1. Managing a Project
1.1 Setting up and Planning
1.2 Running the Project
1.2.2 Event Preparation
1.2.2 The Big Day!
1.3 Completing the Project
2. Finance, Budgeting and Fundraising
2.1 Creating and keeping control of a budget
3. Marketing and PR
3.1 Approaching Press
3.2 Measuring Success
Producing a project is a big responsibility because it means you are in charge of finance. Substantial amounts of money are likely to go through your account and you will be responsible for paying and reimbursing individuals and organisations for their services. As Producer, you are the middleman/woman – you will be receiving amounts of money (primarily from promoters and grant giving organisations) and you will be paying out amounts of money (concert fees, travel bookings, hiring equipment, etc.).
As most projects are likely to stretch over several months and simply because it is good practice, make sure to have a paper trail for all amounts received and spent. This means you sending invoices to promoters, and asking musicians or organisations to send invoices and/or receipts to you. It’s best to print off and file everything straight away, as it can be difficult to keep track at a later date. For bookkeeping purposes it is easiest if you use one designated account, with a respective debit/credit card, for all amounts relating to your project.
During the course of the project you might also encounter cashflow problems. Cashflow is the movement of money in and out of your project account, and it only becomes problematic when you want to pay for something but haven’t had enough income as yet to do so. For example, you might like to buy train tickets as early as possible to keep costs down, but the grant has not yet come through, or musicians might want you to pay them on the day after the concert, but you have not yet received the concert fee from the venue. Additionally, grants are often paid out in stages, with 80% or so at the beginning of the project and the remainder upon receipt of a project report. Cashflow doesn’t need to be an issue as long as you foresee potential problems and plan accordingly – regarding train costs you could ask the promoter to give you a travel advance, while paying concert fees a month or so after the event is acceptable as long as you clarified at the outset when musicians can expect to be paid.