Bracing for the Inevitable: Performing Arts Venue Technology
Change is inevitable.
Take a look around and you’ll see a world where the only constant is change. Hardly any facet of life is exempt and when it comes to the forward march of technology, the performing arts community is no exception. You can see it in everything from the lighting to video backdrops and scenery. Inside the theater, it’s typically just considered to be another way to help tell the story. Beyond the stage, however, this movement has a name: the digital transformation.
Digital transformation means different things to different markets, industries and people. What is constant is the end goal of enhancing customer experience. In today’s economy, putting customer (and employee!) behaviors and preferences first is not optional and if you’re looking to keep your business in the game, it’s important to understand that this is all happening in the digital landscape.
Transitioning from paper and pen to computer programs can be tough to embrace. I, for one, personally keep a physical record of my bank account because (call me old-fashioned) balancing my checkbook is a hard and fast habit I’m not eager to let go of. However you prefer to handle personal matters is your call. The work place is another story. The entertainment industry is incredibly competitive and so we must adapt to stay relevant.
The Improvements in Change
A director’s job is to evaluate how things are running and make adjustments and improvements accordingly. In light of the digital transformation, this includes taking tasks or processes that may have been done the same way for years and pushing them into another platform. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in “what if’s”: the all-important programming calendar becomes accessible to everyone in the organization, what if someone changes something they shouldn’t? Donor contact information is stored in a digital database but what happens if the database crashes? The list can continue on but there is no need to. What’s more important is finding the digital channels that work for you and not the other way around.
Within event and programming management software, there are features that understand these concerns and qualms. Access privileges allow directors to control who can change what (and even what they see!) Databases are stored in the cloud where space is unlimited and backups are routine, alleviating any worry of lost data. Furthermore, these systems are developed to work the way that you do: function scheduling, space utilization and requirements, inventory tracking, etc. The list of the benefits far outweigh the initial concerns.
Technology has evolved into what it is today because someone recognized a need and created a solution to fulfill it. Performing arts pros already know this, but it’s never been more true: technology is just another way of getting things done. Change within this space is welcome. Progressive themes, abstract thinking and transcendental experiences create live performances that contribute to transformative aspirations.