Live music venue managers are professional multitaskers. Seamlessly handling a shifting network of tasks is an essential aspect of the job—and it can stretch anyone thin just trying to keep up with the pace of the industry. Everyone has their own style for staying on top of things, but the right management software will harness automation to change the game entirely.
Today’s most successful venue managers are using management platforms to save time and resources when overseeing the most critical elements of the planning process. This allows operators to fully focus their attention on the fundamentals of the business. Managers have more time for customer outreach, communicating with team members, and tweaking plans as needed in the lead-up to the event.
But even with the help of a management platform, many venue managers have yet to fully tap into the benefits of automation and the cloud. Here are eight signs you need a venue management system.
#1: Without a venue management system, your scheduling is inefficient
Venue managers have their hands full trying to orchestrate diverse event calendars that are anything but static. Overlapping events, last-minute changes, and multiple bookings in a single day can stretch a venue operator’s ability to remain organized.
Trying to keep the schedule straight while ensuring key team members are informed can become a near-impossible task. Venues can end up with double bookings and a host of other issues. This will require even more time and effort to straighten out and potentially put a dent in the venue’s reputation.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The best music management platforms smooth out the scheduling process and streamline the calendar. Managers can make changes in moments while simultaneously updating a cloud-shared calendar, which team members can access from anywhere. With little effort, operators can benefit from a transparent scheduling process that updates in real-time—two hallmarks of today’s music management business.
#2: You can’t correctly visualize your financials
A simple internal audit of a bookkeeping system will provide clarity for any venue manager. Revenues, invoices, and costs should be immediately accessible so a manager can inform decisions with that data. If you’re finding it hard to keep financial documents organized in the lead-up to a show, it’s a telltale sign that you need a systemic overhaul.
With the right platform, you can track and visualize real-time marketing and production costs in just a few clicks. You should also be able to enter ticket revenue and expenses related to a specific show, helping you remain organized as you pull together multiple events. By automating essential financial documentation, you can slash the time you spend on bookkeeping and lower the chances of human error. You will also create a more professional atmosphere that your team members and external partners will appreciate.
#3: Poor communication is hurting your ability to collaborate
You exchange emails, phone calls, text messages, and even sticky notes with multiple people. When it comes to keeping track of these conversations, there’s no real system of organization. Important information takes too long to find, meaning you waste time chasing down critical details that should instead be at your fingertips. Team members also miss out on new developments, leading to mistakes and inefficiencies in communication.
If any of this sounds familiar, a venue management system can help you clean up your communication and turn a critical corner. Experts believe poor communication costs businesses more than a trillion dollars a year annually, and the stakes are especially high for live entertainment.Sharing essential information and coordinating teams can be streamlined with top software solutions, making sure that everyone moves forward on the same page.
The same goes for managing clients and customers; automation can ensure everyone has immediate access to important documents and data. The ability to create an efficient, sustainable communication network is one of the most immediate impacts of adopting a music management platform.
#4: Your resource allocation is inadequate
Venue managers are in the resource allocation business. Operators of all levels need to be able to efficiently allocate staff and equipment to handle the specifics of an event, often moving in real-time to adjust. If you’re struggling to assemble resources, it can be a red flag that you need assistance from a management platform.
Management software can help with assigning tasks, organizing duties, and ensuring accountability as you approach a big event. Venue managers can automate task updates to stay abreast of the progress of team members. If more resources are needed to address part of your event plan, you’ll be able to quickly identify the problem and shift gears. Without the assistance of automation, managers end up manually troubleshooting and spend much more time moving around resources to fit the event.
#5: Your data analysis is lacking
If your process is all art and no science, it’s unlikely you’re maximizing your venue’s potential. Choosing the right artists for a venue will always require intangibles, but today’s data analytical tools can help any venue manager seize fresh opportunities. If you’re relying exclusively on gut feeling and disparate data points to market your venue, you’re simply not seeing the full picture.
That can quickly change with an industry-specific venue management system. Software can help a venue manager efficiently digest ticket-and-sales information, improving marketing tactics as managers aim to boost revenues. With better insights into the audience and sales process, venue operators have the tools to take advantage of real-time market conditions for every show.
#6: The tools you are using are generic
Every venue manager needs to be able to customize, although that can be difficult if you’re using generic tools. If you find yourself switching from basic spreadsheet to spreadsheet, you will end up with an inefficient workflow that affects your time and productivity while increasing the chances of mistakes. Older, more basic models of data organization simply aren’t built for modern live music management.
If you want to spend less time on the basics and more time on what you love, you need a platform that can mold a project based on its unique aspects. Today’s top options let you seamlessly transfer document forms that you want to use on future projects while helping you adapt to new challenges. An easy-to-use management system can help you eliminate the need to work with outdated tools that struggle with the ebbs and flows of the business.
#7: You don’t have time for proper customer service
Fans now have an enormous voice, which can be an advantage or disadvantage for a venue manager. You want to encourage positive reviews of the venue or show while mitigating the damage of negative feedback. Unfortunately, venue managers are often too busy to put together an effective plan to improve customer service. This undercuts the potential of a thriving customer service infrastructure that can encourage repeat guests while inspiring new audiences to check out the venue.
If you want to improve customer outreach but don’t have the time, you need the enhanced efficiency of a robust management system. As automation streamlines many of the processes of the business, venue managers can focus on elevating their customer service and maximizing word-of-mouth effect. With improved top-to-bottom efficiency, better reviews are right around the corner.
#8: You have a hard time with the offer and settlement processes
One of the best ways to prove your professionalism is with an efficient offer and settlement process. This is where a venue manager can bring the event home and ensure all the hard work leads to satisfaction from all parties. If your settlement process is taking too long or is inconsistent, you’re simply not taking advantage of the available management technologies.
The best systems can help you monitor and report adjustments, payouts, expenses, and additional revenues all in one simplified platform. In one click, you should be able to produce custom settlement sheets to facilitate working with an artist, agent, or tour manager. Venue management systems should also allow you to create offers quickly based on stored templates, register a hold, send proposals, and settle a show on the go.
Additionally, you can prepare separate settlement reports for your internal and external customers while improving your ability to track expenses. This will help you make sure you adhere to contract details and that the process is as transparent as possible. How you close out the show will have a significant impact on how your venue is seen by team members and other music pros. Trying to pull it all together without appropriate software will leave you at a major disadvantage compared to industry peers.
The best venue management system has an all-in-one approach
If one or more of the above signs feels all too familiar, you should consider a venue management system designed by pros who know the ins and outs of live music. The right platform will help a venue manager stay organized with customizable event plans that can be updated in real-time to suit the project. Managers can empower team members and other partners to fulfill their obligations, all while taking advantage of automation to improve all-around efficiency.
The result is more time to focus on the core strength of the business and make the most of opportunities that were previously out of reach. Instead of throwing out the old system, a management platform can revolutionize the bookkeeping process and create key data points that will improve venue operations. Better customer outreach, enhanced professionalism, and a more cohesive overall process can provide the best possible path in a challenging environment.
With a platform designed specifically to handle the modern music industry, Prism offers a software solution for venue managers in need of a more efficient approach. Get started now to see how a dynamic and user-friendly live music management software platform can elevate your business.