How A Performing Arts Center Used Hive To Find Purpose During A Pandemic

One of our most creative Hive customers is a world-renowned performing arts center, with programming that spans entertainment categories from film to opera. This performing arts center has a large footprint across its city, including a central campus where many buildings and performance spaces are grouped together.

So how does this performing art center fit within the campus as a whole? Think of it as the connective tissue that brings all groups together across the entire campus, creating programming for indoor halls and outdoor spaces, and connecting its organizations through partnerships and events.

But after a year of change, within the organization and around the world, the center’s Marketing and Communications department shifted its focus. Instead of honing in on in-person events across campus, the department is working to build the center’s online presence, engage with the community, and advocate for important causes. This required it to also change the way teams work internally – and Hive has been instrumental in this shift.

So how has Hive helped the performing arts center continue to impact its community, despite the pandemic? Let’s first dive into why this performing arts center chose Hive in the first place.

The Initial Need For Hive: Getting Teams On The Same Page

When the team began looking for a project management tool, they were primarily looking for a solution to help employees communicate across teams and simplify processes. At the time, the marketing team, social media team, and brand team could all be working on a common project, but rarely talked amongst each other. Team silos led to redundant processes, unnecessary steps, and confusing workflows. They wanted to bring teams together, with processes that kept everyone on the same page. There had to be a better way to organize work and optimize everyone’s time.

The center knew it needed a project management tool, but which one was the right tool for their teams? After researching and meeting about different tools, leadership settled on Hive for the following reasons:

1. Powerful proofing capabilities.

The center needed a project management tool that would also support proofing and approvals, which made up a large part of the team’s operations. This narrowed leadership down to either Hive or Proof HQ, which were the only two project management platforms with the level of proofing capabilities that the team needed. They found that Hive’s proofing tool was user-friendly and beautiful to look at. From there, the choice was obvious.

2. Easy to use for all skill levels.

The center’s employees had a wide range of technology experience and skill levels. While some people were very tech-savvy, others relied only on email to get their job done. Their leadership knew that in order to implement a single tool across all teams, it would need to be intuitive and easy to use, regardless of previous tech experience.

3. A pleasant and inspiring interface.

Because the center is a Microsoft-based organization, most employees had experience with Microsoft products in the workplace. Microsoft products are useful for many people, but the center found that many of its employees were frustrated by the interface, especially team members in marketing and design, who want to work in a program that they’re inspired to use. Hive is straightforward, with clean and beautiful colors.

That’s where Hive is unique. With a clean interface and fun, bright colors, Hive was a tool that employees actually wanted to use. This was crucial for their leadership, who knew excitement and inspiration was critical for implementation and adoption across the department.

The Performing Arts Center Today: Working With A New Purpose

Hive started off as a tool to help the department proof marketing materials and enhance communication, but with the pandemic-led shift to digital work, the center uses Hive today more than ever before. Hive now serves as the hub for all of the center’s marketing-related work, including video, communications, social media, website, design, and marketing operations.

Let’s take a look at how Hive helps this performing arts center work with a new purpose and continue to make an impact on its community.

Shifting from physical to digital projects.

Before the pandemic, their Marketing and Communications team dedicated most of its time to creating print collateral, selling tickets, and managing festival marketing. The department especially loved Hive’s proofing feature, which helped teams collaborate on print signage, brochures, and flyers.

But in the past year since the onset of the pandemic, the center’s marketing and communication efforts have shifted to focus on a content-first website and community involvement. More than just events and festivals, they strive to promote civic engagement, advocacy, and how the arts can stand for something bigger in the world.

Hive has been instrumental to the center as it adjusts its marketing and communications to fit these new initiatives. It serves as a central place for the team to build out new processes and experiment with different marketing strategies. As a team member puts it, the tool has grown with them.

Let’s take a look at one of the ways Hive has helped the center adapt to digital-centric marketing since the pandemic.

Example: A process for updating web content

At the start of the pandemic, the center completely re-did its website to focus more on content. Part of this overhaul included adding a weekly calendar to the homepage, which highlights upcoming virtual and in-person events hosted by all of the constituents around campus.

This calendar has to be updated daily, and also requires the team to collect event information from all of the center’s constituents. The team previously coordinated all its web updates in email, but that was not an option for this volume of content. So how could the team manage this calendar as productively as possible?

With Hive, the center was able to build out an entirely new system for managing and updating this web calendar. Within the project for this calendar, each upcoming event has its own action cards. With specific due dates for each task in the action card, everyone involved can easily see if their assigned task needs to be done immediately, by the next day, or if it can wait until the following week. This is a game-changer for time management.

These action cards are also used to collaborate with other departments who are involved with the web content. For example, the Accessibility team is able to go into a card and add alt text that corresponds with that piece of content. Instead of communicating strictly via email, where things can be easily lost, Hive helps get the team organized and on the same page.

Over the past year, the center has logged over 1,500 web updates in Hive and adds more to this number every day. Can you imagine how much time and energy the team has saved without an extra 1,500 emails in their inboxes?

Collaboration across teams.

Hive has brought people together not only in their own department but also with certain reps from other departments that also log activities in Hive. When cross-departmental work intersects with a project in Hive, a representative will be trained and brought right into the Hive process. This has removed silos and improved collaboration on a broader scale at the center.

The center’s social media calendar is a great example of cross-team collaboration in Hive. Let’s take a look at how it’s built.

Example: A collaborative social media calendar

The team’s social media calendar in Hive is used to track all scheduled social media posts. For example, the center runs an educational video series for children every Friday. This initiative extends far past the center’s video department, involving people from the Educational Department, Accessibility department, and many other areas.

With Hive, all of these people can come together in one single place to work together and produce these videos. Here’s what the process looks like.

Each educational video is logged in a Hive action card, where the video team follows a process and collaborates with other departments also involved in the production process. People communicate via comments, attach thumbnail images, and alert team members when the video is ready for captioning.

Emerging Stronger Than Ever

Today, the performing arts center’s Marketing Communications department logs 75% of its work in Hive. In fact, the team has become so reliant on the tool for collaboration, that a team member says “if it’s not in Hive, it’s not on their to-do list.”

Amidst a year of many changes, this performing arts center has used Hive to adapt its work processes and focus on a greater purpose. And as the world begins to open up again, one thing’s for sure — the center has set itself up internally to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.

Hive is the world’s first democratically built productivity platform. Learn how we can help you, here.