Anne Choe
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Manage my venue effectively

Prioritizing events at museums—it's time to call a peace treaty

Are you, at this moment, negotiating an email war between colleagues over who gets the gallery and its adjacent lobby for their upcoming event? Departments within museums often find themselves competing to book space for events which are equally important, and equally support the mission of the museum.

A museum must have exhibits, it must have people who come to see those exhibits, and it must have money to sustain the mission. So, with limited time and space, how do you prioritize which events "win"?

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Most events at museums fit into three categories:

  • Curatorial events – programming that supports the museum's central mission.
  • Audience development events – events that reach beyond the core audience to engage specific demographics.
  • Revenue-generating events – events that develop funds for the museum such as fundraising events or space rentals to third-party organizations.

Many organizations operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. But this becomes complicated, especially when space availability is hard to define without four walls and a door, and you must factor in sound bleed, the flow of traffic, or exhibits with sensitive content. Often, departments are using their own systems to track schedules and different calendars

So how do you break down departmental silos and prioritize events? Having implemented ArtifaxEvent at numerous museums, we suggest the following:

  1. Define and share with staff members the criteria your organization uses to evaluate what events get space. People at nonprofit are passionate about their jobs. They’re also passionate about their events since the events all drive the mission of the museum. Sharing the set of criteria with the staff reinforces the idea that they’re all working toward the same goal and validates the equal importance of each department.
  2. Work within one centralized event and venue management system. Avoid the double entry or miscommunication that often results from departments working in separate systems. A centralized system will ensure that everyone has the same information and can be made aware of the all-important last-minute changes!
  3. Create a workflow to confirm events. Establishing a process that takes events from request to confirmation, execution, and settlement not only staves off territorialism but also minimizes double-booked or conflicting events.
  4. Develop a planned communication structure for event management. Identify what each department needs to know about events and have regular updates via email, meetings, or shared calendars.

ArtifaxEvent provides a holistic view of all events across an organization, while also making it easy to dig down into the nitty-gritty details of each event.

Give your staff the tools to turn their passion for your organization’s mission into exciting experiences for your communities.

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