Launched in October 2008, the striking interior and versatility of its many spaces has seen Kings Place quickly graduate from an interesting arts venue to one of the most sought after events destinations in Europe.
Winners of ‘Event Space of the Year – Medium’ and ‘Venue Team of the Year’ at the 2013 Event Awards, Kings Place consists of a unique mix of exciting event spaces which add personality to every event and it has become the go-to venue for some of the world’s biggest brands. The venue has been designed to provide the most advanced technical support for today’s demanding conferencing requirements. To ensure that every event is a great success its team of expert technicians will support clients with anything they need, from HD recording, to live online streaming.
The first class catering at Kings Place is produced by Green & Fortune, an independent and owner-operated company that are totally focused on delivering quality at every level. Made up of three award-winning brands: Rotunda Bar, Restaurant and Private Dining, Green & Fortune Café and Kings Place, Green & Fortune has been honoured with ‘Retail and Leisure Caterer of the Year’ at the inaugural 2013 Foodservice Catey awards.
Relied on a time-consuming & inefficient manual-based system for event management with a lack of reporting
Business Development Director at Kings Place, Lucy Wright explains, “In the past, the events team had, with the exception of a diary management system, relied wholly on a manual approach to booking and managing events, using Word and Excel. The team are now managing over 300 events a year and this process was becoming extremely time-consuming and inefficient. Information had to be entered multiple times and invoicing was long-winded, not to mention the potential for human error that could inevitably occur. At the same time, it was difficult to produce any meaningful reporting to the board measuring and analysing different areas such as the reasons why we were winning or losing opportunities.”
Around two years ago the venue started to look at some alternative solutions including Events Perfect, but at this time they could not find a solution that would best meet their needs.
“The system now gives us more options, such as home working for example in the event of ‘snow days’ where staff are unable to get into the office because of severe weather or perhaps transport problems. This effectively means we can re-gain any lost days.”
Business Development Director
Selection process leading to the cloud
At the end of 2013, when the venue heard that Priava had launched its cloud solution, they decided to re-assess the merits of a new solution. Lucy comments, “We shopped around and reviewed a whole range of products including Rendezvous and EBMS, but in the end we went for Priava because we liked the ease-of-use, it was cloud-based and it was able to automatically raise invoices. The business case for moving was based primarily on the efficiencies it would deliver and also the intelligence it would be able to provide via better reporting moving forward.”
A quick and smooth implementation ready for the start of the venue’s financial year
The system was installed in Feb/March and the six members of the team had a month to play on the system and be trained before it went live on 1st April. “The implementation went smoothly and the training that Priava provided was excellent. We were impressed by the immense knowledge of their staff. I wondered whether it might be a struggle, as some of the team had never used an automated system before, but they all picked it up quickly – it helped that the front-end was quite intuitive and they had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with it beforehand.”
‘Massive’ time-savings, more resources to focus on new bookings & events, faster generation of proposals, in-depth reporting facilities and a happier team
After three months, Lucy relates some of the benefits they have seen to date, “The most dramatic benefit so far is in the massive amount of time saved by our events team. Previously, up to a day a week was spent by our event managers on post-event invoicing and reconciliation. One of the biggest frustrations of the manual approach was ensuring that once all the consumption sheets were back for different events, the team had to match up the costs and final invoice, so it balanced with the accounting system. In some cases tracking back and finding just a £10 or £15 discrepancy between the two could take literally hours of work. Now with Priava, this no longer happens. On average, every week, at least half a day is saved for each individual team member.”
Saved time is re-focused on generating and converting additional bookings
Some of the events team have dual roles covering both the management of the events and responding to new event enquiries. With the time saved in administration, this time can be re-focused on more proactive follow up and conversion of prospects as Lucy explains, “Freeing up time from administrative duties allows the team more time to sell, whether it’s following up on live opportunities or liaising with previous clients for future bookings.” According to Lucy, a significant 59% of the venue’s business comes from repeat business.
Faster proposal generation
A further benefit of the Priava system is helping to facilitate prospective bookings. “Using Priava, we can generate a new proposal within 5 minutes, sometimes even less than that. With many of our potential clients we often need to modify an initial proposal several times in response to the changing requirements of our client. With the new system and the ‘New Opportunity’ tab, it is easy and quick to modify the original, rather than reproduce it again and again, which is what we had to do in the past.” Typically Kings Place prepares around 280-300 proposals every month.
New Business Opportunities –ability to check availability of venues, anytime, anyplace.
Compared with the old system, one of the key differences for generating new business is that the team can check availability of its large range of venues in real-time. Lucy comments, “If we’re doing a tour of our different venues, the team can now simply check availability there and then via their tablet, rather than having to go back to the office. Also when we attend exhibitions, again we can confirm whether a particular room or space is available there and then on the stand.”
Support for flexible working - no downtime during ‘snow days’
Not only can the cloud-based solution from Priava be accessed whilst the events team is on the move, but because it is locationindependent it can also support more wider flexible working if necessary. Lucy says, “Although most of the team are office-based, the system now gives us more options, such as home working for example in the event of ‘snow days’ where staff are unable to get into the office because of severe weather or perhaps transport problems. This effectively means we can re-gain any lost days.”
A happier team
The benefits that Kings Place has achieved through the use of the Priava cloud-based venue management solution so far include:
- ‘Massive’ administrative time-savings for all 6 staff in the events team – up to 1 day per week, over a year equates to potentially 312 days of saved time per year. Additional capacity can be re-focused for maximising revenue opportunities;
- Faster creation and modification of proposals – less than 5 minutes to create and easier to change;
- Happier Team – New system has made their lives easier;
- Invoicing – no need to manually raise invoices post-event;
- Maximise conversion rates for venue bookings – check availability of venues in real-time, away from the office e.g. During ‘Show Rounds’ or whilst at exhibitions;
- Support for flexible/home working in the event of ‘Snow Days’ or other reasons why staff are unable to work in the office;
- liminate human errors caused by manualbased event management;
- Responsive support on any software issues;
- Less Training required due to easy-to-use front-end.
Final comment from Lucy
“As we’ve only been using Priava for a few months it’s difficult to measure the full benefits it will deliver at this stage, as it will take at least 12-18 months before we can tell. However, already it has made a tremendous difference to the team in supporting new opportunities and saved substantial time in post-event invoicing.”
“We are looking forward to the business intelligence information that Priava will provide over time, so we can more accurately measure our performance and continue to improve on every aspect of what we do, from managing events through to increasing new and repeat business over the long-term.”
“The ability to record notes against each event is really helpful, as we have the ability to look back on archived information and see what worked successfully or review anything that needs to be changed in the future.”