Season Planning: Going from an All-or-Nothing Approach… | Ungerboeck

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Season Planning: Going from an All-or-Nothing Approach to Seamless Collaboration

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I've worked with my fair share of arts organizations run by a tyrannical despot who wields power through secrecy, but fortunately the industry has evolved. Hopefully your organization is achieving its mission through collaboration and communication. If so, Ungerboeck's performing arts management software can help unite everyone around your mission to create an unforgettable experience for your audience and community.  

Your arts organization holds a number of landmark events that create the foundation of your calendar. Those could be your core season, annual conferences, or your main fundraising event. Start planning for everything that will fit around your landmark events and performances.  

You’ll know there are roadblocks in your performing arts management system when "what is the date?" and "what time does it start?" are the very first pieces of information shared with others in the organization. By the time those details are finalized, a great deal of preparation and communication has already happened without the full picture in place. In all likelihood, they required a set of related decisions and questions that can't be tracked in a spreadsheet.

Let's look at the main questions that need to be answered for each event, followed by a deeper dive into the sub questions that impact effective planning.  


Main Question: What is it? (A concert? A wedding? A stage play?)
Sub Question: Is this an event we do?

You cannot accept every event that comes your way. Sometimes an event presents a risk of being polarizing, or the event competes with your own programming, or the cost of producing the event outweighs the benefits.  

Being able to categorize events helps filter information and ensures a diverse mix of activity. Our platforms go beyond event categories to create a workflow for approval, track financial estimates for budgeting, and produce a shareable report of the entire year, season, or quarter that is flexible and filterable. Visibility into resource usage lets you see where you might be overbooking inventory or need to bring in outside suppliers.  


Main Question: How likely is the event to happen?
Sub Question: What's the hold up?

As you take an event through the confirmed, hold, and pending stages, you provide your colleagues with valuable insight about the use of your spaces. More often than not, someone is collecting information about the event before it has a date. The scheduling is held up because there's still an approval pending or it is too early in the sales cycle to put holds on a calendar.  

Ungerboeck's platforms help you track the thread of a conversation with an artist or rental client on their account record. You can assign task notifications so the project doesn't stall. Event sales opportunities hold all the critical information you need once you're ready to schedule the date.

Main Question: Who is it for? (A repeat rental client? Our development department? An A-list celebrity?)
Sub Question: Who will be in the audience?

When I managed a concert hall, an organization based in the country of Georgia produced a concert. Whenever they talked about their president, I assumed they meant the president of the organization. It was only when they were scheduling the delivery of metal detectors and a walk-through of the security detail did I realize they meant the president of their country. Client and audience information is another piece working in conjunction with the questions above when planning.  

The ability to create an event from a template or carry over information from a previous event is a priceless timesaver that every production and event management software should have. Our platforms mitigate human error by gathering critical documentation and key details from promoters, artist managers, and rental clients and sending it directly to the system. Through an array of online portals and reports, Ungerboeck's platforms bridge the gap between internal and external stakeholders.

The question you're really asking: What if it has to be a secret?

Confidentiality with your artists and other public figures is a crucial part of your business. Your performing arts management software should allow you to share important information with your colleagues, but also keep personal information and unpublicized planning details under lock and key.  

Our platforms have configurable security settings and permissions that let you hide or share certain fields and functionality areas. Give access to just yourself, individual users, or entire groups of users.  

The white board, the paper datebook, or the Excel file on a hard drive might seem like the easiest way to conduct long-term planning, but Ungerboeck has the tools and expertise to help your organization become more collaborative in your processes – especially online – and grow your business.