Adelaide's Arts Festival buzzes with CRM

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

Since its inception as a $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 $15 million for the local economy.

Ed Parker, Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts financial controller, said the organization 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 organization's core financial system.

Now the festival has integrated its Sage Accpac CRM system with a Sage Accpac 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 program 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 organization," Parker said, 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 analyze 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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