Flexibility is key at Kongsberg Musikkteater

Kongsberg Musikkteater is a concert venue in Norway with 2 halls, 500 events a year, 6 employees and 50 regular volunteers. They tried to plan all of those 500 events per year in an excel-like system, but soon realised they needed something more to run the ship.

A solution that ticks all the boxes 

They first switched to a dedicated local planning system, but even there they met limitations quite fast, says manager Per Gustavsen: “It was hard to make changes in the old system and there was a lack of integration possibilities. It just couldn’t provide what we needed anymore. So when we started looking for a new system, we had 5 important requirements.” Yesplan could tick these boxes pretty quickly, as Per explains: “It’s cloud-based so we need no local installation, and it’s very easy to use”. Flexibility was also very important to them: “We wanted to be able to make adjustments to our needs, therefore the system had to be very flexible,” Per adds. Number four and five were also ticked off easily: lots of possibilities for integrations, such as a native integration with Google calendar and an API for integrating with other systems and lastly a powerful report generator. 

Kongsberg Musikkteater and Yesplan’s paths crossed at the Norske Kulturhus Fagkonferanse, a gathering for Norwegian cultural venues. They heard from colleagues at Olavshallen that they were starting with Yesplan and had a talk with Yesplan’s Erik at the conference. After talking to Erik and seeing the system “in action” they were convinced: “This is what we’ve been looking for.” 

Photo by Bjørn Isaksen

No time to lose 

No time was wasted after that: “We transitioned to Yesplan fairly quickly” says Per. “Wim from Yesplan was there to kick off the project with us and we started moving data from the old system into Yesplan as soon as we could.” Per explains how they did this: “We exported all event dates, event names and contact info from the old system into Excel files. We then imported these files into Yesplan. The rest of the data we moved manually, as part of our inhouse training.” 

That method worked out really well for them: “All our employees and freelancers we work with regularly got hands-on experience with the system during the trainings. They’re able to use Yesplan since day one!” After moving all the data, Kongsberg shut down the old system and used Yesplan ever since.  

“We started moving data from the old system into Yesplan as soon as we could.”

Drag & dropped into a new world

Photo by Mona Sandviken

After only a few months, the difference is clearly visible at Kongsberg Musikkteater: “After moving to Yesplan, we actually feel like we’re living in a new world. We save a lot of time in the daily work and sharing information has become so much easier.” Per looks back: “Moving events, especially recurring ones, was a cumbersome process earlier. But with Yesplan, instead of it being a time consuming manual job, we now just ‘drag and drop’ events in the event calendar: it’s so much faster. He really enjoys working with the event calendar: “It’s easy to navigate and I get quick overviews of all the events. At the same time, it's easy to get into the details when necessary and my most used functions are available with a right-click of the mouse.” 

As a manager, another of Per’s favourite parts is dataviews: “It saves us so much time. We have created several dataviews to keep track of invoicing, follow up on contracts, riders and so on. They are flexible and simple to set up and make my daily reporting a painless process. 

“We save a lot of time in the daily work and sharing information has become so much easier.”

Same information, different view 

That need for flexibility turns out to be crucial in the planning process at Kongsberg. “In the previous system we used, views and fields were locked. Meaning all changes had to be done by the provider. In Yesplan, we can remove or add fields as needed, which is very valuable to us.” 

Multiple people at Kongsberg are using Yesplan, working together and extracting the specific information they need. “We have built a view for Economy for example. Here information from Production, custom made fields from Accounting and follow up of contracts and billing come together,” Per says. “In this way, information entered by our producer or technicians is “reused” by employees working with billing, contracts and reporting.” 

And they are not done yet: “We will look further into these possibilities to make even more views on a need-to-know basis, for an easy information flow between all our personnel.”  

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