An enterprise-grade venue & event management solution
Central Coast Council’s move to the cloud will save hundreds of hours every year for busy events team.

Introduction

The events team at Central Coast Council in Tasmania are responsible for managing hundreds of community events and bookings every month covering a multitude of facilities including recreational grounds, sports halls, stadiums, swimming pools, athletics track, Ulverstone Wharf District as well as numerous different community centres/halls and dedicated function spaces at the Ulverstone Civic Centre hired out for council, community and private events.
The Ulverstone Civic Centre provides a quality convention and entertainment venue, conveniently located in the heart of Ulverstone’s central business district adjacent to the municipal offices and centrally located between Devonport and Burnie, catering for people from the two cities and surrounding areas. It is imaginative in design, beautiful with natural materials and welcoming in its courtyard setting. The centre includes a theatre, function room and small meeting room. The Leven theatre with seating for 250 is intimate, functional and sophisticated, offering relaxed comfort to patrons. The Gawler function room is a versatile area with full catering and bar facilities. The Isandula small meeting room is suited to smaller, intimate meetings.
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Key Challenge

Need to effectively book and manage ‘colossal’ number and variety of spaces for mix of standalone and repeat community, council and private events
Central Coast Image
Customer Service Officer at Central Coast Council, Kim Badcock explains, “The council had been benefitting from using the Events Perfect solution for many years but when Priava introduced us to the cloud we were happy to change over and looked forward to seeing any enhancements that would result. We manage a colossal number of bookings and events each year across around 70 different spaces. The nature of the events is quite diverse and includes events for sports groups, community clubs and associations, the council and special functions such as conferences, birthday parties and weddings.” Apart from the core events team that has four staff, the council’s key spaces are the responsibility of designated Managers that take care of setting up of the rooms, marketing and liaising with third parties.
“We can see what assets are actually needed and if necessary we can move to a different venue or indeed sell off any items that are surplus to requirements”.

Kim Badcock

Customer Service Officer Central Coast Council
Central Coast Council image

The Results

Easy to use system that provides additional benefits over incumbent technology– from greater business intelligence through to huge potential time-savings
After migrating to the new cloud-based Priava solution in February 2014, the Council has realised some clear benefits compared with the old system.
Makes life easier with quick and controlled access to key information
Kim says, “The new system still gives us the functionality we had with Events Perfect but one of the immediate differences we saw was how intuitive it was to use and now makes life easier. When we moved we had just three training sessions to become proficient with the system and since then we’ve found it’s been pretty quick for new starters to pick up. We particularly like the way you can just tab across the system and flip from one to another. Before, you sometimes missed something in a booking, but now you see everything and creating a new event is also simpler. We have around 10 users of the system but some only have ‘read only’ access. We’ve been providing effective venue and event management solutions for more than two decades. When you choose Priava, you are giving your business solutions to problems that are tried and tested. All our datacentres are ISO 27001 certified with PCI compliant technology infrastructure meeting the PCI Data DSS Level 1 standard. Our EU customers can rest assured Priava complies with the Data Protection Directive and General Data Protection Regulation. This is ideal for us, as it means that we can control who has permission to change information, so we know exactly what has been agreed and can eliminate mistakes creeping in.” Another improvement on functionality is flexibility on booking time-slots. As Central Coast Council has a large volume of bookings with set-times they often need to finish and start a booking at the same time and with Priava there are no restrictions on what times can be entered. Instead, Priava is so intuitive that a warning message appears prompting users to cross-check availability – this prevents users from overbooking the venues.
Better communication
“The other feature that we use religiously is the Notes section as this provides invaluable continuity as someone can be updated just by logging into the booking and seeing what someone has written. They can see instantly when the event is on, what they need and what the client needs. It’s also really helpful to be able to print this out for Managers or for those that don’t have access to the system. The notes section is also popular with the Catering team at the Rec centre as they can add in their own bits of information like breakfasts and so on.”
‘Bulk Editing’ functionality will save hundreds of hours
“One of the functions that we are due to adopt shortly is Priava’s Bulk Editing feature that will help us to dramatically reduce the time spent on manually changing information on the system. This not only will apply to repeat bookings for which we have at least 20 different groups all of which would take at least 5-6 hours to amend, but we also need to change other items from time to time such as our financials and weekly events such as church groups or the Market. Altogether, with the Bulk Editing facility, we will be able to change individual records all at once that will literally save us hundreds of hours every year.”
More intelligent reporting
The improved reporting capabilities of the cloud solution are also delivering valuable intelligence to Managers and Directors on areas such as venue usage. “Whatever information we want we can get from Priava’s reporting. We can easily do an analysis on what’s been used and what’s not, so in turn, we can focus on improving occupancy either perhaps through refurbishment or advertising. For clients too we can automatically print out all the details of a booking and send this to them to review.”
Effective asset tracking and utilisation
More streamlined financial management
According to Kim, compared with EP (Events Perfect), Priava has streamlined the accounts one hundred percent. “Weekly reports that used to take an hour to create, now take a minute. Also, there is more sharing of information between the events team and the accounts system. For instance, previously the system would capture the debtor number but not the venue code but this is now done automatically.” In the future, Central Coast Council is looking to fully integrate Priava with the finance system so that invoices can actually be generated within the venue and events management solution.

Summary

The benefits that Central Coast Council has achieved through the use of the Priava cloud-based venue management solution so far include:
  • System is easier to use​;
  • Quicker access to event and booking information;
  • Greater business intelligence;
  • More controlled and secure access to data;
  • Heightened flexibility on timings for bookings slots;
  • More streamlined accounting procedures;
  • ‘Bulk editing’ facility will save hundreds of hours every year;
  • Better utilisation of assets e.g. AV equipment;
  • Ability to integrate with other applications e.g. Finance;
  • Technology helps to support job-sharing/ cover with ‘Notes’ section.

Final comment from Kim

“Priava are really good to work with and are always pretty responsive.”

Favourite Feature

“We like the universal search button, which enables us to instantly find details on a particular event.”

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about how you can introduce live availability and instant bookings at your venue using Priava.

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