• Venue and event management in the cloud

Merewether Surfhouse

Merewether Surfhouse upgrades to Priava Cloud eliminating onsite server reducing dependence on external IT support saving 150 hours in one year.


Situated on Merewether Beach within the City of Newcastle in New South Wales, Merewether Surfhouse is a quintessential beachfront venue boasting 270-degree views over the East Coast. Spanning across three levels, Merewether Surfhouse is comprised of a cocktail bar, restaurant, café, pizza shop & a dedicated events space, making it a truly multi-functional and highly sought after venue for all types of events and functions.

Merewether Surfhouse’s column-free event space occupies the entire second level of the venue overlooking Merewether Beach. With capacity for up to 350 guests, the event space caters for a wide range of events including weddings, private bookings and corporate functions – on average the venue hosts approximately 20 events per week. The versatile space can be sectioned off using soundproof mobile walls to cater for more intimate events or to create breakout areas and the extensive private balcony and covered terrace areas allow event planners the flexibility to take advantage of the picturesque location.

Key Challenge – Existing venue and events management system was coming to end of life

When the announcement was made about Priava’s legacy system Events Perfect coming to end of life, the management team at Merewether Surfhouse were initially reluctant to want to move as the existing system was working well for them and they were unsure about the cloud. Office Manager at Merewether Surfhouse, Megan Baird comments on the initial perceptions about the cloud, “We were a little bit tentative with it at first, not knowing what it was all about and how the information was going to be stored. We wanted to know whether our information was going to be safe, because up until that point we had everything saved on a remote server, which was quite contained. Initially the thought of moving to the cloud was more scary than exciting but when looked into it, we realised that it made a lot more sense for our business. Being able to access the system from anywhere, even at home, and the ability to have lots of different people working from the same system at the same time was far more suited to our needs.”

Once the decision to move to the cloud was made, the management team looked into a number of different cloud-based providers and in the end it was decided that Priava was the best fit for their business, not only because of the functionality but also because of their existing relationship with the team. Megan explains, “The advantage of going with Priava was that they already had our information and understood what we needed from a venue management solution. Being able to transfer some of the information that we had in Events Perfect across to Priava was much easier than it would have been if we were starting from scratch with an alternative provider. Furthermore, being able to speak to people that understood our business was a big advantage.”

"We can tailor our own reports to display any information we need. From how many events we have booked, to how many events have been booked by a particular company, to how many confirmed bookings we have managed to convert from enquiries, the reporting capabilities are endless.”

Merewether Surfhouse

Megan Baird

Office Manager

Merewether Surfhouse

The Results – Reduced dependence on IT resources, greater mobility, minimal training, greater efficiencies and intelligent reporting



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

  • Reduced investment in IT capital equipment and cost-savings through diminished
    dependence on IT support
  • Centralised system encourages team collaboration
  • Mobility – Staff can access system away from their desk
  • Intuitive system that is easy to use and train new staff
  • Greater efficiencies and time saved
  • Real-time availability enables staff to identify opportunities for increased venue occupancy
  • Customisable system allows administrators to build catalogue items and packages to ensure all revenue is allocated correctly
  • Easy to create meaningful reports for senior management team
  • Streamlined booking processes by creating templates for contracts, quotations, invoices and more

merewether-surfhouse-cateringFavourite Feature

Aside from all of the functionality in the system, Megan believes that the most impressive feature of the system is the fact that it updates in real-time. She explains, “One thing that we didn’t fully understand until we were up and running was the fact that the system would update instantly. So when something is updated or changed by a particular user, everyone can see it straight away. We were told that this was going to happen during the demonstration and our trial, but we when we actually started using the system we were still so surprised that it was so instantaneous – you don’t even need to log out and log back in which is what we were used to doing with the Events Perfect program. It seems simple, but it makes a big difference.”

On Priava service and support

When asked about her experience with the level of support provided by the team at Priava, Megan concludes, “They have always understood where I’m coming from and what I am trying to achieve. When I need help with something specific like creating invoice an template, it has always been done quickly and the team are always open to considering suggestions for future developments.”

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