This is my first year of festivals and I'm finding myself fixated on trying to manage two things:
1. Scheduling - show deadlines, applications & show dates. I can't seem to get them all in one place that makes sense for me. (FYI - I do better with paper - it's the whole out of sight, out of mind thing with computers) What kind of system do you use to keep track of everything? Or do you just wing it?
2. Show fees - trying to stay solvent with all of those checks floating around out there is giving me ulcers. How do you do it? Is everybody living on credit and overdraft protection this time of year? How do you deal without knowing who's going to cash which check when?
I'd love to hear from everybody on how to manage these things, especially the old timers (pardon the expression). I'm convinced that there has to be a way to do it that doesn't include ramen noodles and sleepless nights.
Each folded paper application is placed short end up. Across the top of the short end, I write, from left to right, first the show date, then the name of the show or its city (whatever works to enable me to tell it apart from other shows on the same city), then the deadline in the right hand corner.
Oct 2-3 – Atlanta – DL 3-1
If there is no room to write this, I put it in a business size envelope and do the same. All apps are then filed vertically in a cheapo plastic bin that is about 7” x 7” x 7”. Filed in DEADLINE order. The deadlines are all written in the upper right hand corner so you can see them and flip through them easily. When an app is sent, it gets filed in a file drawer to await notification. But before I had a file drawer I just used a different bin. Green was sent and red was not sent yet. Any app that does not get sent at all (because I decided not to) also gets filed in a “Did not apply” folder in the file drawer. The bin does get full so I go through it about 1 x a week to remove expired apps and file them.
When all apps were paper I didn’t even have to keep my deadline list. All I needed was to flip though the bin and see what was coming up.
I always expect the checks to get cashed right away. Money's tight right now and it's killing me to see my money tied up with people who may or may not cash a check. Just frustrated with the situation, I guess.
I have a calendar version for my possible show dates, but I'm using a clipboard system for the applications. The clipboards work OK; it would just be a whole lot easier if I could get everything in one place. I like seeing everything spread out chronologically, but the sticky notes on the front of the apps. for the show dates aren't cutting it ( I've never been good at color coding). I like the list idea, Linnea. Maybe I'll give that a go for a while & see where I end up. I can't be any more lost than I am now! :^)
Peggy Whitson said:
First, I make a list of all the shows I'm interested in & think I'm going to do .
Then, I choose from that list , and write all the deadlines, and show dates on the calender.
After I apply , I write ,on the calender - by the show --the date I applied .
Rule number ONE : Don't lose the calender .
Applications---when they come in I stick them in ONE place ....well -theoretically.
the last couple years ,I've gotten sloppy about that ....and that's not working for me . Need to stick to Plan A.
Assume every Jury check you write will be cashed immediately .
You might only have 2 weeks, maybe a month , after DL before your Booth fee is cashed .
Depends on the show .
I try to save "seed money" from the year before , to get started again the next year .
Each show , I take out the booth fee & stash it ---so I have it for next year ---or for a suitable replacement show .
This part of doing shows ---coming up with booth money - especially during the Off season (it may be different if you are doing shows in FL or somewhere warm, January /Feb.)......but I'm not ....anyways, this part , can be Hard .....and can lead to Roman noodles ....and Lunesta works pretty well :)
anyways, the best way is to save your "seed money" this year .
starting out .......without this start up money -- pick your shows wisely .
or as wisely as possible , being new , and in this economic climate .
pick a few strong shows .....and have "filler " shows........the less expensive --close to home .
or being your first year .....go with All smaller shows , and get your feet wet .
I've made just as much money at a small show as a big one --it just depends on the show .
and this you will have to experiment with .
ok, that advice was for free ....I know you didn't ask about picking shows :)
2 lists: one in deadline order, one in show date order. I set it up as soon as the first paper apps come in. ZAPP deadlines are copied from their site. I only copy data for shows I’m interested in. The Show date order list has more details like when fees are due, etc. Deadline order list has just name of show, date of show and deadline on the left. Checkmark when sent, crossed off if I decided not to apply.