Art for the Cash Poor is InLiquid’s annual summer event, and every year we have the same series of tools that we need to coordinate. This year, we have been really invested in updating our systems and how we work with our vendors, our review process, and coordinating with in-office and out-of-office employees, and we found Airtable.
Previously, we have needed to use several redundant systems for coordinating:
- One system for vendor submission & sponsorship forms
- A collection of files & emails for review
- A Google Document to keep track of completed sponsorships and communicate submissions to sponsorship coordinators
- Numerous printouts to review and coordinate artist schedules per event day and find how many spaces we have available.
- When this year’s AFTCP prep came around, we began to look at Airtable seriously for our business purposes, and it has provided a significant reduction in redundant efforts from our forms to our internal communication.
We have been able to simplify our forms and review systems by using the embedded forms to collect applications directly into Airtable, where all of our employees and event staff can instantly see who has applied and what sponsorships are confirmed. For us, this is a significant timesaver as we no longer have to work with a collection of email chains and anyone who answers the phone has access to the most current information.
Now here’s where we started finding out how we can use Airtable to do things better:
Customized Views for Review, & Planning:
Our event actually has four events for which we need to coordinate vendors. In response, we created review views for every event. We can see at a glance what vendors are available for our Press Preview, Kickoff, Saturday, and Sunday events, and all of these lists are updating on the fly, letting the team know exactly where we stand for each event.
Views simplify table & chair rentals:
Our table rental numbers and charges are instantly compiled into a single view list. What’s more impressive is that we can use the views and filters features to show us exactly how many tables, chairs, and electricity requests we have for each day, which will cut down a significant task right when we are hitting the event-week crunch. And that same list will be updated with booth assignments when we do our reviews, so our entire staff will already know what vendors need on which day.
Coordinating with out-of-office employees:
We have a few employees that work primarily out of the office. Using Airtable we are able to give those employees access to all of the information that used to be locked to our internal network. With the public displays, we can create custom views to share with media contacts and known collectors instantly, or with collaborators that don’t need editing access.
Public Forms = Less Redundant work:
Previously, the way our forms were set up required us to merge them into another database or file system to make use of collected information. Airtable’s public forms eliminated that step entirely.
While it is only one cog in the process of running an art fair, Airtable is proving to be a substantial tool for us.