This case study interview with UK’s Royal Yachting Association was conducted by Conference News (September 2019 issue, page 45).
It’s not often an event technology company gives the trade press the chance to quiz its clients on how they view the product. However, exclusively for this issue of CN, we speak to Tracey Knubley, senior administrator and PA to the director of training and qualifications, Royal Yachting Association, on how event tech EventsAIR has transformed the way they run events. From delegate registration to capturing special requirements, Knubley explains how the software has improved her day-to-day event management.
We run a variety of different conferences, small and reasonably large. We run our instructor courses, CPD sessions and racing events. We have a hotel too, which we’re looking to bring online.
Initially we didn’t have a booking facility. The RYA is a diverse company and each department has its own needs, so historically there wasn’t a technology system available that fitted all the requirements. We didn’t have a facility whereby you could book and pay online, we were using spreadsheets to manage booking information. When GDPR came into law it was clear we needed a proper system which was more robust in protecting the data. Before, the risk of losing booking data was enormous, whereas now we don’t have those issues.
Primarily we use it as a booking system, allowing delegates to register for one of our events. We take all their preferences and dietary requirements and are able to ask for extra details relating to what they’re signing up for. It also checks that they have the necessary qualifications if they’re signing up to one of the courses. A good example is that we run a sailing event for those with disability. Participants obviously have requirements, so the system allows us to harness this and ensure all needs are met. Through the app we have a much better interaction between the delegates and organisers prior, during and post-event.
EventsAIR has reduced our admin time considerably. Once it was set up and we’d been shown how to use it, it was running the event for us. It’s improved our customer service and improved our accounting. Before, when we were paper-based, there may have been instances where we missed payment collection. The capacity to report accurately has improved that side immeasurably. The mobile app has been one of the biggest improvements. We’re able to update delegates if a session has changed for example. The sponsors like it too as it gives them further opportunity for exposure.
One of recent events we have run is the Sailability Multi Class Regatta. This event saw 130 attendees with a variety of different needs and disabilities. As it was multiclass, it meant there could be one person on a racing boat, or up to five on a boat. How we captured who was sailing with whom was a major challenge, and where they needed to be at what time. In addition, they were invited to a gala dinner where they could invite guests, who in turn could participate in other activities. It was complex, but EventsAIR did make it so much easier. Date capture was a real plus point. It eliminated the risk of human error entirely. On top of that, we used the mobile app to publish race results, which was a well-received feature.