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Tessitura Network accelerates learning and connection among arts & culture professionals

During coronavirus crisis, member-owned company stays true to its mission to provide technology, services, and community

Published4/27/2020

Read/View Time5 min


During this time of physical distancing, Tessitura Network has

not only released key functionality to automate and streamline its member organizations’ workflows in order to save time and drive revenue, but has launched multiple ways for its global community to learn and connect with one another.

Community collaboration, learning, and knowledge sharing have long been pillars of Tessitura’s mission. Online forums, regional user groups, and in-person conferences are just a few of the ways that the community has gathered and thrived over the years.

Now that social distancing is having a profound effect on arts and cultural organizations that have had to close their doors, Tessitura has stepped up to facilitate the types of connection and communication that arts and cultural professionals need most.

Providing timely advice and thought leadership

Tessitura thought leaders quickly stepped in to share their insights and expertise with the arts and culture sector. President Andrew Recinos provided work-from-home advice from a company that’s been 100% virtual since its very beginnings. Erin Koppel, Vice President of Enterprise Consulting, offered counsel on relational fundraising during physical distancing. And several additional team members have published best practice advice and other professional resources.

Offering value by bringing a postponed conference online

The Australia New Zealand Tessitura Users Conference (ANZTRUC), originally scheduled to take place March 30–31, quickly pivoted to offer ANZTRUC Virtual, in addition to rescheduling the in-person conference for October 2020. ANZTRUC Virtual offered six topic-specific events, all taking place online, April 3–8. 262 people from 50 arts and cultural organizations in Australia/ New Zealand (plus a few international guests) participated in the online meet-ups, whose topics included working virtually, administering large-scale cancellations, leveraging digital content to engage audiences, philanthropy, and measuring impact.

New online gatherings to share ideas

Pop-Up Skill Builders

A new program called Pop-Up Skill Builders offers casual how-to learning sessions twice each week. Each session walks participants through hands-on skills that are immediately useful to staff using Tessitura in order to help them be more productive. Terry Stevens, Director of IT and Database Operations at the Midland Center for the Arts, called one Pop-Up Skill Builder event “very valuable” and commented: “This was an excellent pop-up. It was great information, easy to follow…. I learned so much.”

Tessitura Arts & Culture Connections

The Tessitura community has been able to connect face-to-face as well. On March 26, the company launched a new series called Tessitura Arts & Culture Connections, with sessions planned and facilitated by thought leaders including Erin Koppel, Vice President of Enterprise Consulting. The series uses online video meetings to introduce specific topics, then organizes attendees into small groups to discuss in greater depth. Topics discussed to date include relational fundraising during physical distance, new revenue streams, revisiting your case for support, and season announcements and subscriptions.

EU Connections

Similarly, the Tessitura Europe community has been gathering for group discussions on current issues specific to their region. This series explores topics related to ticketing, fundraising, analytics, and more. Recent sessions have included digital engagement, adjusting audience strategy, and measuring success.

New functionality to cancel events and measure the impact

In addition to the thought leadership and community connections, Tessitura has continued to release new functionality, both on its own and in conjunction with its preferred partner ecosystem. A new integration with Pages, an extension of email marketing platform WordFly to configure interactive elements like surveys and RSVPs, helps streamline the event cancellation process. With WordFly’s drag-and-drop interface, users can create communications about postponed or canceled events and let customers choose whether to donate, exchange or refund their tickets. All responses update back to Tessitura as actionable to-do items. This can also be accomplished using Prospect2, a service provided by Tessitura’s partner, L2.

Business intelligence

To facilitate reporting on the impact of cancellations, Tessitura added a new dashboard to its powerful business intelligence tool. The Cancellation Impact Dashboard for Tessitura Analytics displays high-level financial metrics, shows details of returned tickets and fees, and explores how revenue was retained as contributions, gift certificates, and on account balances.

“I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Tessitura for the way the organization has handled the COVID-19 situation,” said Alan Moffat, Ticket Operations and Customer Relations Manager of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. “You have quickly put together resources and forums, hosted webinars and discussions, and pivoted product development to features that are really needed. It’s been very clear how much the Network cares about its members and how strong the community is as a whole.”

“As soon as this crisis hit, cultural institutions rose to the occasion, providing comfort and hope to a terrified world,” said Andrew Recinos, President of Tessitura Network. “We have been so proud by the noble response of our organizations, even as they cope with their own tremendous difficulties. Tessitura is leveraging every ounce of our innovation to support our organizations through this crisis and help ensure they are able to fulfill their missions well into the future.”

About Tessitura

Tessitura is an enterprise CRM system that powers all key business functions for museums, performing arts organizations, and other cultural, educational, and media entities. From fundraising and memberships to ticketing, marketing, education, analytics, and more, Tessitura's unified platform enables a seamless, 360-degree view of all donors, members, and volunteers within a single database. Tessitura provides targeting and insight capabilities so the “right” engagement can happen at the optimal time.

In addition to its flagship software, Tessitura offers a range of complementary services that empower its users to achieve their goals. Those users form a community of industry leaders that enjoys an unprecedented level of knowledge sharing and collaboration through the facilitation efforts of the Tessitura Network. Tessitura also works with a wide range of ecosystem partners that provide products and services to extend the power of what its members can do.

Operating since 2001, Tessitura Network, Inc. is proud to be a member-owned and governed nonprofit. Tessitura serves over 700 organizations in ten countries. For more information about Tessitura, visit www.tessituranetwork.com or contact Amelia Northrup-Simpson, Marketing & Communications Manager. 

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