Arts People stands with Dreamers

Arts People stands with Dreamers

It is our work at Arts People to help our curious, creative, artistic clients to share the stories and voices of our diverse communities.  It is through their sharing that we all can grow, laugh, love, cry, appreciate and learn from our varied histories.  While we can never fully understand someone else’s experience or struggles, we can relate to them, empathize with them, and be thankful for their sharing.

As we struggle in this current time in our nation’s latest challenges, we believe that the programs such as DACA are vitally important to the heart of who we are, as they have always been.  These programs enable immigrants to follow in the footsteps of so many of the rest of us who are descendants of immigrants, and who wish to join us in our grand vision of the future.  That future is built in love, celebrating our diversity, learning from each other, making our nation, or society, our communities stronger and richer.  For this to happen, we must respect each other.  We must retain perspective built on the past with an eye to a more positive future.

Arts People welcomes everyone.

 

Website design must have items

White paper: The Six Things Every Performing Arts Website Must Get Right

Your website is your online storefront, your business card, your billboard, your elevator speech and your siren song all in one.  It often is the first exposure a person will have to your organization. It must represent you clearly, efficiently and express your artistic intent and passion in a way that allows the visitor to align with you, or to move on if what you do is not for them.  It is critical that patrons can find the information they need quickly and easily, and are able to buy, donate or reach out to you without any difficulty.

In this white paper we’ll go into detail of the six primary elements that your organization’s website MUST get right, as well as other options that you might want to include, but not have compete with the top six.

Request a download link for this white paper:

Note that you will have 10 minutes to download your requested document from the email received.

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White paper written by 

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike is the Marketing Director, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. His work with clients has helped them to increase their revenue while streamlining their box office and back office operations. www.patrickspike.com

Arts People, software for the performing arts, serves theatres, music and dance groups, choirs and opera, high school, college and university programs, performing arts center facilities and more.

 

Press Release: Patrick Spike takes over new role as Marketing Director

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director for Arts PeopleFormerly Product Manager, Spike hopes to work magic again in his new position

Dateline: Portland, OR – March 21, 2017

Patrick Spike, most recently Product Manager and all around system expert for Arts People, has now moved into the roll of Marketing Director for the company as other staff members move up the ranks as well. Creating a new department, he hopes to continue his trend of establishing processes and practices for the company in an area that has previously been non-existent.

The company has relied for the past 11+ years on direct contact sales to communicate its mission of performing arts support and to sell its arts specific software system and renowned client support. Marketing and related communications have not been an area that has garnered much attention. “We really have focused on our client referrals, and our amazing sales team’s consultant style approach to reach out to arts organizations and show…

Download full release in pdf format

 

Losing customers

Beware software systems claiming they are FREE

There are many ticketing and related software systems out there marketing themselves as FREE.  The truth is they are not, and the reality is that their pricing model may drive your customers away.It's NOT free, onthestage.com, On The Stage, tickettailor.com, Ticket Tailor

We all know that nothing is free.  We are also smart enough to know that a claim of being free is merely a tactic to try to entice you in.  This is a hook that unfortunately too often successfully manages to ensnare some people who don’t consider the ramifications of a pricing model where the service is free… to THEMSELVES only.

When a ticketing system claims to be free, it simply means that their fees are not charged to you, as the client organization.  Instead, fees are added on top of the ticket costs to your patrons during their purchase, and all too often these fees are exorbitantly high, provide no options to you for amount charged to the patron, or are some sliding amount that makes it impossible to publish a fixed price.  Try explaining why a $20 published ticket price is actually $21.47 to a patron.  In these cases you typically are without options, and these  fees jeopardize the relationships and loyalty of your patrons that you work so hard to build, all before they ever set foot in your door.

Another ramification of this model is that a) patron disapproval of the added fee costs may drive them and you to try to sell more tickets via your box office where you may not charge fees. This leads to b) having data in multiple places that complicates your marketing communications, patron analysis and more, and c) means you lose the powerful benefit of having more patrons buy online, self serve, taking a load off your staff and providing better customer service. Also, what kind of support is offered by company that is claiming to be free to use?  When you need assistance quickly, help or advice from experts, where will you turn?  Over time, these issues become more and more detrimental and unsustainable.

We love our customersArts People instead not only offers you a variety of fee options to best suit your business model, but also gives you  complete control over how much of the fees you might want to pass to your patrons, how much you pay yourself as a planned business expense, or how much you embed into your ticket prices.  For example, if the fee is $.95, you could simply increase your ticket price by $1 and not show any added fees on your patron’s purchase. Or perhaps you add $.50 per ticket, and the rest you simply absorb.  You can even put a cap on fees to the patron, such as $.50 for the first 4 tickets, after that no additional fees to them.  With our unique pricing controls there are infinite options for you to tailor the pricing application to ensure that your patrons take top priority.  Unhappy patrons, before they ever attend your performance, is NOT a good business model… and we know how patrons really don’t like added fees.

It is important to note that many of our clients report increased ticket sales and donations after they come on board with Arts People. The added revenue may completely cover your costs of using the system. This, along with some simple additional offerings such as selling ad space on your print at home tickets, or sponsorship of your online shopping cart, etc.. and you can more than pay for the system that actually helps you to build your audience and develop lasting relationships with your patrons and donors.

More and more we see clients electing to not charge fees to their patrons at all. Anything that jeopardizes those relationships is not a good idea.  Try looking at other performing arts groups in your area.  Are they adding fees on top?  If so, do you want to do the same? Charge less in fees?  Or would you rather be able to communicate proudly to your patrons that you don’t add any fees?  With Arts People, you get to make all those decisions, and we’re here ready to assist you at any time.

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director

Arts People’s staff, deeply rooted in the arts

Arts People, from its very beginning, looked to experienced arts creators and administrators to staff its ranks.  We wanted to make sure that the people who would be guiding the development of our product, designed specifically for the very particular needs of the performing arts, would know how to give it the power and flexibility required for the industry.  In addition, the client services team and other members have also frequently come from backgrounds that include arts participation. In this way, we have a staff supporting the product and our clients that absolutely comprehend and appreciate the intricate and unique challenges and strategies that the arts present. We work with you to get the most out of your live data, and develop relationships over time with your ticket buyers and donors.

We don’t target sporting arenas or other non-arts venues as many other systems do.  We don’t look to venture capital and investors with dollar signs as their primary motivator who might want to steer the product in a more profit driven direction.  Arts People was created and has thrived with the idea that we are here to uplift and support the performing arts, as powerful and valuable pieces of the communities in which they exist, to shine brightly on our society and to enrich our lives – through both hearts and minds.

Here are some examples of staff members participating in the arts:

Patrick Spike – Marketing Director, former Product Manager, and System Expert, Scappoose, OR – Over 30 years as director, performer, administrator, marketer and consultant for community to Katie on stageprofessional theatre and other non-profit arts organizations. In the Fall Spike will be performing with Bag&Baggage Productions in OR, and in the Spring directing at Ferndale Repertory Theatre in CA. patrickspike.com

Katie Behrens – Client Services Representative, Portland, OR -Professional improviser with Curious Comedy Theatre and others for 9 years, acting, writing, directing, producing, teaching.

Patrick Kelly – Client Services Representative, San Diego, CA – Found his love for the Theatrical Arts in Middle school nearly 20 years ago.  He has worked as a professional actor, director, technical director, musician and general arts administrator for the past 10 years, with a major project underway currently.

Russ Gage – Director of Client Services, Portland, OR – Film festival programmer and producer for over 20 years including San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Portland International Film Festival, Northwest Filmmakers Film Festival, and founder of QDoc ~ the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival.
Cari Palazzolo – Administrative Assistant, Portland, OR – Musician, Digital Designer, and Visual Artist for 18 years, producing, performing, educating, managing. caripalazzolo.com

Sam Valenti – Junior Developer, Kona, HI – Currently Sam is producing Waimea Community Theatre’s Production of Pippin. Previously Sam was Managing Director of Aloha Performing Arts Company as well as more artistic endeavors on the stage.

The Arts People system includes ticketing, fundraising, marketing, CRM / database and other full function features for the performing arts.  Our best in industry client services team works one on one with our clients to make sure they are fully supported and can succeed using their system. If you have any questions about the system’s capabilities or would like to see a personalized demo, please contact us right away.  Our no pressure sales consultants will work with you to see if our system is a good fit for your organization.

Admit one - free tickets

Give away FREE tickets to high school students

A theatre I’ve worked with over the years built a very successful program that had clear benefits both for high school students, as well as for the theatre itself, by giving away tickets to the students… for FREE.

Called originally their “10 for 1” program, this is how it worked.

First, they would collect donations from individuals, businesses and granters to support the program.  For every $10 dollars donated, they would then give away a free ticket to a high school student in their area.

Usher with empty seatsIn their case, they were performing in venues that had plenty of seats, where they rarely sold out. So the seats they gave away for a given performance likely would have gone empty without the high school students occupying them.  With this in mind, this program would likely not work well for performing arts groups that do not have the extra inventory.

Obviously for the students, this was a wonderful offer, especially since the arts programs in their own schools had been cut back to the bone.  Their theatre programs were mostly extra curricular in nature, and the school did not have funding to bring theatre, English or humanities (or any) students to shows on field trip type of arrangements.

For a few years the theatre struggled to facilitate the students coming to the theatre.  They tried to work with the principals of the schools, with the school districts and even with the individual teachers.  They also tried advertising in the school newspapers, and tried placing posters on the grounds.  They even tried booking school buses on a weekend to bring the students from a meeting place at the school Each of those efforts proved mostly ineffectual, relied on overworked school personnel, or were taking too much manpower to be sustainable.  The board of directors discussed ideas and finally decided to try using social media to spread the word.  Instead of requiring a reservation, they communicated that students could just come to the theatre, show their active student ID, and get a ticket as long as seats were available.  The word spread via social media from student to student, parent to parent, was shared on the school pages and others, and it finally worked.  Students began taking advantage of program more and more, to the happiness of the theatre board and staff.

As for the funding, the donations that came in required really no special handling.  Again, since the inventory was readily available, the funding simply went into the general operating budget, helping the theatre to fund their season productions and everyone wins.

grantsThe program is imminently fund-able by granters and sponsors, since it falls under the category of arts education, and helps the schools with their clear desire to include the arts in the lives of their students.  They would do occasional asks of their patrons to contribute, would have businesses help underwrite the program, and grantors who favor arts education loved to help.  A paddle raise at their gala event also would add to the funding as well.  If they ever needed evidence of the effect of the program, they could call up the ticket counts in their Arts People system, flagged with a comp ticket code.

The theatre also prepared a study guide with accompanying teacher lesson plans in pdf form for those who might want to use them for a specific show. Unfortunately they found that in most cases the teachers didn’t have the budget to even photocopy them.  So for organizations who might want to try this type of program, you may need to take some of the funding that comes in to help the teachers with these.  In some cases the students were also given a coupon code on a flyer to take home to their patrons that would give them a discount off tickets to the show, creating some additional sales revenue, and possible new patrons for the theatre.

High school students, seeing outstanding theatre for free, gaining an appreciation of the art form, or encouraging their existing passion for it, and the theatre gaining much needed capital toward funding their season expenses.  The program has been a huge success!

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Patrick Spike - Marketing Director for Arts PeoplePatrick Spike is the Marketing Director, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. His work with clients has helped them to increase their revenue while streamlining their box office and back office operations. www.patrickspike.com.   He is the former Audience Development Director for Bag&Baggage Productions, and is a current board member of PATA – The Portland Area Theatre Alliance.

Arts People, software for the performing arts, serves theatres, music and dance groups, choirs and opera, high school, college and university programs, performing arts center facilities and more.

Flex pass tickets

White paper: Make your life simpler using the power and flexibility of passes

Arts People led the industry in the development of powerful, multi-functional and flexible pass capabilities.  Our clients use them with great success for season package sales of different types, for comp ticket fulfillment, for sponsor ticket benefits, board cultivation of donors and much more.

Learn how passes can be used in a variety of ways to benefit your patrons experience with your organization, and also to alleviate staff handling and headaches of various ticket packages and fulfillment.

Patrons and staff both love the way pass holders can easily redeem their tickets, self-serve online or via your box office, and at the same time result in less seat inventory going wasted.  They are a powerful tool for every performing arts organization to meet their needs.

 

Request a download link for this white paper:

Note that you will have 10 minutes to download your requested document from the email received.

—-

White paper written by 

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike is the Marketing Director, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. His work with clients has helped them to increase their revenue while streamlining their box office and back office operations. www.patrickspike.com

Arts People, software for the performing arts, serves theatres, music and dance groups, choirs and opera, high school, college and university programs, performing arts center facilities and more.

 

Arts People #supportthearts

Winners of six donations from Arts People!

At recent TCG (Theatre Communications Group) and AACT (American Association of Community Theatres) conferences where Arts People was a sponsor and had a booth in the exhibit hall, we had our enter to win box out collecting entries to win $100 donations. Lots of visitors to the booth took advantage of the opportunity!

The following organizations are the lucky winners!  Each will be receiving a $100 donation to their organization to support the great work they do in the arts scene within their community.

 

From the TCG “Full Circle” conference, held recently in Portland, OR – #TCG1TCG Conference 2017 Portland OR


From the AACT AACTfest conference, held in Rochester, MN – #AACTfest17 #AACTfest2017

AACTfest 2017 conference, Rochester MN

Congratulations winners!  It was great to meet and chat with so many theatres, related organizations and other vendors present at these events. We were also thrilled to be able to demonstrate our system to those interested in a complete software package with ticketing, fundraising, marketing, reporting, CRM and more, all designed specifically for the performing arts.

Arts People system is powerful, yet easy to use.  Built by and for performing arts administrative staff, we understand the needs of these unique organizations. They often have a small team doing a number of jobs. Their system needs to be powerful, yet simple and efficient enough to get the job done quickly.  Also, customer support is key their success, which is why our client services reps know our clients on a first name basis and often assist them in setting up new shows, new pricing, even changing out the design of the pages to match their new website.  Our support is second to none.  For any organizations that attended these events, we have special pricing available for TCG or AACT members. Visit one of the pages below for more information and also free white paper downloads on topics of interest to organizations just like you.

First impressions last

White paper: Using separate systems is costing you patron loyalty, sales and donations

We all know that the key to sustainability, increased earned and contributed revenue is cultivating relationships with your patrons. This takes the building of trust and loyalty over time.  We need to walk patrons up our engagement ladder from single ticket buyer to donor to subscriber to major donor to advocate.  The ways in which the patron interacts with us online, via our office… these make up a critical component to building that trust and relationship over time.

If you’re using different systems for various types of transactions and patron interactions, this can drive a wedge between you and the patron you’re wanting to cultivate.  When they see some third party company on the screen where they are buying tickets, or on the ticket itself, or the receipt, how do they feel about your brand, your customer service, your interest in them?

In this free whitepaper we’ll discuss the strategic importance of a unified system toward ticketing,  fundraising and more.

 

Request a download link for this white paper:

Note that you will have 10 minutes to download your requested document from the email received.

—-

White paper written by 

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike is the Marketing Director, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. His work with clients has helped them to increase their revenue while streamlining their box office and back office operations. www.patrickspike.com

Arts People, software for the performing arts, serves theatres, music and dance groups, choirs and opera, high school, college and university programs, performing arts center facilities and more.

 

AACTfest

Arts People to show off its performing arts specific tools at the upcoming AACT conference

AACT, the American Association of Community Theatres will be holding it’s AACTfest conference in Rochester, MN next week, and once again Arts People will be front and center as a sponsor and exhibitor at the event. Running June 26 – July 1, the festival “is the culmination of a two-year cycle of state and regional theatre AACT festivals across the country–with 12 community theatre productions, a theatre management conference, a youth leadership conference and youth festival, educational workshops, top vendor displays, the design exhibition and competition, a new monologue competition, social events, sightseeing and networking opportunities, all ending with a festival awards presentation,” says AACT.

“AACT has always been a perfect fit for Arts People to be a part of.” Says Arts People’s Director of Sales Marc Ross.  “This is an organization dedicated to the nurturing of arts groups all across the country who can greatly benefit from an integrated system such as ours.  With ticketing, fundraising, marketing all built in, Arts People can help these organizations to enhance their customer service, generate more revenue, and foster relationships with their loyal patrons and donors.”

We’re excited to support this festival and organization, and to meet with current and future clients!  We’ll be giving 30 minute no-pressure demonstrations of the system at our booth, and in fact people can visit www.arts-people.com/aact now to schedule their appointment ahead of time. Additionally, free white paper downloads are available on the page as well for help with social media communications, season renewal campaigns and more.

The future of the arts in our country is in the passion of individuals who make up organizations like those participating in the AACT.  It is our goal to help these organizations to thrive.  We hope attendees will stop by our booth and say hello!  Have a great conference all!

For more information on AACTfest 2017, visit https://www.aact.org/aactfest-2017-national-festival.

#AACTfest2017