Is there every really a slow season?
California Shakespeare Theater and the Edinburgh International Festival are just a few AudienceView clients facing their busiest time of the year. Others, like Mirvish Productions and The Banff Centre, present some of their highest profile events during the summer.
Although a growing number of organizations are focusing on a summer season, many arts groups, sports teams and venues face a slight slowdown in the warmer months, yet the pace of work does not slow down.
Part of the reason the summer months are so busy for live event professionals is that there is so much we want to tackle in this down time and we quickly drown in a to do list that no one could realistically accomplish.
Since it’s now the middle of June, I’m guessing you already have a mountain on your to-do pile and you’re probably getting ready to organize your life for the next three months, but here are six things we recommend you putting at the top of your list this summer:
1. Go through your notebook from the last year
When to tackle: Mid June
This is the perfect time to review all the great ideas you recorded in your notebook over the past year.
Why not take a couple of hours to go back and see what your thoughts were in September, December or May of last year? For example, immediately after your holiday show, you probably had a de-briefing and discussed ways to improve next year’s offering. You also likely had lots of great ideas during the rest of the year that you planned to get to, but never actually got around to accomplishing and this is a great time to check out what thoughts were going through your head during the busy season.
Even if these were written in haste, they may help you brainstorm something great as you plan for next year!
2. Analyze last year’s activities and celebrate your key wins
When to tackle: Mid-to-late June
Another item that often gets lost in the pace of the season is deep analysis of your strategies. What worked and what didn’t? I love analytics because they tell us how our time is best spent.
Determine if there were any trends for activities executed during the season. For example:
- If you are in marketing, determine whether ticket sales related to media buys by checking the daily sales for any date(s) with an ad insertion and compare it with the daily average
- Review similar stats for media coverage, event marketing, small donor campaigns and pretty much anything elseAlso, be sure to celebrate the successes you uncover. This often gets pushed to the side during busy times, so now is a great time to cheer yourself and your colleagues on.
Also, be sure to celebrate the successes you uncover. This often gets pushed to the side during busy times, so now is a great time to cheer yourself and your colleagues on.
When to tackle: Early July
It’s rare to have a free afternoon to review our weekly tips on the AVConnect forums. Many of them are quick tips you can set and forget.
Looking for tips to make your seat map even better? Maybe you’d like tips that help with donor communications?
Tips are offered for various user types, so you are sure to find several that relate to your specific usage of the AudienceView system. Why not make your life easier in the coming year?
4.Re-kindle professional relationships
When to tackle: All summer
Because you are now able to take a lunch break since you’re not scheduling every second of your life around when you can call that VIP guest, you have the time to make a reservation for lunch and actually go!
This is a great time to re-connect with your network, both inside your business ecosystem and from years’ past. This also ties in with the activities we’ve discussed above.
- Celebrate wins with your industry colleagues
- Seek feedback and ask what is new at his or her organization
You might uncover some great ideas that would work for your team.
5. Re-orient employees
When to tackle: Early August
August is the perfect time to get everyone excited about your business again. After all, what other industry allows you to see the stage or football field up close or gives you the opportunity to work with a major pop star?
- Hold launch events to get your team excited about upcoming events
- Organize lunch and learns and information sessions about employee policies
- Make sure everyone has the knowledge they need about the organization
These simple, casual meetings will help your team act as a single unit later on in the year.
6.Go to events
When to tackle: All summer
Unfortunately, our love for events and our desire to grow our careers in this industry can sometimes make going to an event the last thing we want to do.
Last year, when I was working for a large dance company in Western Canada, I took a holiday to New York City in the height of the spring ballet season and, in jest, my colleagues asked if I was going to go see a performance. At the time, nothing sounded like a bigger waste of my vacation than going to see my livelihood in another city, but in hindsight, I wish I had gone to see a show.
We often forget about the magical experiences we create every day and fail to let ourselves enjoy our industry as consumers, because we think about all the work that goes into a ticketed event. However, as soon as you set foot into the venue as a customer, that magic is reignited.
Whether you go to a music festival on a long weekend, a theatre performance while you’re on vacation or a summer sports game, never think twice about going. Not only will you get to see what other organizations are doing to woo you as a ticket buyer, you’ll also remember why you fell in love with this industry and why you work so hard during your season.
Be sure to take advantage of everything that summer offers you as a professional. Sit back and enjoy everything you’ve accomplished this past year and look forward to everything you’re about to do in the coming season.