Ever wonder what’s it’s like to be an Account Manager at Spektrix? Our very own Tom Nolan and Paul McGuinness talk about the glamorous lives of the account management team and the best bits of their jobs.
How long have you been at Spektrix?
Paul: I've been at Spektrix for 18 months now.
Tom: I joined the team in the end of March - so 6 months, but I'm very familiar with the Spektrix green as I’ve been using Spektrix since 2012.
What were you doing before you joined Spektrix?
Paul: I've had various ticketing roles over the years. I was Head of Ticketing at the Southbank Centre, where I worked for seven years and I’ve also worked at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Hackney Empire and the Olympic Park.
Tom: I was working at the Tricycle in Kilburn, initially as Box Office Manager, where I oversaw the implementation of Spektrix, and then as Commercial Operations Manager. Before the Tricycle I was working in the Arts team at Dartington Hall in Devon.
What’s a typical week like for a Spektrix Account Manager?
Paul: It's hard to say, every week is so different. We start off most weeks with a team catch-up so we all know what everyone is up to. After that, the week will usually involve plenty of time out and about, meeting people who we already work with and people who are thinking about a move to Spektrix. I always try to get back to the office on Friday afternoon, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with the gin trolley doing its rounds!
Tom: There is no typical week really! The job is really varied and consists of talking to potential and current Spektrix users. Usually a typical week is made up of calls to potential Spektrix users, online and in person demos and really trying to understand how these organisations work to see if we would be a good fit. Then I’ll squeeze in some visits to existing Spektrix users to make sure that our relationships are continuing to be strong and that we’re enabling them to reach their objectives. It can involve lots of train journeys.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Paul: Without question it's seeing new clients go live with Spektrix. We've often been talking to them for some time before that point and it's a real buzz to see the team at a venue getting stuck in with a brand new system.
Tom: The variety. It's also a fantastic opportunity to explore venues across the UK, and I get a real kick out of identifying ways that Spektrix will increase efficiencies, revenue opportunities and generally allow arts organisations to continue producing and showcasing outstanding work.
What advice would you give your younger self, beginning a career in the arts?
Paul: Don't be afraid to deviate from the career path you think you are going to take. Within the arts, there are lots of opportunities to learn more and expand your horizons by taking on a totally different challenge.
Tom: Make the most out of all the opportunities that come your way and never turn down a free ticket.
What are common challenges you see with new clients?
Paul: Changing systems can be daunting, particularly for frontline teams. It can be difficult to reassure people that changing to Spektrix will help them and their business, while also asking them to be open to a different way of working. We spend quite a bit of time on this during the sales process and our project managers do the same during implementation.
Tom: Adjusting to a business-wide change. Often systems and ways of working have been in place for a long time and when changing your ticketing, marketing and fundraising software it's also a great opportunity to look at these processes. Change is always daunting and so we make sure we listen and understand the aims and objectives of new clients so that we can advise on how Spektrix can help them.
What challenges do you see for senior leaders in the arts?
Paul: The ever-changing landscape of funding for the arts is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges. Arts leaders are under constant pressure to make their organisations more self-sustaining by gaining support from a range of sources. They need to have a strong team behind them to do this and can struggle to compete with other sectors when trying to attract the most talented people.
Tom: It's always been a challenge to balance the books and still put on and produce high quality work. With decreasing public subsidy and more organisations going after donations this is getting harder. It means that senior leaders in arts organisations have to start to thinking about other income streams that they have, thinking commercially, and I don't think that comes that naturally to us.
What’s your favourite train lunch?
Paul: Pastrami sandwich and the strongest coffee I can find.
Tom: Salmon and cream cheese bagel and a flat white. But I would make sure I buy it before I get on the train.
Does this sound like something you’d love to do? We’re looking for Account Managers now, so be sure to apply to join our fab team!