Palmerston North City Council in the North Island runs and manages a huge and diverse range of event spaces that encompasses Palmerston North Convention Centre, Arena Manawatū and a large group of community centres across the city.
The Palmerston North Convention Centre is New Zealand’s first purpose built Conference facility, with sophisticated audio-visual communications and information technology which helps organisers produce professional events such as conferences, tradeshows, exhibitions, weddings and dinner functions with support for between 6 and 600 guests.
Set within an 18 hectare site, Arena Manawatū has the reputation of being both the busiest and the most versatile events and activities complex in New Zealand. Handling around 3,000 individual event/venue bookings annually, it has 36 different sporting codes being conducted regularly as well as a diverse range of events from trade shows through to multiple outdoor and indoor leisure uses Including football, futsal, tennis, volleyball, badminton and netball. The FMG stadium is the feature winter sports ground in the Central Districts of the North Island and is home to the Manawatū Rugby Football Union. In the summer months the stadium is used predominantly for International Speedway. Supplementing the oval are three first class playing fields and a corporate lounge boasting 360 degree views of the ranges and Central North Island Mountains.
Key Challenge – Centralising venue management and moving technology into 21st century
Manager of Venues for Palmerston North, David Walsh who has worked in the events business for over 42 years explains why the Council decided to review how they managed their venues and events, “We wanted to bring the management of our extensive collection of venues at different sites under one umbrella. Our two principal venues Arena Manawatū and the Convention Centre are only 2kms away from each other but were using different methods of managing events. The Convention Centre was still reliant on a pencil and diary system and the Arena was using the Events Perfect (EP) software which was coming to end of life. We therefore felt it made sense to have all spaces managed by the same system, and technology-wise bring all our venue spaces into the 21st century.”