Adelaide Arts Festival Success Story

Sage gives arts festival the personal touch

Sage Accpac CRM is helping the Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts to save time, reduce costly direct mail returns, and help to maximise sponsorship and sales.

The Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts in South Australia is installing Sage Accpac CRM software to help it coordinate its marketing and sales approach to some 20,000 sponsors, supporters and ticket buyers. The Festival is an intense biennial programme of 130 performances by 1,200 artists, and other year-round programmes for sponsors and ‘Friends of the Festival’.

The challenge

Previously, the organisation has been managed with multiple discrete databases - each managed and updated by individual sales and marketing employees, and none of them integrated with the organisation’s core financial system.

The Festival now plans to integrate a 10-user Sage Accpac CRM system into its Sage Accpac ERP accounts management system in order to streamline its sales and marketing activities. “We’ve grown into a sophisticated and diverse revenue organisation and we needed our contact management and marketing project tracking processes to be as innovative as our Arts programme,” says Ed Parker, financial controller of the Festival.

The key issues revolved around potential costly wastage of marketing materials, and the potential ineffective targeting of marketing campaigns. “A number of our contacts were listed separately as sponsors, ticket buyers and Friends of the Festival, and subsequently received multiples of direct mail items.

The concern was that this could, over time, irritate and alienate our supporters. Worse, there was the potential that sponsorship leads weren’t always followed up as effectively as they might, which isn’t ideal when you’re the type of organisation that’s heavily dependent on sponsors,” explains Parker.

“Other people on our systems have outdated contact details and miss out altogether. We get a significant number of returns, which is an expensive waste. Besides, we also run the risk of sending literature to a deceased person which is disturbing and embarrassing for all concerned.” Further, the lack of integration with the organisation’s accounting system - Sage Accpac ERP – meant that it has been difficult for the Festival to reconcile committed versus received money, which is critical in managing such a major project.

The solution

The Festival recruited business systems integrator, C.P. Moore, to provide a solution which would meet three main requirements. In order to keep its sponsorship pipeline fully fuelled, the Festival has a programme of communication with 200-300 different companies during a year. It 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 to enable a coordinated approach.

The system also needed to integrate to the financial system so that sponsorship commitments could be tracked. Second, the organisation wanted a solution to help it manage its database of Friends of the Festival – some 1,000 members requiring regular communications regarding Festival news, Friends activities, Arts performances and preferential offers. “Our growth and success is not possible without the loyal commitment of the Festival’s corporate partners, donors and volunteers who contribute some A$2.5million in cash and contra each Festival,” says Parker. “It is vital, then, that we are able to coordinate a relevant and personal programme of contact and special events and offers for these valuable contacts.”

Third, the organisation needed a system that would enable it to easily and reliably upload thousands of lines of data from its ticket buyer partners, Bass and Venue Tix. By being able to analyse where Festival attendees hail from, what events interest them, how many tickets they purchased and for which price, the Festival can determine both what the public wants from the Festival, and how to more efficiently and effectively target its marketing efforts.

Parker says the Festival decided to integrate a Sage Accpac CRM solution with its Sage Accpac ERP system because it represented a very powerful system for its price and offered broad functionality, scalability, flexible reporting and ease of customisation. Most beneficially, the system will provide a central database that will ultimately coordinate all sales and marketing contact, and related financial data. “It’ll save us all a lot of time,” says Parker.

“It should not only reduce costly direct mail returns, but enable more effective, appropriate and targeting of contacts to maximise sponsorship, support and sales.” Sage is further enhancing the system to enable the organisation to import large amounts of complex data from a spreadsheet rather than input each line separately. In time,

Parker says he expects the Sage Accpac system will become part of the Festival’s culture: “an integral part of the way we do things around here.” In Phase 2, already being planned, the Sage Accpac system will be given a web interface to allow customers, supporters and sponsors to log into the Festival’s system directly, and update their own contact details. Further enhancements are planned to allow better integration with the Festival’s email system, better import routines and provide a more powerful ability to sort, search and update the data.

Sage CRM

» view allLatest News
Contact Us
South Australia:
(08) 8333 2888
Western Australia:
(08) 9340 9100