Lake Placid Sinfonietta case study

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The Lake Placid Sinfonietta celebrated its 100th Anniversary season in 2017. The chamber orchestra had a long history in the region dating back to the old Lake Placid Club, but after the club went bankrupt in the 1980’s the orchestra spun out as a separate not for profit and moved performances to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and was no longer an in house institution. Resident hotel orchestras had long ago disappeared from the region.

Core issue:

Over the last two decades audience participation had declined significantly as the demand for classical music decreased and competition for summer season tourists and local resident activities increased.


Adirondack Strategic Marketing did a brand review in 2015 and identified a number of key changes that were necessary to rebuild the brand and increase audience attendance. Working in conjunction with Orange Olive Design as the creative consultant, a brand profile and positioning strategy was created and approved. Due to limited budgets over the years, there was virtually no original photography or other usable assets to work with. One of the first priorities identified was that digital photography and video content needed to be developed in order to build a core library of assets for future marketing and advertising efforts. The old logo was modified to look updated and easier to read.

Most importantly a strategic marketing plan was created identifying that programming and advertising budgets were inadequate and that years of underfunding these crucial areas was most likely the reason interest in attendance had declined. A significant increase in the programming budget was requested and approved allowing for better quality programming and the booking of marquis name artists for key concert dates. The advertising budget was also increased to create high quality original ads with more frequency in local/regional/media including a major new effort in social media that had been virtually nonexistent in years past.


The 20 year declining trend at concerts was turned around in the 2016 season and the 100th Anniversary in 2017 was the best in over 30 years. During the 100th Season, average attendance was up 29% for the season with 50% of the paid Lake Placid Arts Center performances selling out. Annual gala attendance increased by over 59% as well.