Tour history & Benchmarks: inspired by ChatGPT (and you)

We were impressed with the functionality of ChatGPT and asked ourselves how relevant it could be for the live music industry. This is part 2 of 2, where we dig into what we are trying to build and how ChatGPT helped us see some opportunities even more clearly.

Tour history & Benchmarks: inspired by ChatGPT (and you)
Photo by Danny Howe / Unsplash

Opportunities inspired by ChatGPT.

In our first post around ChatGPT we made an overview of what it is, and why we believe that while it’s a great piece of technology, it only scratches the surface of the live music industry.

You can read about it here in case you missed it.

In summary, both ourselves and chatGPT agreed that the main challenges of building a system to support the live music sector are a) the need of highly specific knowledge and experience and b) ever changing conditions in the world.

And so, playing around with ChatGPT and seeing what it can do and where it falls short made us see a few opportunities more clearly, and strengthened our ideas of the value that The Pack can deliver. Here are two that we're particularly excited about building in this brand new year...

Opportunity 1: Storing Tour History.

In our very first post on the blog we said “At the very heart of building a great software product lies understanding exactly what your future user's life looks like”.
We ourselves are hard at work capturing as much of that understanding and highly specific knowledge as we can, to make sure The Pack is a great experience for our users.

But we also want to make sure the platform that we’re building in itself is a place where users can store the relevant specific knowledge to be successful in this industry, ready for future use.

One thing that we have heard again and again from tour managers we have worked with, is that in order to be a great tour manager, you need to understand the touring preferences of the artist you work with.
Do they prefer to drive short or long distances, or rather take a plane? Do they want a small touring party, or do they take a big crew? Do they want to shell out a bit more money for a comfortable hotel room, or is cheap and basic better?

This is exceptionally challenging when for some reason an artist works with a new tour manager - in many cases the previous tour manager is not available to hand over a full briefing, and the artist is also often very busy in the run up to the new tour.

Now, wouldn’t it be cool if a (tour) manager can pull up a handy overview of the previous tours that that artist has done, including a view on the investments that were made during those tours, the number and type of crew hired, the travel arrangements made, etc?
We think it is, and that this can be a game-changer to accelerate onboarding of new tour managers, and so this is exactly one of the things we are planning to provide: a trusted and safe environment, built with modern security standards in mind, that can provide the tour history of artists so that any new tour plan can be improved based on what happened in the past.

Opportunity 2: Building Benchmarks.

The world is a wild place that’s ever changing, and information you rely on can be out of date before you know it. That is why we want to make sure we build a set of so-called “benchmarking data” that we can put to good use to help our users make more accurate assessments that lead to better tours.

We have heard from many tour managers that knowing costs for things like the wage of a stage hand in different countries from memory is an impossible task. These costs are dramatically different per country, and heavily influenced by changing conditions like talent shortages for example. These costs can have a big impact on the settlements for shows, and hence change the potential for overage significantly.
Similarly, fuel costs or hotel prices move up or down and are very country dependent. We have heard that veteran tour managers have some idea of a forecast or benchmark number in their head, because they understand that these costs can make or break the financial success of a tour.

Now, wouldn’t it be cool if we could notify you while you’re building a tour budget on The Pack that some of your estimations look a bit different than what we’d expect?
Over time, we think we can do this really well: by aggregating and anonymizing the tour plans users build on our Tour feature and combining this with the real transactions we handle on The Pack Pay, we can build a database of benchmarking data that is always accurate and up-to-date. Based on this data, we will be able to paint an accurate picture of what a certain item costs in a certain country, even when you’re only in the planning stage of a tour and trying to figure out if the schedule will work financially.

2023 will be the year.

We still have a lot of work to do before our platform can really do both of the things described above...
However, every day brings us closer.
Every new user motivates us to improve our product further.
And every music industry professional who is sharing insights inspires us with a bigger vision, and shows us new opportunities.

So a big thank you for inspiring us in 2022 - and we're looking forward to making all of this a reality this year!