Kierstin Wilson is the Manager of Events at Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, an internationally recognized symphony that strives to bring great music to the community.
As a project manager of special events, Wilson creates, manages, and implements a million-dollar annual fundraising gala attended by thousands of patrons, as well as donor specific, young professional and new audience events aimed at breaking down barriers between classical music and the public. AMT Lab Contributor Wei Wei sat down with Kierstin to talk about her favorite apps.
1. What are the apps you use every day and why do you like them?
LinkedIn, because a big part of our job is working with our different donors and guests. I’ve actually gained a lot of background information from their LinkedIn profiles and the companies they work for. When I meet with them I want to know little bit about what they do and how they can help in supporting the symphony so that's a big one for me.
Since I'm on the event side, the other app that I use a lot is called Social Tables. It's is an event app where I can do all of my diagrams and track all the sittings, any dietary restrictions for anyone, as well as importing guest lists.
2. Is there an app that surprised you with its usefulness?
One Note, which I think is based on Microsoft Office but it's basically an app where you can take notes on anything. You can type it or you can just voice recorded. The fact that I don’t have to sit here and type something down but instead press a button and the app will type it up for me is really helpful to organize my life.
I track not only everything I need to do for work but even just things outside of work, like picking stuff up at the store. Instead of having all these notes written down, I can just keep it in one place. There are different tabs that I can categorize, for example, this is for work, this is for personal life, and this is for one of the organizations that I volunteer for.
3. Is there an app you think developers should be working on?
A combination of voice recording, translation and project management would be great.
Voice recordings save so much time. I know they are not perfect because sometimes when you record something it tries to take that for you but afterwards it's not verbatim, so I think they can really work on that. And if I were to write a check list with an app, I wish my team members could see it as well so we can work off the same checklist.
4. If you could recommend one app to arts managers, what would it be?
Personally, I would recommend social media apps. I pull off Instagram posts and follow a lot of different event planners throughout the country to get all of the inspiration for the events and the décor. I know our programming manager also does research on YouTube and tries to find the next big musician or artist that they can book before they get too big or become too expensive.