Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
In 2002, the Atlanta Symphony made a significant investment in learning about its current and potential audiences by commissioning Audience Insight LLC to conduct a multi-faceted market research project, directed by Alan Brown. Research methods included surveys of various audience groups as well as a random sample public telephone survey. Focus groups were conducted on several occasions to address specific topics of interest to the ASO.

At the ASO's annual retreat for board, staff and musicians in September 2003, a large portion of the day-long agenda was devoted to a strategic discussion of core issues arising from the research. Extensive preparations for the retreat included conceptualization of the agenda and breakout sessions and production of retreat materials, including written "briefs" outlining the small group discussions.

Following an overview of key issues suggested by the research, four sub-groups met to consider specific issues of strategic importance to the long term vitality of the institution. At the end of the day, group leaders synthesized the thinking of each group, including a vision for the institution in ten years.

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