site. They wanted to keep the main features of the homepage (ad slider, smaller marketing boxes, calender, list view), and tie in the social sharing aspect, so I came up with a couple of new visual concepts for the site. I went ahead and focused on the main structured pages of the site… homepage, calender, show pages, primary navigation pages, secondary content pages, seating charts and ticketing and login. From there I developed a consistent but clean look to bring Ravinia’s website into the new age.

Homepage Before:
HomepageBefore

Homepage Concepts:
HomepageAfter1
HomepageConcept1

HomepageConcept2

HomepageConcept9

HomepageConcept10

Homepage Final:
Final1

Members Pages Before:
MemberPageBefore

SeatingChartBefore1

Members Pages After:
MemberPageAfter

SeatingChartAfter1

Main Navigation Click-Through Page Before:
SubPageBefore

Main Navigation Click-Through Page After:
SubPageAfter

Info Page Before:
InfoPageBefore

Info Page Concept:
InfoPageAfter2

InfoPageAfter1

Info Page After:
InfoPageAfter

Show Page Before:
ShowPageBefore

Show Page After:
ShowPageAfter

And finally how it looked when the site was live.
Ravinia

With new graphics for upcoming shows in a different format:

758x313HomepageGraphic 2012GiftSALE1
2012GroupEvents1 DukesofSeptember1
HallOates1 HueyJoeCocker2
TheKnights1 10DollarClassics5
2013MormonTabernackleChoir 2013PunchPass
MB20GooGoo WrapUpRavinia2

Managing a website for a festival that undertakes a gigantic amount of web traffic for a major outdoor music venue is no easy task. Especially the Ravinia Festival. The festival may only be open from June until September, but the amount of time and coordination it takes to maintain the site lasts all year. The amount of preparation and the planning involved with an establishment that hosts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a wide variety of world-wide pop-stars is unreal and I got to experience that first hand.

There are so many events taking place in the off season, by the different departments and the information on each departments pages needs to be updated constantly, sometimes even in the next ten minutes, and it is extremely peculiar because it is a not-for-profit company, relying solely on the donors that contribute to keep the park lasting as long as it has. During the on-season, I may have to edit 10 pages of information, coordinate to send out 3 different mass emails to three select list of donors outlining their benefits of being a specific level of donor for the particular show that is happening that evening, while making sure that the digital screens are coordinated and showing the show advertisements that we want displayed throughout 12 different locations around the park, while having to work as the second camera man, breaking down, and setting up lights for a video shoot we are doing in ten minutes, and making sure that the media outlets are displaying our graphics on their site to promote upcoming events. Calender reminders and coordination were an absolute must. SO MUCH CONTENT!

Graphics for digital media promotions on our Chicago media partners:

720x1024_FullPageDirectList_V6

1024x720FullPageDirectList_V3

TribOnline_Ravinia_970x90

TribOnline_Ravinia_970x250

Here are some examples of the digital graphics that I would whip up throughout the season to promote around the park, depending on who was playing that particular night, and what shows needed help in ticket sales.

TedeschiTrucks.023 Santana.010 Ramsey.016 PhilGlass.011
JohnHiatt.050 IronWinePlayingTonight Idina.008 EmersonString.005
DianaKrall.022 DemiLavato.004 CSN.003 ColbieGavin.018
AnitaBaker.048 2012SteveMartin.012 2012SarahMcLachlan.019 Thanks