Posted in: Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices for Festival Organizers on January 8, 2018 by Ashley MacDonald

We talk to a lot of festival organizers on a weekly basis. Many of them are in search for a better solution than the generic systems they’re using, like spreadsheets or word documents.

But one of the common questions we get asked: “Is your software solution only used by music festivals?” And our answer is always of course not! We’ve been working in the festival & live events space for a decade now. Over those 10 years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with festivals of all shapes, sizes and varieties.

These include film, food, science, literature, comedy, fringe and art festivals. As well as specialized conferences and even sporting events!

Festivals of all genres still have many core similarities

Marcato’s array of management tools can help with many of the challenging workflows related to the overall structure of any live event.

If you’re a music festival and have bands to manage. Or you’re a film festival that needs to keep track details about a film, the film director and the cast that’s coming to be part of the screening—the premise remains the same. All of those details about the talent coming to perform, speak and/or engage at your event can be tracked efficiently through our artist module“Artist” is a broad umbrella term that we’ve applied. This is simply the talent, in any capacity.  You can also create sub-categories of talent for easy sorting and reporting.

In combination with securing your talent and keeping track of their details, you then have to start programming your festival. This includes details about the venues. Whether they’re theatres or coffee shops across your city or they’re five stages spread out across a large field. At those venues, shows or workshops need to take place. They might be band performances, dance troupes, a talk on wine making, a dirt bike stunt show or a Q&A discussion with the cast from a film. Each of these show or workshop types also have detailed running orders and itineraries that can be shared not just with your crew but with the talent themselves.

All of these elements can be captured in Marcato.

Vendors? We Got You Covered

Some festivals recruit vendors like food trucks, arts & craft stalls, merchandise stands and craft beer tents. Other events like conferences will offer companies tables where they can exhibit their information and products.  In each case, you may need to track zone or booth numbers, electricity requirements and some, if not all of them, might need to pay a fee for their booth or table.

Yep! All of that can be managed with Marcato, too. Including the ability to accept vendor applications to collect whatever kind of data you need from them. Marcato’s webforms are customizable by you and your team. That means you can obtain the right information based on your requirements, ask exactly what questions you want and include your own branding

Using Volunteers at Your Festival?

Volunteers are a key piece to many events and often can’t be run without them. Using Marcato’s volunteer management tools, you can gather information about them, create specific areas or zones like the will call desk, kids zone, sponsorship villa or the festival parking lot. And then you can create availability periods that your volunteers can select from when they’re expressing interest to help with your event. Now your volunteer coordinator can set up the shift structure and begin the scheduling process.

Once scheduling is complete, itineraries can be sent to the volunteers as a live link. Meaning: They will always have access to the most up-to-date version of their schedule.

The Importance of Passes & Credentials

Handing out parking passes to your vendors? Do all of your volunteers receive a specific wristband? Are you giving meal tickets to your artists? Are the press & media personnel onsite supposed to have a certain colour lanyard?

Our Passes Management module is applicable to all types of festivals. With it, you can assign certain pass types to various individuals’ profiles in your Marcato account. Then, once they come to the specified tent or desk to pick up their pass, you can mark it as being issued and know who is on site and who hasn’t yet arrived.

If you need a higher level of credential management like request/approval tools, advanced catering control, or the ability to integrate your credential system with RFID or ticketing companies, our Enterprise tier can help.

Contracts & Other Documents

Building and personalizing contracts is very tedious. Especially if you’re changing the same boilerplate template over and over again so that it specifically represents the deal points you have with the individual who’s receiving it. Whether it’s for a performer, a filmmaker, a guest speaker, a vendor, a sponsor, your crew or a contractor that’s coming onsite to provide you event with certain materials. This is a time consuming process.

You guessed it! Our contracts & documents builder tool can make this whole process easier and faster. Just pop your template into our builder tool, add in a automations to customize the contract or the document and bam! You’ve then built out 20, 30, 40 different contracts at the click of a button. Each one is personalized and contains the appropriate information for the artist, vendor, sponsor, etc. who’s receiving it.

Need it signed? There’s an e-signature option available, too. And of course, you can see the contracting / document history for a certain band or a sponsor just by visiting their profile in Marcato. The same tool can also be used for generating non-contract documents like invoices, memos, spec sheets, etc.

Everything Else

In truth, we’ve barely scraped the surface when it comes to outlining all of the the ways Marcato can help your festival. And, more specifically, how Marcato is not used by music festivals only.

We’ve got tools for assisting with areas like credentials, assets, catering, sponsorship and guests. Not to mention, tons of tips, tricks and cool ways in which the system can be used specifically for your festival or event to achieve your outcomes.

Our support team has seen all of the best (and worst) ways festivals manage their workflows and are always happy to offer advice from the experience we have gained working with many of the world’s top events.

What are your festival’s needs? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Contact today.

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