How to manage a calendar for a venue

There is an unspoken set of standards in the event business that define how to place holds and confirm events. Everyone that programs event spaces from small clubs and theaters to Arenas & Amphitheaters all operate using the same set of rules. If you have never worked in one of these places & learned the ropes from a seasoned talent buyer then there is no way to learn how to do it the right way.

Young promoters & talent buyers can back themselves into very awkward corners by breaking the rules & giving out holds out of order, double booking a date, or simply never writing a hold down. It’s bad business, so we are here to clear the air & make sure we are all on the same page.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we have a better solution at We will get to that a bit later. Let’s get to the meat & potatoes first..

First, where are your holds?

Many people in this business have been penciling in holds on a paper desk calendar for over 40 years. Some habits are hard to break, so we are going to list the pros / cons of the two most popular strategies below:

  • Old Fashioned Pencil / Calendar: This is all there was during the heyday of our business. Old habits die hard & why mess with a system that hasn’t failed you? I get it. Here are a few reasons you may want to update your system:

    • Typically, these calendars are left in the office. What happens when you are away from your desk & can’t give an agent or promoter holds right away?
    • It’s hard to share this system among multiple talent buyers in your office. If your business has multiple offices then forget about it. I don’t know how you do it.
    • Sometimes you can’t read your own chicken scratch or you can’t remember who you got the hold for. That’s an issue when it comes time to challenge a date.
  • Google Calendar: This is probably the most common solution we see. You can access the calendar from any device at any time. Plus, you can collaborate with other talent buyers in your office. However, there are a few reasons this system may still fail you:

    • You can’t control who has access to what information. You are either all in or all out. There are better solutions that allow you to share truncated versions of the calendar with other stakeholders.
    • When you are adding a series of holds you have to manually add each hold one by one. Talk about a time suck (plus, a lot of room for error).
    • It’s REALLY hard to manage the order of the holds. Every time you release a date you have to update all the holds behind from 2H to 1H, 3H to 2H, etc.. It’s incredibly easy to make mistakes.
    • If you manage multiple rooms it’s hard to see all the information on one calendar.
    • The calendar is limited to just a calendar. There are other options out there that allow you to store vital event information & share with your team.


All events are first come, first served. It doesn’t matter if AEG Presents calls you & has a monster show, you have to give them a 2H (second hold) if you already have a 1H (first hold) on the date. When listing holds on a date you place them in order: 1H, 2H, 3H, 4H, etc.. If you give someone a 1H & they want to confirm the date then the show is theirs. It doesn’t matter what other holds you have that day, that’s just the way it is.

I’m going to pause & let you know how much of a pain it is to give out a series of holds on an old-fashioned platform. You literally have to type (or write) each hold in on each date in order. On you simply add a date range or individual dates & it will place all the holds for you in the proper sequence. You can then get a summary of the holds & copy/paste back to the agent/promoter.

Releasing Holds

Let’s face it. If you booked all the shows that you held dates for you would be up there with Bill Graham. Unfortunately, we release more holds than we confirm. When you release a hold you take it off the calendar & simply promote each hold that was sitting behind it on each date in sequence. So, 2H becomes 1H, 3H becomes 2H, etc..

Again, this is a really big pain when you have an old fashioned system. What if when you release a 1H all the other holds automatically updated their status? does exactly that.

Confirming Dates

When someone wants to confirm a show on a date that they have a 1H on then it’s theirs. No questions asked. If you come back & tell them they can’t have that date (for any reason) it will put a big fat black eye on your reputation. When you confirm a date you can release all the other holds on that date. You can also release all the other holds you had for that event on other dates.

Here’s a cautionary tale: Sometimes confirmed events don’t actually confirm or move to a different date. Maybe there was a major issue in routing, an album release got delayed, or the agent got a better offer for that day (wait, can I say that?).

Confirming dates on an old fashioned system presents the same challenge mentioned previously when releasing a hold. Removing holds & updating statuses of secondary holds can be time consuming. will release the holds on the day of the confirmed show (with a prompt to see if you want to or not), and releases your other holds / updates the status of secondary holds automatically.

Challenging Dates

Say you get a call from an agent & they want to confirm their 2H. You need to “challenge” the date with the person that has the 1H. You simply give them notice that the date is being challenged & they have 24 hours to either confirm their show on that day or they have to release it. Many people tend to give them a full business day (so no challenges on the weekends), and give a little grace around holidays.

Technically, you should give each hold 24 hours sequentially. So, if you have 3 holds in front of the hold you are trying to confirm you need to reach out to the 1H first. After they release the date you give the 2H another 24 hours. Sometimes agents will get a little testy about having to wait, but they will ultimately understand. They would appreciate the same courtesy.

Why you should use

You knew this was coming. Look, we built this system for our own sanity over ten years ago.

Manage Venue Holds & Important Event Documents. All in one secure place, from any device.


  • Manage Holds Across Multiple Venues
    • Manage holds, confirmed events, and their associated documents (contracts, admats, etc) across multiple venues on one calendar.
    • List holds in the order they are received, and promote holds automatically when you confirm events. No more worrying about who has first hold on a date.
  • Collaborate With Promoters & Staff
    • Control exactly what each user has access to with granular permission controls.
    • Give promoters access to view hold status without sharing who the holds are for.
    • Allow your staff to view confirmed events only, giving them access to associated documents (contracts, riders, admats, approved photos, etc..).
  • Access Show Documents & Information
    • Upload Offers, Contracts, Riders, Admats, and more so that your team can access them on the go.
    • Customize who has access to what type of documents (Offers, Contracts, Riders, Marketing Documents).
  • Available On Any Device
    • No more running to your desk to view the rider! It’s all on your phone or tablet.
    • is completely responsive and easy to navigate on any device with a web browser.

Like what you hear? Give us a shout & we can give you free access to a demo account for 30 days.

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