Say Goodbye to Spreadsheets: How Live Music Management Software is Changing the Game

Say Goodbye to Spreadsheets: How Live Music Management Software is Changing the Game

Promoting, managing, and growing live music events is complex. From keeping an accurate schedule to maintaining correct financial records, ticket sales, and more, thorough organization is critical to success. And yet, too many agents, promoters, and venues still rely on spreadsheets and physical documents. The status quo might be comfortable, but it isn’t always effective and certainly doesn’t help your live music management business expand efficiently.

Fortunately, you have an answer at your fingertips. The digital age has reached the music industry, and with it come options for productivity software that are impossible to ignore.  

While you’re probably familiar with traditional means of staying organized for your events, you might not be aware of the newer options already at your disposal. When used correctly, these options will not only solve the shortcomings of traditional live music management but change the game entirely. This is how.

The shortcomings of traditional live music management

Even as the music industry has transformed thanks to digital innovations like streaming, the backend management still leans toward the traditional. For the most part, local and regional venues, booking agencies, and promoters still tend to use the methods they have relied on for decades to organize their work.

That means local folder systems with physical documents. It means various separate spreadsheets for items like calendars of upcoming gigs, financial records, contact lists, ticket sales, and logistics.

But this organizational method is becoming increasingly untenable in the live music industry. It requires significant time investment due to manual data entry, and even the most thorough organizer is still prone to human error. Physical files become cumbersome and outdated quickly, potentially reflecting poorly on your business and resulting in critical missed opportunities.

Some of the drawbacks of this manual organizational management system are more hidden. Version control is nearly impossible, as is syncing information between different files and spreadsheets. Such an environment also makes it impossible to gain insights and analysis that connect multiple documents and data points for better decision-making.

Six ways live music management software is changing the game for promoters, venues, and agencies

The right software is not a magic button that solves all management needs. But, especially in an industry still largely reliant on manual processes, a unified tool to manage live music events can go a long way toward building efficiencies. 

Related: The Impact of Music Business Management Software on the Industry

It’s about more than just individual features designed for productivity. Live music management platforms are changing the game because the comprehensive benefits they offer have the potential to change (and improve) everything you know about your daily and strategic business processes.

1. Comprehensive alignment for all event stakeholders

Managing live music events is a complex process. It requires input from multiple people, including the booking agency, venue, and promoters. And even within these groups, you’ll likely have multiple representatives working and making sure that every event is planned well enough to go smoothly. Live music management software can help to streamline this intricate process.

Not every stakeholder, of course, will have equal access to the software. Still, the ability to pull in all relevant processes to manage and promote your live events also maximizes the usability and alignment of everyone helping to manage and organize the event. 

A booking agency, for instance, can keep an overview of all booked events for their clients. A venue can manage all of these events, even if they’re owned by different members of the organizational staff. And with exportable reporting features, the core information can even be shared across stakeholders who may or may not have access to the software.

2. Streamlining and standardizing processes to ensure an event focus

Above all, live music management software is designed for efficiency. Its core tasks are focused on helping you get work done more quickly and effectively. 

Many of the common features you’ll find within software options reinforce that core goal. The platform can house your contacts, make it easy to manage your booking calendar, keep your contracts in one place, and track payments all in a single, unified space. It can even act as a project management tool, helping you keep track of individual tasks, timelines, and responsibilities.

Streamlining, of course, is only as good as the purpose it serves. In this case, making each of the daily event-management tasks easier results in a greater ability to focus on the event itself as well as the strategic decisions around that event. By taking time-intensive tactical tasks out of the equation, you can put your focus on artist relationships, promotional campaigns, and more.

3. Improved ticket management in a changing environment

Naturally, tickets are the core revenue stream for most music venues. And yet, ticketing is also among the most common challenges in setting up a successful event, and not just because of the ongoing Ticketmaster controversy. 

Part of the issue tends to be a lack of integration. Even when not sold manually, tickets tend to be managed through dedicated software like Eventbrite and See Ticketing. That disconnects the revenue and capacity management connected with tickets from the rest of the planning connected to the event.

Fortunately, ticketing integrations are an increasingly common opportunity to change that data isolation. With the right integration, ticketing data can flow into your music management software in real time. That makes it easy to run reports, adjust pricing tiers, or make crucial decisions when a show is sold out. 

Especially in the uncertainties of today’s online ticket market, this integration can be crucial in helping you effectively manage your paying audience and the revenue it generates. 

4. Performance analytics to improve decision-making

A core benefit of pulling all of your work and information related to event management into a single platform is the ability to analyze it more comprehensively. Used the right way, these analytics can go a long way toward improving your decision-making on a wide range of topics:

  • What artists to book
  • The best ways to promote those artists
  • The best times and dates to host events
  • How to price your tickets
  • Audience demographics and other commonalities
  • Average revenue and profit per event
  • And more

In addition, you can also build more comprehensive reports that apply to your entire workflow. Gain greater insights into the financial performance of your live music business or use historical data to understand which of your past events were most successful, and why. This data will provide the insights you need to make decisions that have the potential to improve and grow your business.

5. Embracing co-promotion as a key growth opportunity 

In the post-COVID uncertainty of live music, co-promotion is on the rise. Done right, it mitigates the risks of hosting live events while creating more flexible business partnerships that bring in multiple competencies and allow for larger and more complex events than any individual promoter could manage. 

Related: How to Capitalize on the Rise of Co-Promotion in Live Music

But in a manual environment, co-promotion can be difficult to manage. Simply put, there are too many variables to share and keep in mind for it all to happen in phone calls, emails, and physical files. Keeping track of expenses, building a joint plan, and maintaining transparency are constant challenges.

The right management software can help to alleviate at least some of these challenges. It provides a central and single source of truth for all important information, helping all partners receive and make decisions based on the same baseline of event information.

6. Paving the way for the future of live music management

Finally, it’s worth discussing the future of live music management and how it will play into your ability and needs when hosting events. Audiences are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, and demanding that venues accommodate their changing expectations. That might mean:

  • New ways of ticketing, like using NFT tickets
  • Enhanced live performances, like AR and digital avatars on stage
  • Live performances in virtual environments, leveraged by VR
  • More direct connections with artists through social media and other channels
  • And more

A single platform cannot accommodate all of these expectations. It can, however, pave the way for streamlining your event management enough to make implementing any of them just a little easier. The right platform becomes the foundation as you look to future-proof your live music business. 

Leveraging live music management software to enhance your efficiency and effectiveness

The music industry is not just growing, but changing rapidly. Staying ahead of the changes can allow you to ensure continued success, but it does mean doing away with the status quo. The right music management software can help you get there.

Created by live music industry veterans, Prism might just be that software for you. It’s an all-in-one platform designed to help venues, promoters, and agencies spend less time on manual tasks and more on strategic success. As a web-based and mobile-optimized tool, it can travel with you, keeping all of your important information and reports in a single spot.Ready to get started? Book your Prism demo today and see why we are considered the best live music management software by our clients and by industry pros around the world.

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