• Venue and event management in the cloud

Penrith City Council

Penrith City Council manages more than 45,000 venue bookings per annum using Priava’s cloud-based system

Introduction

An hour west of Sydney’s city centre, Penrith is a vibrant Regional City, home to around 200,000 people. In 2012, Penrith City Council introduced a new brand for Penrith, which reinvigorated the city and positioned it as the “New West; a place of new opportunities and untapped potential that is forward thinking, industrious and independent.”

As part of their ongoing commitment to providing readily available services and facilities for their residents, Penrith City Council offers a wide range of neighbourhood centres, community centres and halls together with recreational facilities including multiple sporting fields, two swimming complexes, 45 tennis courts and the St Clair Leisure Centre precinct. These facilities are frequently hired by members of the community for meetings, group activities, cultural gatherings and celebrations.

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

When Penrith City Council learned that their existing on-premise venue and event management system was coming to the end of its life, a system that had been in place since 2003, critical decisions for the future had to be made. Neighbourhood Facilities Officer at Penrith City Council, David Fowler, explains, “The initial news about Events Perfect coming to end of life came as a shock to us as we were not looking to make any changes, however, it provided us with an opportunity to look at what other systems were available and consider what would be the best option for us moving forward.”

According to David, the two major concerns for the council when they were considering new systems were downtime and data. “Time was a primary factor for us and we wanted to be sure that whatever option we chose would not cause any disruptions for our team while the new system was being implemented” says David, “Another thing we were concerned about were the risks associated with moving data over to a new system. In the end, it was decided that the best option was Priava, they understood how we worked. In addition, they provided a clear plan for how they could migrate our existing data over to the new system which gave us peace of mind knowing that there wouldn’t be any issues.”

"You can open multiple tabs and work on multiple things simultaneously. For example, you can run reports, while processing payments in other parts of the system. This means that you can maximise your efficiency and create your own production line of tasks, which is a huge benefit for our staff."

Penrith City Council

David Fowler

Neighbourhood Facilities Officer

Penrith City Council

The Solution – A cloud-based system built by people who know the industry

Following a successful migration of their existing data and two training sessions, Penrith City Council went live with Priava in June 2015. David comments, “It was all done relatively quickly and painlessly. Everyone responded well to the training sessions. The system is so intuitive and the whole process didn’t take long.” He continues, “One day we were using our old system and the next day we were with Priava.”

One of the primary benefits of Priava and the reason that it is so easy-to-use, is that it was built based on the experience that had been gained by providing venue and event management solutions to a wide range of clients across the globe for more than 15 years. This meant that the developers could draw on a wealth of client feedback along with tried and tested processes. One of the biggest improvements was the move from an on-premise solution, to a system based in the cloud. This made the new system much more scalable and futureproof – perfect for a thriving council.

Priava was one of the first cloud-based solutions to be implemented at the council. Following its successful implementation, the council has adopted a number of other cloud-based systems to support various parts of their operations. David explains, “It was a learning curve for us because the organisation hadn’t had much experienced with a cloud-based system before. In the time since implementing Priava however we have seen most of our systems move to the cloud in a really short space of time.” He continues, “Priava was a bit of a testing ground for the cloud.”

The Results

Summary

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

  • Reduced dependence on internal IT resources;
  • Eliminate the need for an onsite server and reduce IT infrastructure costs;
  • Users can multi-task across and work across multiple tabs simultaneously which improves efficiency;
  • Advanced reporting capabilities provide in-depth analysis into business performance;
  • Manage and update repeat and reoccurring bookings with ease;
  • Intuitive system is easy for new staff to pick up and use;
  • One system serves multiple departments across the organisation;
  • Increased efficiency and reduced administration by capturing enquiries online;
  • Potential to integrate with other corporate systems.

Final comment from David

“It’s just so intuitive. You can sit down at it, and without any training you can figure it out.”

 

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