Planning the Largest Christian Music Festival in New England
SoulFest is New England’s largest Christian music festival. Every summer, the three-day event brings together over 75 artists and speakers for large-scale music performances, workshops, and panel discussions. The event also includes a huge number of vendors from ministries and Christian schools to food and apparel sellers.
Planning SoulFest is a substantial undertaking, and with a small event planning team and a limited budget, its producers must rely on intelligent tools and platforms to make it a reality. That’s where OnePlan comes in.
The all-in-one platform that replaced the old systems
Renna Muhieddin is the Associate Producer for SoulFest. For years, the SoulFest team was using a combination of Google Maps and Photoshop for site planning and spreadsheets for everything else. The process of using Photoshop to site plan and then blowing up that file for posters, production maps, and all event stakeholders was a hassle.
“That was the old system, and it was awful,” Renna shared. “It was just so tedious, and we usually waited until the very last minute to do it because things change so much on a day-to-day basis with the festival.”
Despite its challenges, the old system was what Renna and her team had gotten used to. They weren’t aware of any programs that were intelligent enough to plan an event as large and complex as SoulFest. She was skeptical one platform could meet the extensive needs of the festival, but OnePlan promised to be an all-in-one platform, so Renna gave it a try.
She wasn’t disappointed. When Renna began planning SoulFest 2021, she had OnePlan by her side. “I had almost every single element of our map on the OnePlan platform within two days. It was amazing.”
The 6 features that made all the difference
Switching to OnePlan had a massive impact on the SoulFest team. Here are six tools and capabilities that stood out.
1. Ease of Use
OnePlan is easy to use and easy to teach. Renna picked up on the platform quickly and so did her team. Its functionality is even great on an iPad, allowing Renna to have her site map handy onsite at the event and to make changes in real time.
2. Save Time and Money
OnePlan has saved the small SoulFest team a lot of time at an affordable cost. The Photoshop method was extremely time consuming. OnePlan has made things that used to take hours easier than they could have imagined. “The $70 a month to be able to develop a site like this is invaluable,” said Renna.
3. Build Site Map with Ease
The biggest and most immediate improvement was being able to drop elements into the site map to scale. The simplicity of mapping out objects was a huge time-saver. Renna could simply type in the dimensions of a tent and drop it into the map instantly. OnePlan’s intelligent calculators get you real-time object information in the moment. So for Renna’s 54 tents, that was a real time-saver.
4. Create Useful Reports
Bill of Quantity reports were also a game-changer for the SoulFest team. Renna was able to run reports on how much inventory to order. For example, she could ascertain how much fencing to order based on the elements that she had placed on the map and the number of tents that would be set up around the festival using OnePlan inventory management system. SoulFest is an annual festival, so its vendors send the planning team a list of what was ordered the previous year. With OnePlan’s bill of quantities tool, the team can cross check that list to ensure that they order the right amount of every element, making sure not to order too much, or even worse, not enough.
5. Operate in Metric or Imperial Measurements
OnePlan recently added the ability to click a toggle and switch from metric to imperial measurements. Renna said, “We finally have Imperial measurements, which is so exciting!”
6. Ease of Collaboration
The ease of collaborating through the OnePlan platform was another huge benefit to the SoulFest team. In the past, it wasn’t possible to hand over a photoshop file—Renna had to make all additions and changes herself. In 2021, Renna’s teammates were able to make necessary additions directly to the OnePlan map. “Our grounds coordinator just jumped in the platform and started adding in all the fencing,” Renna said.
I could not stop gushing about OnePlan to my grounds people at the festival. I was like, "We have a new software. It's wonderful. You have to check this out."
Associate Producer, SoulFest
An essential part of the SoulFest operation
Renna is already deep into planning the 2022 SoulFest. She and her team are looking at changing the festival’s layout and marketing something brand new. With only two full-time employees working on the project, OnePlan has become an essential part of the operation.
As OnePlan continues to develop, Renna is excited for new tools and capabilities. For instance, the new object array tool will allow Renna’s team to perfectly space out tents on the site map. They can input how many tents are needed as well as the distance between them and OnePlan will generate and snap-to-grid on the event map.
The capability is currently in beta, but Renna looks forward to being able to use it to map out tents and make their entire event layout more exact and the process of site planning more convenient. “Really dialling in on the spacing between objects is critically important,” Renna shared.
OnePlan has made it more possible than ever for SoulFest’s small team to execute this huge event. Watch this short video to hear directly from Renna about how she uses OnePlan to plan SoulFest: