Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust

Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust supports new expanded venue and delivers 50% time-savings for events team with Priava’s cloud technology

 Introduction

The Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust was formed as a not for profit organisation in 1974 following the demolition of His Majesty’s Theatre with the principal objective of establishing a new theatre for the Marlborough community.  After many years of research, planning and community fundraising, this dream was realised with the opening of a new theatre located in the former Farmers Department Store on Arthur St, Blenheim in 1985. The Trust also owns and operates two theatre related businesses: a ticketing franchise under the TicketDirect brand and a theatrical equipment hire company – Marlborough Light & Sound.

The mission of the Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust is to grow a viable and dynamic community owned arts and theatre centre for the people of Marlborough. Providing an environment, in which the diversity of skills can be nurtured, encouraged and celebrated while striving for excellence. As a venue, the Trust currently has a 456 seat theatre and function rooms and in 2016, the new ASB Theatre Marlborough will open, housing two theatres (700 and 200 seats) and naturally lit function spaces and foyers. The new venue will offer state-of-the-art facilities and amenities for Performing Arts events, Conferences and Functions.

Key Challenge – Lack of reporting and need for more targeted marketing

General Manager at Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust (MCTT), Andrew Scott explains the history, “The venue had been using Excel for the last 12 years for managing events. Six years ago a move to North Island meant I left the Trust and during this period I gained some valuable knowledge of working with a range of dedicated venue management solutions. Then when I returned to Marlborough at the end of last year I re-joined the Trust as General Manager and with the collective experience of different technologies I knew that with the new ASB Theatre Marlborough project and larger facilities being planned to open in 2016, it was time to review our systems and processes so we could make the most of new opportunities.

Using Excel as our bookings calendar was massively inefficient, was prone to errors, double bookings and was very time-consuming leading to staff working long hours. I could see that the current system just wasn’t a sustainable option moving forward.”

"Some of the other products that we looked at such as EBMS were too complicated and although they said they were in the cloud, I could see that they weren’t true cloud offerings. I liked the fact that Priava has been built from scratch in the cloud and is far easier and simpler to use."

Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust

Andrew Scott

General Manager

Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust

The Solution – “The fact that it was cloud-based was huge”

The venue reviewed a number of different solutions but decided on a cloud-based solution from Priava. Andrew explains the selection process, “I saw a demo on Priava at a conference and was convinced it suited what we needed. Some of the other products that we looked at such as EBMS were too complicated and although they said they were in the cloud, I could see that they weren’t true cloud offerings. I liked the fact that Priava has been built from scratch in the cloud and is far easier and simpler to use. The fact that it was cloud-based was huge for me.”

According to Andrew, moving to the solution went smoothly and inputting of all their events into the new system was done over a weekend. Training was then carried out via interactive GoToMeeting sessions.

The Results – 50% time-savings

“The new solution is popular with the sales, operations and technical teams” says Andrew. “As it is more efficient than the manual approach.  For our technical staff alone we are seeing a 50% time-saving and on the sales side, creating an estimate or contract takes half the time.

Using Excel it was only possible for one person to log in at any one time. This was very frustrating and also resulted in duplications, errors and the potential for double bookings.  With Priava we can overcome all these challenges and we can also eliminate the possibility of missing potential bookings or opportunities.  Automation has made it very easy and we no longer have to spend hours of inputting the same information such as pricing across multiple documents. In the past staff were often working really long hours, but with the time-savings and efficiencies we can now avoid this happening and therefore help with overall staff well-being.”

 

Summary

The benefits that Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust has achieved through the use of the Priava cloud-based venue management solution so far include:

  • 50% time-savings for events team
  • Cloud based system delivers on-going cost-savings and latest technology
  • Quick and comprehensive reporting facilities
  • Easy calculation of ROI on key assets/equipment e.g. projectors
  • Quicker production of estimates and contracts
  • Increased occupancy levels
  • Elimination of duplication errors and chances of double bookings
  • Avoids the loss of potential bookings
  • Facilitates direct marketing efforts – customer data only needs to be entered once
  • Boosts repeat business
  • Support for more proactive sales prospecting/lead generation
  • System to support future doubling in size of venue spaces
  • Create better service for community
  • Reduced time spent by staff enhances wellbeing
  • Additional revenues can be put back into the Trust to support performing arts
  • Access to critical information improves workflow, leading  to smoother events

Final Comment – “We’re loving it”

The response from the whole team since using Priava has been very positive. Andrew concludes, “With Priava we are able to break old habits and replace them with more effective ones. It’s a fantastic system. We’re loving it.”

 

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