For event and venue managers the world over, the run up to Christmas is well under way.
David Guilding is Theatre & Town Hall Manager, Royal Spa Centre & Town Hall, a collection of venues and rooms that include a theatre and entertainment venue, a cinema, a civic meeting space and a conference venue.
Here, David shares how he overcomes some of the challenges the festive season produces.
What are the main challenges of managing an event at Christmas?
“Firstly, the sheer amount of footfall over this period requires some serious planning. Because there is so much going on, there is a great deal of pressure on staffing and internal resources. We absolutely have to have the right systems in place to make sure everything runs smoothly, resources are maximised and staff rotas are seamlessly coordinated. If there are any weaknesses whatsoever in any one of these areas it will come to light at this time and cause problems when we are least able to deal with them.”
“Christmas is pantomime time in Royal Leamington Spa, and this year it’s Cinderella! We have 35 performances scheduled in total and associated with that are a number of rehearsals. Making sure everything and everybody is in the right place at the right time is of paramount importance to the successfully running the show.”
What value does Artifax Event bring during this time?
“In addition to the pantomime, it’s a busy time for room booking and this puts huge pressures on the system due to people vying for space. Because we use Artifax Event to manage this, the operations team can see what is being used in advance and therefore clashes with room bookings are automatically avoided. In addition, we are managing more staff than usual, often up to 40, but with Artifax Event Staffing we are confident that staffing rotas are efficiently managed and we have the right people in the right places at the right times.”
How do other departments benefit?
“Obviously with high cost performances the marketing department need to be able to track predicted audience figures, both to make sure that audience numbers are optimised and to be confident of this detail when talking to sponsors. Should a sponsor want to see what has been done to promote a show, even on the night of a performance, a duty manager can easily make this information available The marketing department can even use Artifax Event to send information about a show to a designer.”
“The finance team can have access to venue utilisation and revenue generation across the organisation and can build financial projections based on seating plan information. They can also view contractual revenue agreements between all parties.”
“Artifax Event sits at the centre of our operations during this busy time; we’d be lost without it!”