• Venue and event management in the cloud

Central Hall Westminster

Central Hall Westminster upgrades to cloud-based venue management to support 53% growth rate

Introduction

Built in 1912 Central Hall Westminster is the largest central London conference & events centre providing a remarkable range of flexible event spaces. A Grade II listed building; it is located opposite Westminster Abbey and next to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

With its iconic dome and lovely original features Central Hall Westminster boasts an enviable location and an impressive client list including well-known politicians, TV shows, film productions, concerts and exhibitions.

The elegant theatre entrance, marble flooring, spacious foyer areas and Grand Staircase wonderfully complement the 22-room portfolio. All spaces enjoy large windows with natural daylight, high ceilings, blackout facilities, state-of-the-art technology and accessibility for all.

From intimate meeting rooms for five delegates, to 1400m2 of conference and exhibition space for up to 1,000 guests, Central Hall Westminster offers a flexible and diverse portfolio of rooms, including the 2,160-person capacity Great Hall auditorium and Europe’s largest self-supporting domed ceiling, creating a uniquely intimate atmosphere for the perfect event. This unique and historic venue has also been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2014 M & IT Industry Awards for ‘Best UK Conference Centre’.

Key Challenge – Needed a more modern, flexible and centralised venue management system

CHW-left-tilt-imageAs an existing user of the Events Perfect (EP) venue and event management system, Managing Director at Central Hall Westminster, Paul Southern explains why they felt it was time to upgrade, “Over two years ago we realised that the Events Perfect solution would need replacing. As a venue we were experiencing a significant uplift in business that has continued – in our last financial year alone we saw a 53% jump in revenues. At the time, the feedback from staff was that they would prefer to work with a more modern system – it was also difficult to train new members of the team because the EP solution was so convoluted.

From a managerial perspective I was also looking for more comprehensive and meaningful reporting – something that just wasn’t possible with the old solution. It was certainly time for a change, so it was timely when we heard that Priava had developed a new cloud-based venue management solution. We also wanted to have a single system that would ensure that all relevant departments involved in events could have access to the information they needed, rather than each running their own separate systems.”

“The introduction of an API for the Priava system will allow us to integrate more closely with our Sage accounting system and also fully automate on-line bookings or enquiries, so these can go straight on to the system, taking up less of our time.”

Central Hall Westminster

Kim Carrington

IT Manager

Central Hall Westminster

Initial trial gave opportunity to discuss requirements of new solution

IT Manager at Central Hall Westminster, Kim Carrington says, “We started with a trial of the solution with our ‘power users’. This gave us the opportunity to discuss our specific requirements, including the need for certain departments and service partners to have controlled access to information pertinent to them. Within three months, the implementation and training was completed.”

Different departments and/or external partners were given access to the solution including Sales & Marketing, Finance, Service Partners, Porters, Catering, Visitor Services and the Management team.

The Results – Intelligent reporting, greater efficiencies, cost-reduction, mobility, time-savings and improved CRM

Summary

The benefits that Central Hall Westminster has achieved through the use of the Priava cloud-based venue management solution so far include:

  • Cost-savings through greater efficiencies and time saved
  • Easy to create meaningful reports for senior management team
  • Intuitive system that is easy to use and train new staff
  • New, enhanced CRM built in to the Priava solution
  • A single, centralised solution that provides information tailored to particular departments or types of users
  • Customisable system ideal for unique requirements of the venue
  • Flexibility to change the way the operation works and support growth
  • IT department has more time to focus on more valuable activities
  • Reduced investment in IT capital equipment
  • Fulfil green credentials – encourages less paper printing
  • Mobility – staff can access system when out and about or working from home – check data, availability and take bookings, all in real-time

Looking to the Future

Kim Carrington is looking forward to future developments, “The introduction of an API for the Priava system will allow us to integrate more closely with our Sage accounting system and also fully automate on-line bookings or enquiries, so these can go straight on to the system, taking up less of our time.”

Favourite features

Kim Carrington, “The tabs down the side make it easier for you to quickly jump between different screens. We also like the fact that you can tailor views and categories.”

Final Comment

“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.”

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