Arts Management Systems (ArtsMan to our friends & clients) is the creative genius behind the Theatre Manager CRM software. Theatre Manager’s roots trace back to 1985 when the first line of code was written for a Children’s Theatre in Calgary, Alberta. A number of local venues became interested as this theatre started to grow in all aspects of their operations. After countless hours listening to potential customers and adding feature after feature, Theatre Manager eventually reached the stage where it could do the majority of functions that most people wanted: Ticketing, Development, Marketing, Volunteer and Financial Control management.
In 1994, ArtsMan was incorporated to more widely market Theatre Manager. Around the same time, there was a convergence of technology as personal computers reached a price/performance ratio that made it economical for many venues to consider implementing their own box office technology. This led to the sharp growth in venues that purchased Theatre Manager across North America.
Early on, we realized what we’d created extended far beyond the confines of traditional theatre. And true to our nature, we listened to the expanding base of Theatre Manager customers and found ourselves adding still more features as different types of venues became interested. This is significant as we found that, although there is a common thread to the needs in each organizational type, the specifics could be quite different. Additionally, a growing number of new clients with larger venues were converting from existing software. They liked that Theatre Manager gave them many more features, however they truly liked some features from their old software. So we geared our development to add similar capabilities and functionality into Theatre Manager.
Our client base has moved beyond traditional theatres to include performing arts centers, roadhouse venues, concert halls, symphony orchestras, movie theatres, arenas, museums, sports teams and festivals. Theatre Manager is used to manage everything from Broadway performances like ‘WICKED’ to concerts like ‘The Moody Blues’, from hockey games at venues across Canada to ballet classes in Memphis.
At this stage in Theatre Manager’s history, we commonly hear from new users during an implementation – ‘We never realized it could do so much – it is beyond our expectations’.