One of the exciting parts about bringing together Artifax users for our monthly user groups is learning about interesting and innovative ways Artifax administrators are using the software. In our latest user group, Audience Development Coordinator Napoleon Gladney shared how the Musco Center at Chapman University has expanded the use of ArtifaxEvent. Their team uses ArtifaxEvent as a project management tool for marketing and communications along with its venue and production management functionality.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us about what you do, Napoleon?
I am the Audience Development Coordinator at the Musco Center, so I deal with everything from marketing and communications to public relations, artist relations, and campus relations. There is a lot of messaging, communications, and material creation and a lot of calendars and schedules that we’re keeping track of for multi-level marketing advertising and communications campaigns for single events and series and for festivals—which we manage in Artifax.
It’s been interesting getting this information in Artifax, aggregating the knowledge and sharing information across multiple performances and venues. It’s required us to take a step back and think about how we’re programming and communicating about programming across the organization.
What kinds of things are you tracking on your marketing timeline?
In terms of pulling information in, it’s all informational. We are pulling in timelines and sharing information about the description, images and artwork related to the shows so that our Front of House and Production teams have more context to the events we’re doing.
This information is extremely detailed. For instance, we’re launching a brochure soon and I have every step from our concept meetings to design meetings, to copy editing and photo approvals with dates in Artifax. This way we can see and report out if we are on the mark or not. And when creating similar events, we have the relative times of these activities.
Are the various timelines for activities pretty predictable?
It’s a combination. This exercise has required us to take a step back as a marketing and communications team to think about how we’re communicating about our projects. For instance, when the show comes in, we make an arrangement for that individual show and we’ve templatized in our system that when a show gets entered in, we’re also able to fill in details for production, marketing, and development.
For instance, if we set a date for a show, we know that 3 months in advance we’re going to do an announcement, there will be press release we’ll send out 8 weeks before, and email communications at the eight-week, six-week and two-week markers, a postcard campaign six weeks before, a “know before you go” email two days prior to the show, a survey email the night of, and so on. The details that are show specific are built in, but I may go in and adjust depending on how we’re doing on time.
It gets interesting when we do groupings of events, each arrangement, each show has their own marketing plan, but when we market a series as a series, all shows will have materials are going to be shared. I will create a separate arrangement for that dance series and campaign materials for those specific things. When we look at our calendar overall we’ll be able to see how everything is related.
How do you flag when things are done?
We’ve essentially created our own language to create marketing, development, and executive projects within Artifax.
We created specific categories for each department: Production gets a PRD, Marketing gets a MKT, Development gets a DEV and Front of House gets FOH. And then we list the action items after the department abbreviation. For instance in Marketing we have MKT finalize, MKT Go, MKT Concept, MKT Confirm, MKT Print, and MKT Mail. Then activity detail is when I get more specific when it’s not self-explanatory, like “email to student-only list”.
And then within statuses, we mark if they are confirmed or complete.
What kinds of reports do you run?
We recently did a custom report called Key Marketing Dates. The Executive Team was interested in reports and updates about schedules. So we came up with a layout where we can pull everything in from Marketing and Development that is related to the event, series, or festival.
If you’re an Artifax user, we hope to see you in May for our next user group!
And if you’re interested in becoming an Artifax user, contact us today for a call to discuss your requirements and to set up a demo of ArtifaxEvent.
ArtifaxEvent is venue and event management software for cultural organizations. Clients include the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the LA Music Center, and the American Natural History Museum.