The COVID-19 pandemic has taught our country a lot, and we will be learning new lessons for years to come. One of the hardest-hit industries has been the entertainment industry, forced to close doors for months to adhere to federal and state social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines. As a promoter or venue owner, you no doubt felt blindsided. Never before in our country’s history have we lost so much in such a short period of time.
But even in the darkest days, there is always a silver lining. While you may not have been able to book talent and pack your venues with live music lovers, you were given something you probably never have: time. Time to reevaluate your business operations, your marketing strategies, and opportunities to cut costs.
The current pandemic will one day be gone, but now we know what is possible. It took a global pandemic to make us realize how vulnerable we are to all kinds of threats. Whether it be another pandemic, an economic recession or depression, terrorism, or something we have yet to even recognize as a threat, businesses are in a better position today to be resilient than they were before COVID-19 made it to our shores.
End The Rescheduling Nightmare
It’s never fun to reschedule an act, particularly if it has already been promoted and tickets have been purchased. Some live music acts can sell out tickets more than six months in advance. What do you do when the talent cancels or you have to cancel due to a pandemic or other unforeseen event? What do you do when you have multiple shows you have to cancel and reschedule, without even knowing for sure when your venue can reopen?
For venue owners, rebooking those shows can be a frantic mess. If you have multiple people helping you out, trying to plug in holds at the same time in a Google Calendar, for instance, how do you know the act or a date/time wasn’t double booked? How do you make sure the right contract makes it to the right agent? It can be a logistical, organizational and communications nightmare.
Fortunately, there’s software for that. Prism offers promoters and venue owners an easy and reliable way to schedule and reschedule acts, organizing everything you need in one place so you know everyone is on the same page. You can manage multiple holds for all of your rooms with a few clicks, even from your mobile device. Being able to place a hold, send an offer or settle a show from your mobile device is particularly helpful if you are unable to go into the office.
On one screen, you can see your entire calendar with everything that matters to you. Your entire team can see the same real-time data, ensuring nothing is missed and eliminating the possibility to double book. Choosing the right hold level, generating hold reports, and setting follow-up reminders are all key features of the calendar.
The Problem with Spreadsheets
COVID-19 may have eaten into your revenue, but it can also be motivation to be more strategic about the types of shows you book and how you do it so you can maximize your profit. You are used to evaluating every kind of offer across your rooms and now is the time to make decisions based on real-time data instead of the way things have always been done. You have to be organized, responsive, and most of all, have the right data in hand to make the best decisions.
For instance, you may have been comfortable booking one or two shows a night, but now, you have some ground to make up. Maybe you need to book as many shows as you can to cover some of the lost revenue you’ve had to endure. Do you have an easy way to do that? Do you know how many tickets you need to sell and at what price before you break even? Can you see how much marketing budget you have to spend on each budget and the best ways to allocate those funds?
If you’re like 69 percent of people managing a small business, you are relying on spreadsheets to store and track your data. They’re easy to build, but they can get complex really fast and suck up more time than you probably realize. Even if you had the time to dig through row after row and sheet of raw data, the data is outdated the minute you complete them. Why? Because spreadsheets contain historical data, not real-time or predictive data. They’re a snapshot of what’s already happened instead of what’s going on right now. They also rely on manual data entry, making them error-prone. While they may be useful in some cases, they are hardly sufficient to run a business, especially during a crisis when data is changing at warp speed.
If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that we have become completely reliant on technology to stay connected. What would we have done without the Internet, WiFi, and Netflix? Technology does more than connect us, it enables us to do things we simply couldn’t do on our own – or at least efficiently on our own.
Spreadsheets are just a step up from pen and paper and are anything but modern technology. Even if you retired spreadsheets a long time ago in favor of homegrown apps, you’ve probably already realized that they don’t provide the level of integration, ease of use, and scalability your business requires. It’s time to up your game and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it.
Prism was built by live music veterans for live music professionals. It offers all of the innovative capabilities you need to run your business and seamlessly integrates with your other business systems so you have a complete view of your business in one place. With your systems talking with each other and sharing data, there’s less risk for errors, you get more time back because you aren’t repeating tasks, and all the data you need is in real-time. That means you can run your business smarter and do more with less hassle.
Wondering what Prism could do that your spreadsheets and disconnected apps can’t do? Prism gives you the ability to forecast profit and losses, see your budget, and determine your net profit using “what if” scenarios – all using real-time and predictive data. This helps you see what would happen if you booked three shows per night at a particular venue versus just one, what you would need to charge to break even or make a profit, and how many tickets you would need to sell at each considered price.
There’s so much more Prism can do. Now is the perfect time to evaluate your current processes and technology to see where you can improve efficiencies. You may need to invest a little to modernize your systems, but the gains you get in efficiency, productivity, and capabilities more than pay for that investment in a short amount of time.
No matter what’s going on out there, you can run a highly-organized, lean, well-oiled machine. It just takes a solution that understands what you do every day and delivers exactly what you need to be successful in any environment.