An enterprise-grade venue & event management solution
Iconic Australian wineries toast improved event management with Priava.

Introduction

Nestled in picturesque North-Eastern Victoria, the Rutherglen region boasts some of the nation’s finest vineyards. With fertile soils and a consistent climate, the area produces a wide range of wine types that are enjoyed around the world.
Established in 1864, All Saints Estate is one of Australia’s original wineries. Its established vineyards produce a variety of wine types while its sprawling facilities offer unique venue spaces for a range of events. All Saints Estate even boasts its own castle, complete with turrets and a tower. Meanwhile its sister estate, St Leonards – located on the banks of the Murray River – produces a collection of wines from Shiraz and Chardonnay to Semillon and Malbec. When it comes to events, the vineyard offers diverse options including open-air spaces and intimate rooms. The estate’s main wine storage area, the Great Hall, is lined with 100-year-old oak casks.
All Saints Estate

Key Challenge

Managing a growing events calendar
All Saints Estate
As the popularity of both estates has risen, the number of events hosted each year has increased into the hundreds. All Saints Estate Event and Venue Manager, Ellen Funston says the events range from weddings and private parties to corporate retreats and board meetings. “Weddings definitely represent the majority of events for us,” she says. “However, we are actively growing our number of corporate clients and this is leading to more demand in that area.”In terms of size, clients’ events range from intimate dinners for 12 people up to large events seating 400 in the Great Hall. Each event requires careful planning of everything from food and beverages to extras such as entertainment and table decorations. “When I joined the company in June this year, events planning was undertaken using a combination of Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft Word,” says Funston. “Each new enquiry was entered into a spreadsheet and client briefs and event reports created in Word”.“It was a very manual and unreliable process. There was too much opportunity for mistakes and overall it was quite inefficient.”
“Being a cloud-based application brings further advantages. Should any problems arise we know we won’t lose any data and if there are any bugs they can be quickly fixed. It means we don’t have to worry about managing the software and can focus on growing our events business.”

Ellen Funston

Event and Venue Manager
All Saints Estate

Shifting to the cloud

In previous venue management roles, Funston had worked with Events Perfect – the precursor to Priava – and understood its capabilities. After lobbying senior management, the decision was made to adopt Priava as the company’s core event management application.
All Saints Estate
“We did look around but there was nothing else on the market that offered the features and ease of use of Priava,” says Funston. After providing the Priava team with details of the different venues at each location and a list of existing clients, the software was quickly customised and ready for use. The time between deciding to adopt Priava and going live was less than a month.

The Results

Intuitive interface
Rather than having to juggle details in multiple spreadsheets, information about all current and future events is now in one central location. Screens can be tailored to provide different views of data and inputting details is quick and simple. “I’m currently the only events manager in the business however I know I’ll be able to quickly train other people to use the software in the future,” says Funston. “It’s very intuitive and you can’t really make mistakes or accidentally delete data.”
Easy report generation
Priava has also helped All Saints Estate improve its reporting of events. Previously, getting a clear perspective on how the events business was tracking had been very time consuming and reports were often quickly out of date. “It had been really difficult to gauge where we were when it came to tracking budgets,” says Funston. “We would have to manually go through spreadsheets and pull details together.” With Priava, a summary of all events and their associated financial details is available with the click of a mouse. Funston can see exactly how much business has been booked and how much tentative business is in the pipeline. “I can also generate an opportunities report which shows planned future events. Each time I have a conversation with the client, I can record details of the call so everyone knows exactly what is being planned.”
Tracking advertising performance
To further grow its business, All Saints Estate has been undertaking targeted advertising and promotions. While in the past gauging success had been difficult, Priava allows accurate tracking of all new leads. “When enquiries come in we can see whether they have come from our website, as a result of advertising or from things such as our weddings showcase or onsite visits,” says Funston. “Previously we would have had no idea, but now we can tailor our promotions for maximum effect. It will help with our future growth.”

Summary

The benefits All Saints Estate has achieved through the use of Priava so far include:
  • Removal of manual processes – reduces errors and boosts efficiency;
  • Reliable IT infrastructure – cloud-based system means data is secure at all times;
  • Improved reporting – an accurate view of financials in real-time;
  • Better response tracking – ability to determine what is generating new enquiries;
  • Flexible software – can be tailored as venues and event types change in the future.

Final comment from Ellen

It’s also advantageous to be able to access Priava from any location. When out on sales calls she can check the system to determine venue availability and update client details “on the fly”.

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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