A Look Behind the Scenes of Booking
Written by: Matthew Murphy, Marketing Intern
Published: August 2, 2018
During my time interning at Gas South District, I have become increasingly interested in a seemingly simple question: How does a major touring event exactly make its way onto the calendar of the Center? To find out the answer, I initially spoke to Dan Markham (DM), our Executive Director of Sales, Booking and Event Management, a well-regarded veteran with over 30 years in the business.
Matthew Murphy (MM): Hi Dan! I was wondering if you could give me a quick overview of the booking process and how you choose which events will make it on our calendar?
DM: "Booking is more about the relationships you have with promoters and keeping the building in their minds as an option. When looking at potential tours, we don’t focus on a certain genre or audience but instead the best fit for our venue, the dates that the tour needs, if we can fit their production needs…things like that."
That’s interesting, I do have a couple other questions. How do we ensure that an event will fit into our calendar, and what happens once a date is agreed upon?
DM: "Usually, a tour will hold multiple dates to see what best fits the routing of the show. Once a date is confirmed, a map is created for the promoter, so they can see how the stage, and production etc. will fit in the space. Pricing is determined, and the box office seating map is created. Once that is underway and the tickets are on sale, operations then get involved in coordinating all their needs. The booking department, along with accounting, handles settlement for the show. This typically happens the day of."
After speaking with Dan, I still had more questions about what happened after an event is booked. For these answers, I sat down with Jordan Hopkins (JH), our Arena Event Coordinator.
MM: What is your role in contributing to the success of an event?
JH: We take a show after it is booked to the end of show night. We make sure it is ready to go on sale and make sure the whole event runs smoothly.
How far in advance do you begin preparing for a specific event?
It depends on the event, but usually at least several months out.
What do you do during an event to make sure it goes off smoothly?
Anything and everything. We make sure the show has what it needs and if we do not have it, we find a way to get it.
How quickly is the venue turned over after an event ends?
We can turn around the building relatively quickly, however, it depends on the event. We have different departments that help us with different aspects, but everyone pitches in and helps where needed.
After speaking with both Dan and Jordan, I had a much clearer picture of the booking process and just how much work goes into getting an event on the calendar, and eventually cleared out of the venue. I hope you find this behind the scenes insight as interesting as I do, and that next time you enter Gas South District for an event, you do so with a new-found appreciation for how it came to be.