Arts Festival banks on all-in-one approach

The Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts is replacing a multitude of databases managed by individual employees with a new CRM system

The Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts is replacing a multitude of databases managed by individual employees with a new customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Since its inception in the 1960s, the festival has been growing and this year it attracted some 10,000 visitors to Adelaide for the 17-day event, generating more than A$15 million (NZ$17.68 million) for the local economy.

Ed Parker, Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts financial controller, says the organisation had developed a diverse revenue base requiring contact management and project-tracking processes. A non-integrated accounting system made it difficult for the festival to reconcile committed versus received money.

In previous years, each database was managed by sales and marketing staff and was not integrated with the organisation’s core financial system.

Now the festival has integrated its Sage CRM system with a Sage ERP accounts management system, to handle its 20,000 sponsors. The system will also manage a long list of supporters and ticket buyers for its biennial programme of 130 performances.

In order to keep its sponsorship pipeline fully fuelled and informed, the festival is in regular contact with up to 300 different companies during the year.

“We needed a single, central database of contacts that could contain a complete history of communications and responses — entered and accessed by anyone across the organisation,” Parker says. There is also a membership database of 1,000 Friends of the Festival.

The system also had to upload data from ticket-buyer partners, to analyse buying trends to more effectively target its marketing efforts.

Down the track, a web interface will be developed allowing customers, supporters and sponsors to log into the system directly and update their own contact details.$15,000 event in the 1960s, the festival has been growing and this year it attracted some 10,000 visitors to Adelaide for the 17-day event, which generated more than A$15 million (NZ$17.68 million) for the local economy.

Ed Parker, Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts financial controller, said the organisation had developed a diverse revenue base requiring contact management and project tracking processes. A non-integrated accounting system made it difficult for the festival to reconcile committed versus received money.

In previous years, each database was managed by sales and marketing staff and was not integrated with the organisation's core financial system.

Now the festival has integrated its Sage CRM system with a Sage ERP accounts management system to handle its 20,000 sponsors. The system will also manage a long list of supporters and ticket buyers for its biennial programme of 130 performances.

In order to keep its sponsorship pipeline fully fuelled and informed, the festival is in regular contact with up to 300 different companies during the year.

"We needed a single, central database of contacts that could contain a complete history of communications and responses — entered and accessed by anyone across the organisation," Parker says, adding that there is also a membership database of 1000 Friends of the Festival.

The system also had to upload data from ticket buyer partners to analyse buying trends to more effectively target its marketing efforts.

Down the track, a web interface will be developed allowing customers, supporters and sponsors to log into the system directly and update their own contact details.

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