Named after the poet, the Judith Wright Centre in Brisbane is home to a unique blend of cabaret, circus, dance, music and contemporary performance. Located in the heart of Fortitude Valley’s creative precinct, the Centre develops and presents work created by Queensland artists and supports arts organisations including Circa, Expressions Dance Company, Carbon Media and the Institute of Modern Art.
The Centre contains five distinct venues, each of which are available for companies and artists to hire. The spaces comprise a 300 seat theatre known as the Performance Space, an intimate 80 seat Shopfront, music and theatre rehearsal spaces, and a 24 seat board room suitable for meetings. There are also three artist apartments that are regularly booked by artists-in-residence.
These highly flexible venues cater for everything from performances and film screenings, workshops and seminars, through to major product launches, trade shows, arts festivals, awards nights and conferences. The Centre supports its functions with the offer of catering, a full bar licence, and an extensive range of audio-visual equipment for hire.
Ruth Hodgman, Director of the Judith Wright Centre, estimates the spaces are booked 65 to 70 percent of the time. “Our operations span across 50 weeks a year, 7 days a week and up to 15 hours on some days with activities in spaces across all 5 storeys of our building,” she explains.
From the day the Centre opened in 2001 until late 2013, the organisation used Events Perfect, a professional venue management software solution, to keep track of all bookings. The software kept staff informed of room bookings and acted as a central record of requirements for each function. However, over time, Hodgman says, “The software began to show its age. Compared to current offerings, it had become complex to use and clunky.”
Aware that it was time to upgrade, Hodgman’s staff investigated a variety of software solutions. “Our critical requirements were a system with clear charting, so we could have a simplified view of what’s on each week. Data entry of event information needed to be simple and intuitive and good reporting was essential.”