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6 Min Read

The Fine Art of Sustaining A Performing Arts Centre

Let’s be honest, the obstacles that the performing arts industry faces seem to grow as time goes on. It’s tougher than ever to maintain a thriving arts organisation, as there are now even more hurdles to overcome. Firstly there’s the challenge of building a program that will appeal to new attendees, whilst also nurturing relationships with existing patrons (for some great ideas from some of the leading global performing arts centres on how to attract new attendees, click here). Then you need to negotiate exactly how to appeal to shifting demographics and appropriately engage with audiences from different generations, backgrounds, and financial means. Not to mention tackling how to maintain revenue streams that are often buffeted by Government funding (which waxes and wanes through budgetary periods). It doesn’t take much for small to medium and independent arts organisations to feel the pinch with tightened financial support from the federal and state budgets; funding constraints frequently trigger ripples of fear and uncertainty for the future of our arts industry.

It’s no secret that in order to bolster income generated through performances, performing arts venues often need to find additional ways of supplementing revenue. The focus then shifts to non-performance events, but these need to be well executed in order to succeed. Some ways centres can increase revenue is by opening their doors to support local artists and community groups to present performances, exhibitions , workshops and talks programs; start innovative arts education programs (which help to engage and inspire the next generation of audiences and performers); or collaborate with local businesses and non-profit organisations (be it on meetings or markets). In the long term, these types of activities don’t merely support growth and stability for the centre, but they also positively impact the local community by bringing additional visitors to support other local businesses.

Performing Arts Girls dancing on stage

Don’t limit your performing arts centre to headline acts and events. Increase income through other means, such as dance school performances, which can really help inject more revenue back into your venue and the community.

To successfully manage a venue’s bookings, spaces and revenues, a robust and intuitive event management platform is a must to improve engagement; save time and money; allow seamless end-to-end delivery; and ensure no bookings slip through the cracks. But not all event management platforms are the same. ‘One-size-fits-all’ platforms can actually be counterproductive simply because of the nature of performing arts centres, which are quite different to conference, convention or events centres. There are distinct differences in terminology, procedures, and the types of details that need to be tracked and measured; so these need to be incorporated into the platform that’s used to manage the venue. To deliver flawless performances and events, staff will need to have access to a platform that is purpose-built for the performing arts industry and is able to address their individual requirements, processes and terminology. Working with a provider that understands their industry and can provide advice and guidance on best practice will ultimately help make the team’s job easier.

The size of your venue should also play an integral part in the decision-making process, to find a platform that suits your budget and is fit for purpose. The venue’s scale and number of users/staff responsible for executing events, for example, should guide this. To reduce costs, you should only have to pay for the number of active users that you need, with the ability to have ‘read-only’ access for the stakeholders who require it.

The latest Ungerboeck for Performing Arts offering recognises this as a necessary element to finding the perfect software solution. Ungerboeck for Performing Arts is triggering a shift in the traditional SaaS model by providing a tiered package for every budget based on venue size and required functionality. Plus, it comes preconfigured for the performing arts industry, incorporating preferred terminology and workflows, which makes implementation a breeze!

The Ungerboeck Hub, part of Ungerboeck Software’s innovative suite of products for performing arts venues, is another great example of how you can creatively improve communications and relay important event information to all internal and external stakeholders through a responsive, customisable web portal. Unique platforms like the Ungerboeck Hub can help decrease unnecessary costs while increasing visibility to crews and floor staff as well as infrequent users and suppliers.

Performing Arts iPad Ungerboeck Hub

The Ungerboeck Hub, getting everyone on the same page has never been easier.

While software can’t yet lobby the government to re-evaluate its funding model on your behalf in the lead-up to the next budget, there’s no question that having the right platform will streamline the whole planning process. Providing the right event and venue management software relieves a massive burden for your event-related staff and will ultimately help with seamless execution and event delivery. And this will pay dividends in terms of revenue, not only for each performing arts venue, but for arts companies and also the wider community.

Now that calls for a standing ovation!

If you would like to see Ungerboeck’s dedicated platform for performing arts in action, get in touch with our expert team.