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Denmark’s biggest cultural venue goes steady with Yesplan

Yesplan makes a move for the Scandinavian market

Musikhuset Aarhus

In reputation as in numbers, Denmark’s Musikhuset is quite hard to beat. Thanks to a rather broad view on the performing arts, their ten venues in Aarhus attract about one million visitors per year. Jazz, comedy, opera, theatre—it’s all there, and it’s all on Yesplan.

When Yesplan was contacted by Musikhuset, arguably the biggest concert house of its kind in the whole of Scandinavia, it was big news. This could prove to mean much more than adding a new client to the portfolio—and it did. Musikhuset coming on board gave the green light for Yesplan being partially translated to Danish, opening up a whole new market in the North.

Musikhuset already relied on software before Yesplan came along, yet the organisation was running out of steam as the software couldn’t keep up the pace. “One of the primary reasons for us to look for another system was that the system we were using had reached the end of its development path,” says technical director Jonas Knive. “In fact, we were the only cultural event venue using it. Mostly, we lacked integration possibilities with other systems, as well as the freedom to customise fields.”

While visiting colleagues at Tivoli in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Knive first heard about Yesplan. “Even though they are more rock-oriented, Tivoli is in many ways similar to us in terms of size and number of venues. They are very heavy on activity in the house, as are we. What we saw there, how they used Yesplan, made sense to us in terms of possibilities.” 

The deal sealer? Specialised features for cultural events

Knive and his team did their homework before choosing a new partner. “We took a great deal of effort to put together system requirements,” Knive recalls. “Yesplan were able to accomplish 95% of them, straight off the bat. Needless to say, we were impressed.”

To Knive, though, there is another argument that trumps even the way Yesplan tackled their long wish list of technical requirements. “I think one of the most important arguments in choosing Yesplan was that it’s built from the core up, specifically designed to manage cultural events. There are lots of booking systems out there, yet few are aimed at handling the information that is specific to cultural events.”

“The smart scheduling features and resource and location management tool are a real plus. The software also considers the various issues you can encounter while preparing for an event. For instance, you can choose how you’d like to set up your venue, which will be different for a lecture than it would be for a contemporary dance solo. You can also link events to one another, for, say, a festival. This way, if you adjust the show schedule in one room, the others will follow suit.”

“I was confident about making the switch,” Knive adds, “knowing Yesplan is about managing venues, nothing else. If you have to do too many hacks, too many programming translations to make the software fit your needs, the risk for going the wrong way is much higher.” 

“What we saw there, how they used Yesplan, made sense to us in terms of possibilities.”

Next steps: integrating screens, website and more

Musikhuset Aarhus

Two months in, the results are already showing. “We now have a much better overview of the activities we have going on,” Knive says. “Monitoring the workflow has become easier and in time, we will have to spend less time on checking things twice.”

There is still lots of work ahead, though. Knive: “We have a tender running for a new ticketing system which we want to link to Yesplan. Same goes for our financing system. Next, we want to integrate our website and digital signage. Meeting rooms will be showing what’s scheduled there, while backstage, the wardrobes will display info specifically for the artist using it. Even our ventilation system will be hooked up to Yesplan. Our main goal is to make work easier for everyone.”  

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