Chloe S.

Member Success Manager, Tessitura Network

Supercharge your skills


8 min

Recruiting and retaining staff are huge challenges for many industries, and arts and culture is no exception.

Employee turnover creates knowledge gaps that strain even the most successful organisations.

Cultural professionals also are being asked to make decisions, streamline processes and introduce new services at an unprecedented rate of change. They must reinvent and transform to keep up in today’s fast-paced climate.

It’s no wonder that building team capacity to increase organisational resilience is more important than ever before. The most adaptable, empowered teams have strong agile practices. But to foster agility, you must invest in developing people. Your teams need reflective skills to understand the past, practical competencies to address the present and foresight to predict the future. Otherwise, how can they drive innovation to keep your organisation thriving?

So how, you ask, can Tessitura organisations foster agility? Because your CRM supports every part of your mission, you start by developing a team of Tessitura super users.

The most adaptable, empowered teams have strong agile practices.

Defining super users

What is a super user? To put it simply, a super user is someone who has:

  • Developed specialist expertise in Tessitura, either overall or in a specific area. For example, super users might have deep knowledge of all fundraising functionality, as well as the roadmap for fundraising development.
  • Accountability. A super user may represent their department at management meetings and drive adoption of Tessitura. What projects should be prioritised? How should a specific feature be configured to maximise revenue or provide the best user experience? Super users often take the lead in proposing the right system solutions for their companies.
  • Access. They may have more rights and permissions in the system than others.
  • Responsibility for training and onboarding. Their holistic view makes super users excellent trainers who help connect the dots for their teammates.

Ultimately, super users combine the specialist expertise needed to deliver on the day-to-day requirements of their roles with the knowledge and skills required to pivot in times of uncertainty or change.

Building your team

I moderated a session called Tips and tricks for transitioning from front end user to super user at the 2021 virtual Tessitura Learning and Community Conference. The session featured two fantastic community members: Jo Boniface from Hampstead Theatre and Kerry Britnell from Ticketing Network East Midlands.

Both Jo and Kerry invest in training. Faced with limited time and changing priorities, they learnt how to keep learning to better support their organisations’ needs and grow professionally.

Their tips will help you become a Tessitura super user or encourage others to do so.

1. Start small and be methodical

Set a target to learn one new skill or tool each week. Jo’s approach was to learn about a new system table and report, until she eventually knew what each did. Though some reports were not needed immediately, the knowledge helped Jo understand how to maximise the system’s reporting capabilities in the future. This reporting quick start guide provides a great at-a-glance index of all standard Tessitura reports.

What do you want to learn? Block an hour in your diary, grab a coffee and watch a video about a new feature. Upfront time improves efficiencies long term, so don’t be afraid to invest in learning.

2. Explore available resources

Our website features a wealth of training resources. Whether it’s a webinar, on-demand video, support document, forum or community event, each resource teaches you something new or reinforces existing knowledge. A useful tool that helped Jo progress to super user status was the TNEW site map. It’s a fantastic orientation to TNEW configuration. The map provides a clear visual of various online pathways, plus where to go to make changes easily.

3. Collaborate with colleagues

It’s easy to forget you’re not alone. Learning can be collaborative. While you can always work directly with Tessitura (we provide 24/7/365 support) or review online documentation, your peer community is another excellent resource. Whether via forums or in a Tessitura Community Group meetup, you’ll find a robust programme of virtual events to expand your knowledge, challenge your thinking and inspire your planning. As Kerry put it, “Members of the Tessitura community are extraordinarily generous with their time and experience.”

Don’t be afraid to invest in learning.

4. Practice, practice, practice

Use your test environment to build confidence and apply new skills. Tessitura and TNEW test environments are copies of your live Tessitura instance. They provide the perfect, risk-free sandbox for trying out new approaches or ideas.

5. Empower your team

Perhaps you’re already a super user looking to create more peers in your organisation. Shifting accountability for certain system tasks to roles or departments where those functions naturally sit can help you mobilise a team of new super users.

Jo suggests the following steps:

  • Make sure all users have appropriate system access. Perhaps they come to you for help because they don’t have the tools to find information themselves.
  • Encourage team members to do their own configuration. Muscle memory ensures once they’ve done the initial work it will be easier to repeat later.
  • Ask teammates to navigate the system while you provide instructions. This training approach helps with information retention and confidence building.

A minimal investment pays dividends in the long run, protecting your time and theirs.

Encourage a mindset of continual education.

Invest in learning

Skills expire, so companies benefit from encouraging a mindset of continual education. Training super users is one way for Tessitura organisations to support ongoing professional development, develop agile practices and build resilience.

When you create more super users, you’ll be better equipped to navigate staff changes and adapt to new business processes. Plus, all team members will gain confidence knowing they have the resources they need to be successful.

All it takes to get started is a commitment to learn.

Top photo by Evelina Zhu on Pexels.


Arts & Culture


Business Strategy





Chloe S.

Chloe Strachan

Member Success Manager
Tessitura Network

Chloë is a Member Success Manager at Tessitura.


She joined the Tessitura staff in May 2019 from the Roundhouse in London. There she occupied the role of Ticketing Manager for two years, achieving a comprehensive understanding of the ticketing industry across music and performing arts genres. Prior to this, she worked at Wales Millennium Centre for just under eight years, occupying numerous roles extending across visitor services, ticketing and database business functions. This experience has not only given her extensive technical knowledge, but also propelled her passion for arts & cultural advocacy and technology strategy.