Arenas are Challenged to Have Skin in the Game in a Competitive Booking Climate

Sprint Center

(from Billboard, September 15, 2012) With today’s ever changing market, anything goes for entertainment venues to stay afloat. With more first-rate arenas today than there are quality tours to fill them, keeping the lights on is a challenge. To be successful venues need to be proactive. That means not being afraid to take a few risks, or “show a little skin” so to speak.

With buildings in the market year-round there is a strong need to utilize all of the resources available to them. This includes marketing, promotion, publicity, sponsors, media partners, and more. Two of the most important factors in keeping a business alive are selling tickets and building relationships.

Some tours such as Bruce Springsteen and Madonna have no problem selling out, while others are in need of help from proactive managers. What can these managers do to draw more content? The answer is: make more money. If venues can do that, they can open up the doors for more shows, and the cycle continues. “Ticket sales are the life-blood of every live event,” stated Brenda Tinnen, Senior Vice President/General Manager of the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.

Building strong and lasting relationships is another key part in this process. Responding quickly to requests, always being on top game, providing the best information to clients, coming prepared, and being knowledgeable about the market, as well as the competition, are guaranteed ways to demonstrate good communication skills to another party.

Allowing for open dialogue is a big step in keeping communication between venues, agents, promoters, event producers, and managers in good standing. “Maintaining long-held relationships and friendships is important in the competitive environment secondary-market buildings find themselves in,” said Michael Marion, General Manager for the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, AR, “also, the changing landscape of agencies makes establishing new relationships an ongoing part of being a building manager.”