What’s in Your Business Event Management Software?
As live music production moves into a period of very high expected growth, industry pros have endless opportunities to ride the wave as fans get back to rocking out at concerts. With more ways than ever to connect artists with fans, the forward-thinking booking agent or venue manager might just believe we’re entering a golden age of live music.
So what could possibly slow down an industrious pro from seizing the moment? If you’re not taking advantage of a platform built for the music industry that offers all the right event management software features, you risk being left behind while the industry hurdles into a bright future.
More than just tapping the gifts of automation and AI-enhanced tech, the best music management software can also dramatically simplify an already complicated gig. Instead of using an assortment of management apps, agents can now streamline the process with an all-inclusive platform that provides convenience and efficiency.
Because every moment counts when it comes to live music planning, those using the best tech solutions can do more with less while they compete in a rapidly growing industry.
The Growth of Event Software Management Features
Very few get into live music management because they enjoy manually crunching numbers on spreadsheets. The good news: you no longer have to. While bean counting used to be an essential part of the job, no one has time for the old-school approach when there is so much else to do.
That’s why it’s no surprise that technology built for the music industry has been the biggest game-changer in recent years. While the trend was already growing before the pandemic, there’s been a sharp acceleration in agent and live music event planners relying on management software to get the job done.
With integrated software that provides an enormous boost in data compilation, organization, and dissemination, agents and managers can still have professional-looking work products without the time-consuming headaches.
Unfortunately, the choice isn’t always as simple as picking just one app; the different categories available in the market include all kinds of essential tasks, like ticketing, contract management, invoicing, billing, and managing venues.
The apps also vary in their delivery methods, including mobile, web-based, and installation on your device (downloaded software you purchase per license). You can end up spending a great deal of money and time if you don’t know where to focus your resources.
To pick the right software, live-music planners should remember a basic principle: new tech should make your job easier, not harder. While using a combination of apps might still help you evolve away from outdated methods, more efficient options can integrate features into one easy-to-use platform that keeps all of your tasks organized and efficient.
When you’re running around trying to solve problems and promote clients, using a scattershot collection of apps is likely to do more harm than good.
Finding Efficiency in a Rapidly Growing Field
Despite the impacts of the pandemic, the live music industry is expected to grow about $10.6 billion in value between 2020 and 2024, mostly thanks to a younger generation flocking in droves to concerts, music venues, and festivals.
Providing an even better insight into the rejuvenated health of live music, the industry is expected to grow at a compounded rate north of 9%. This is very high for a mature market, as the best large-cap companies tend to grow between 5-10%.
Increased ticket sales are good news for you, but it doesn’t mean smooth sailing for your business. In fact, it may mean rough waves ahead if you can’t keep up. To keep your head above water, event management software can help you do more with fewer resources and costs, ultimately helping you stay more organized, efficient, and profitable.
But not all solutions are the same, either. They all offer different features and functionalities, have varying pricing structures, and provide diverse levels of customer service. How do you know what to look for and choose to run your business at its best? Ultimately, the best way to know what features you want to pay for is to carefully examine the applications you rely upon and look for those features in a specialized platform.
Key Considerations for Landing on the Right Management Software
Because there is so much dispersion among software, doing an audit of event management software features can be valuable. A high level of detail/functionality, integration, report efficiency, and real-time analytics are all components that should be at your fingertips.
Ultimately, your software should be a reliable assistant that can help you manage settlements and generate reports much faster than you were before. Here are some of the most important aspects to consider when choosing event management software.
Do the Event Management Software Features Consolidate All the Essential Functions You Need?
The key to becoming more efficient and organized (i.e., getting more done with less effort) is to make sure a platform consolidates the functionalities you need into a single, integrated service. Your goal is to have a single source of reliable data in real-time and have it always accessible via the cloud. Mobile accessibility ensures you can work from anywhere with the most accurate, updated information possible.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the average number of apps a small business uses is roughly 53. You may or may not have too many, but if you count up the ones you utilize to run your operation, you might be surprised at how many apps you rely on to keep it together.
Bouncing from one app to another, supplementing with outdated spreadsheets, and using systems for tasks they weren’t built for is a colossal waste of time and energy. It can also introduce more risk than you probably want to take—such as human error, unnecessary delays, and upset clients.
Is the Software Industry-Oriented and Designed for Music Pros?
Many off-the-shelf solutions advertise that they work for any type of event, such as weddings, conferences, parties, and live music shows. But the one-size-fits-all approach rarely works the way you expect. While these examples fall under the “events” umbrella and share several commonalities, they each have nuances that can be difficult to address.
When you go this route and choose an overly broad solution, you end up with many features you’ll pay for but never use. These functions often aren’t extensive enough for your business needs, so you will likely have to complement them with other programs.
This is exactly why, if you’re dealing with live music events, you need a premium software solution built specifically for live music professionals. Even better, if music experts develop the app, you can be confident the software will have the characteristics you need—and none of the characteristics you don’t.
More and more live-music pros are finding generic event management software to be a path toward an inefficient and frustrating process that keeps them scrambling through multiple sources to stay on top of their event data, rather than giving them the competitive edge they’re looking for.
Is Financial Data Easy to Track, Compile, and Share?
One of the most critical parts of your business is the financial component, yet many event management software options completely ignore it. Sure, you can use a separate financial program, but it’s much more streamlined and efficient if it’s part of your primary platform.
With this in mind, look for an event management solution that offers top-line financials, analytics, revenue and expense tracking, budgeting, settlement, break-even calculations, and net sales calculations.
You can also benefit when this financial component is linked directly to your ticketing platform so you can see how your sales are impacting your profitability in real-time. Additionally, having complete control over which financial information is visible to others in the group is a must.
This caliber of integration helps you make informed financial decisions earlier so you can then quickly make adjustments as needed.
Does Your Software Enhance Collaboration?
Whether you have dozens of people on your team or just a handful of staff, you need to be able to effortlessly collaborate. Your business event management software needs robust collaboration capabilities to allow you to work together in one place while controlling access to sensitive information.
One avenue to inspect is the limited aspect of email. Emailing is fine in many business settings, but it doesn’t work as well when it comes to managing teams and tracking work for multiple events.
A main drawback is that you have to create folders and manually drag and drop emails into the correct folder. And how many emails are you getting on a daily basis? One study shows the average office worker receives approximately 121 emails every day. What are the chances an email is missed, lost, or put into the wrong folder?
Email is simply not ideal for managing live events where you are dealing with staff, vendors, talent managers, and more. You want all your communications from your team in one place, automatically segmented by show or whatever makes it easier for you to keep track.
Look for a leading solution that includes a built-in approval system for confirmations, challenges, budget adjustments, offers, and settlements. It’s the easiest way to make sure you never miss an important deadline and can keep your operations running smoothly, even when you’re not in the office.
Does the Event Management Software Include Advanced Calendar Management for Music Events?
Your business lives and dies by the calendar. The best event management software for your music business will have an integrated calendar feature to enable you to manage holds for your rooms, shows, and markets all in one place. You should be able to add multiple dates quickly, generate hold reports to streamline communications with your customers, and automatically select the right hold level based on the selected date.
And as with all of the features, your calendar must be accessible and easy to operate via various devices, including your mobile device. You shouldn’t have to tell an agent or promoter you’ll get back to them when you’re in the office. Having all the information you need in the palm of your hand allows you and your team to be more productive and gives you a better quality of life when you’re not at your desk.
Can the Software Send Lightning-Fast and Professional Offers?
Everyone expects shorter delays these days—or no delays at all. While components like booking and settlement should be much more efficient with the right software, the same goes for submitting professional and polished-looking offers. Your event management software features should include an option to submit a branded offer in very short order, showcasing your professionalism as well as your ability to move forward quickly.
The simple truth is that if you are unable to seize the moment by accessing the information you need and quickly submitting official-looking offers, your image can take a hit. While other live-music planners use automation-boosted software to speed up the offer process, you could end up missing out on key opportunities.
You should also be able to quickly compare details to other gigs. With the right data always at your fingertips, you will be able to optimize your offer terms and ensure that you are landing the best possible deal for your client.
How Does the Event Management Software Handle Customization and Adaptability?
One of the biggest advantages of the modern world is the endless ability to customize. This should be a focus in the live music world as well. Because no two operations are the same, software should be able to adapt to the needs of an agent or manager. Unfortunately, many software platforms not designed with music management in mind offer limited customization—one of the main reasons that music pros often pick up additional apps.
Planners should be able to completely customize their data and organize information in a way that best suits the business. This also will come into play in a major way when it comes time for settlement, which is often when a booking agent can separate from the pack.
It should be very easy to create a customized settlement sheet designed specifically for the event. With the ability to customize at all levels of the planning and settlement process, a planner will have the confidence that their event software can handle anything with only a few clicks.
Event Management Software
When choosing music management software, your goal should be to find a system that consolidates and organizes the entire booking process and allows automation to give you a major boost of efficiency.
It’s an excellent time to be in live music, but only the tech-enabled industry pros will be able to fully realize the potential of the business and stay ahead of the game. Modern technology can lead to higher productivity and a larger overall footprint, letting agents and managers focus on what got them into the business in the first place. Prism was built by music professionals, for music professionals. Our industry-specific software allows you to manage everything that matters most in one place to increase profits, optimize resources, and improve all-around competitiveness. Get in touch with Prism today to see how our software solutions can enhance your business and maximize your efforts.