Beyond Design — Manage Shows and Events with Vectorworks Spotlight

Vectorworks Spotlight’s capabilities can help you create stunning lighting designs and scenic designs. And, we discuss these topics so often on this blog because we’re proud of the software's ability to help you work efficiently and have design freedom. But Spotlight’s power and flexibility aren’t limited to lighting or scenic design.

Vectorworks Spotlight can be the pivot point between the design and management for all your projects. It can help you with your productions beyond just designing, making sure your next event or show goes off without a hitch.

Why You Should Use Vectorworks Spotlight for Production Management

As you know, the timelines in the live events industry are NO JOKE. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a few months to plan, design, and execute an event. But often, you’ll have weeks, if not days, to bring an event to life.

And there are so many other things you must consider other than just what the event looks like. You need to track your budget, create schedules, and manage your inventory. You might even have to figure out how to fit a supplemental lighting package into an existing truck pack.

(***BONUS TIP: Data visualization in Vectorworks Spotlight is a great way to illustrate vital information without having to redraw or reset an object’s attributes. For the supplemental lighting package example, you can use data visualization for truck pack order.

You can even use data visualization to meet your tour or event’s sustainability goals. You can learn more about that by clicking here.)

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So why should you care about using Vectorworks Spotlight for show or performance management?

Because robust, data-driven software can help you and others stay on track and maintain a shared vision on a production. Simple as that.

Using Custom Records to Manage Cost and Logistics 

Speaking of robust and data-driven, custom records are a great way to manage costs and logistics.

Plus, given the increase in shipping and labor costs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, supplies cost more, materials take longer to arrive, and you have fewer people helping you out. So, the ability to add data to your drawing objects that include pertinent information can be a lifesaver.

To create a new record format, start in your Resource Manager, and then select New Resource. From there, select Record Format from the tool bar, and click New Record Format.

The Create Record Format dialog box should then open for you.

Next, enter the name of your custom record. Make this name whatever would be the best in letting you keep track of all your record formats, but we recommend following some sort of naming convention.

After you name the format, all you need to do is select New and then select any parameters (such as type, define, database connection information) you may want for your record.


Using Project Sharing and Referencing with Collaborators

Whether you’re a production manager, promoter representative, venue manager, or site coordinator, one thing is for sure — you’re not the only one involved in your production. So, you’ll need some sort of way to share information and keep everyone up to date with the decisions you’re making.

Project Sharing and referencing are two great options in Spotlight to use when working with collaborators.

Project Sharing

Project Sharing is Vectorworks’ multi-user environment that allows you and your teammates to work on the same file remotely. And any project you’re working on in Vectorworks Spotlight can be shared with any other collaborators or team members who are using the same version of Vectorworks.

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For more on Project Sharing, click the button below for an in-depth course on the multi-user environment:



While referencing in Spotlight is about your drawing or modeling elements, it, in fact, saves you from having to repeat creating the elements or editing them to fit a new venue. This is nice because, let’s face it, recreating elements from scratch can be a waste of time.

Referencing allows you to use drawing elements from another file in the active file, which — if you’re working on a tour — can ensure consistency as you move from city to city.

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For example, if a venue changes an air-wall configuration or seating layout, your file that’s referenced to theirs will alert you to said changes.

When a referenced item in your main file changes, the changes are reflected in the new, “target” file.


Spotlight is an excellent tool for project management in large part due to its robust data environment. To learn more about what data can do for you and projects, click here.

Topics: Entertainment


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