Sean Wright, not to be confused with Leslie Stephen Wright (though he may seem to have just as much control over the Wright center), has been at Samford University since 2007. As the Venue Manger at Samford University, Sean works in a “never ending season” to book speakers, events, concerts, etc. to fill the calendar at Samford. Sean spoke to our Principles of PR class on March 16th, and provided the class with much insight into the booking seasons, marketing plans, and tips and tricks to working in the venue business.
Here are some specific points which I took away from Sean:
Grant Writing is very important in this business. Grant money continues to be a challenge, and if you want to make your application stand out in this field of work, and do your job well, learning how to grant write is very important.
Sean said, “If you’re standing still, something’s wrong”. Sean informed us that this may be a stressful job as he always on the go, but from the sounds of it, Sean knows exactly what he’s doing from much experience and knowledge. I learned for instance, that in this business, the product is the key. Specifically in Sean’s case, the venues such as Pete Hannah and The Wright Center are the products. And, Sean must know the venue well, as well as the market and the patrons.
Finally, it is important to develop the market strategy before you book an event. The organization of the plan is truly important. Venues are now more public and patrons are more demanding, so you must be prepared, knowledgeable and always ready.