Since its inception in 1871, Winchester Guildhall has been home to the Council’s law courts, museum, library and police station. In 1985 the Guildhall underwent an extensive refurbishment that combined the old with the new, and a modern conference venue was created within the historic building.

The facilities are extensive; the King Alfred Hall is one of the largest function rooms in Hampshire and can seat up to 620 people. In keeping with its new look, the Guildhall is now home to the most advanced booking system available – Rendezvous, the browser-based meeting room, conference and catering management solution from NFS Hospitality.

The Council was using a Maestro package but did not find it sufficiently user-friendly or flexible when changing bookings. So the search was on for a new booking system, and Rendezvous was selected.

Since its implementation in 2005, Winchester staff have found it intuitive and very easy to use. As usual with this solution, the installation went smoothly and there were no problems in transferring the data of more than 1,500 active clients. Winchester had high praise for NFS support during the implementation.

“Rendezvous’ benefits have been significant,” says Brian Capeling, Winchester’s Finance & Administration Officer. “The ease of use of the software, particularly diary management, makes it easy for a new staff member to be trained, and it provides information on availability for new enquiries.”

Brian also likes the reporting flexibility offered through the system. For example, the new Query Tool is very useful in terms of data extraction.

As a Rendezvous user, Brian sees understanding of the various set-up aspects of the software as key to success. “We had a detailed implementation plan involving our team and the NFS trainer, and this worked well for us,” he says.

Going forward, Brian expects to expand his marketing efforts with Rendezvous. “We are now beginning to use Rendezvous for marketing purposes and this will be valuable leading up to key events like Christmas,” he concludes.

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