Take aways from Sean Wright, Director of Venue Management at Samford University

It is a tall task to keep these two buildings running successfully. Sean Wright is the Director of Venue Management at  Samford. He is in charge of booking, budgeting, and planning the events that take place within the Wright Center and the Pete Hanna Center. When talking to the class, he gave insight into what it takes to pull off large events week after week.

The biggest change in the event planning is that the calendar never ends. Due to technology, events can be booked onto a calendar farther in advance than ever before. Typically events are placed 18 months ahead.

Another big change in technology has allowed ticketing to track the customer and their ticket purchases. When a ticket is purchased the technology knows the buyer, then can recognize that person as they enter the venue on the night of the show.

Typically, the business consists of three constant seasons. The booking season when all the events are placed on the calendar for the year, the grant season when grants are sent to distribute funds to the venues, and the budget season when the money that can be used to spend on events is evaluated. Each of these seasons run in a constant cycle.

Regardless of media and promotion, if your product is no good–there is no hope for it! Your product is key. You must know your market before you book an event. Pricing, advertisement, and time is imperative to a successful outcome.

“Venues are more public and patrons are more demanding than ever before,” commented Wright. “If you’re standing still in this business, something is wrong.” With his job as director of management he is constantly on the go. It is evident that Wright’s job is demanding and requires patience. Experience is key in his business, and learning from your mistakes is inevitable.

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