Gray’s Inn launches a centralised, cloud-based events management solution

The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn was founded over 600 years ago and, as one of the four Inns of Court, it has a rich and colourful history in maintaining the independence, quality and integrity of the Bar and the Judiciary. Today, Gray’s Inn offers the finest facilities and most impressive corporate conference and private function services in a magnificent and welcoming setting.

Key Challenge – Moving from paper-based event management to improve efficiency and reporting

Sales and Marketing Manager at Gray’s Inn, Catherine Ortmayer said: “In the past we were using a colour-coded paper-based system combined with applications such as Word, Outlook and Excel. “Although this worked, it was far from super-efficient and involved a high duplication of effort and time-consuming activities such as inputting of data into different systems.

“We also wanted to create more in-depth management reports that would help us better understand areas such as occupancy and conversion rates, which in turn would contribute to a more strategic plan for marketing in the future.”

Comparing options

The events team in conjunction with the IT manager reviewed more than six products from different vendors, two of which were cloud-based.

“We could see the clear advantages of a cloud solution in that it would require no capital investment in terms of servers or in-house IT maintenance,” said Catherine.

“As a former user of Events Perfect in the past, I was familiar and comfortable with Priava as a company, but in particular it was the ease of use of the system convinced us that they would be the best choice.”

As The Inn has its annual shut-down in August, it made sense to move all the events records to the new system during this period, before their busy ‘events’ period began again in September. Within a month, the Priava team set up all the back-end data necessary, all the team were trained and the system then went live.


The Results – “A significant difference”

“Already we are seeing a significant difference compared with what we had before. With the old system, every booking was a laborious and long-winded process that entailed entering, recording and juggling information between both paper records and various applications,” said Catherine.

“With Priava, a new enquiry is created immediately within a centralised system. If we need to hold and then confirm a space this just takes a few clicks, whereas before we had to re-type details.

“We can also now ensure there are no double bookings and no longer need to rely on manual checks and observation. With Priava, everyone that needs it has access to the system and the data is always live and up to date.

“As well as the events sales team, the Inn also provides access to the other personnel from the Chief Executive through to the Chefs, Porters and Housekeeping, so they can keep abreast of all events and their specific responsibilities. Other Inn departments also have access to check the events diary.

“Generating quotes is also easier, if we were organising a canapé reception using our old system we would have to manually type in all the menus, wines and prices every time, now we simply use the templates that already there in the system.”

Optimising and converting opportunities into bookings

“We can regularly update the team members with current opportunities so these are followed up promptly, leading to higher conversion rates,” said Catherine.

“At the same time, through reporting, we can analyse what advertising campaigns have been successful due to the volume and type of spaces being booked.

“The additional management information really helps us to make more informed decisions about how we plan our future marketing strategy. It’s also far easier to simply run off reports for the management team on specific criteria such as the split between Internal/External events for the whole year.

“The main benefits of the new system are productivity, efficiency and accessibility of information. The longer we use the system, the more efficient we become.”