Bristol Beacon is a music charity, venue and music education hub which delivers a city-wide programme of live music, creative learning opportunities and community engagement, helping anyone to make space for music every day. At the time of this project, Bristol Beacon was undergoing significant transformation, but by promoting their own events at over 35 venues across Bristol and Bath, they were able to maintain both an artistic programme and an extensive creative learning programme.
Built and opened in the 1867, Bristol Beacon has been at the heart of Bristol’s cultural life for over 150 years. Located in the centre of Bristol, Bristol Beacon is a contemporary and versatile venue that can adapt to host the best large-scale contemporary and orchestral music, festivals and family shows, but also conferences, exhibitions, meeting spaces, weddings and filming.
Since 2011, Bristol Beacon has been managed by Bristol Music Trust with the purpose of supporting music and music education across the region. In 2009, phase one of its transformation was completed with the opening of a new foyer. In 2018 BMT embarked on phase two of its transformation which will see Bristol Beacon’s spaces sympathetically restored and reimagined for future generations. Bristol Beacon is due to reopen in Autumn 2023 and expects to increase overall activity from delivering a programme of 600 events a year when the auditoria closed to delivering 800 events per year on reopening.
Artifax has a 15 year long relationship with Bristol Beacon who first signed up to use the hosted platform ArtifaxEventClassic, later migrating that data to the cloud-based solution, ArtifaxEvent. Following a review of business processes, Artifax was chosen as trusted arts and cultural sector consultants, to support the team with redefining Bristol Beacon’s operating procedure and implementing its Event Management solution to support the growth in the business and effective delivery of that procedure.
Artifax met with a range of departmental teams at Bristol Beacon to explore their current processes and site configuration, leading to a recommendation to reimagine both, in line with the modern business they were seeking to become. Together they explored the desired flow of information on an event journey from initial enquiry through to delivery and beyond, exploring the what, when and who of required information and the appropriate communication channels for sharing that information including to do lists, emails and scheduled reports.
Bespoke reports including external information gathering booking forms, quotes and contracts, and internal documentation for operational delivery and evaluation ensure that information can be formatted in a user-friendly manner according to different team requirements. Standard analytical reports have been created which will facilitate easy access to data from the site for interrogation and the creation of dashboards, all contributing to Bristol Beacon having a 360 degree understanding of their organisation from one central source.
With the site configuration finalised, Artifax embarked upon critical business data migration, to save hours of data entry and the ensure confidence that accurate data was available from go-live. Bristol Beacon chose to train all staff in using the solution on a read-only basis and a core group of operational staff trained to use the solution operationally. The system is filled with accurate information, processes are in place to communicate relevant information to the correct people at appropriate times, and it is all framed in a way that enables them to effectively report on their whole organisation activity.
The iconic city centre venue, Bristol Beacon, closed its doors in 2018 to embark on the largest capital transformation project the South-West has seen to date. Whilst committed to continuing their community programme and live music promotion within the region, Bristol Beacon recognised a need to review how they operated in order to meet the challenges of a significant increase in event numbers on reopening.
Less than 12 months away from reopening, Bristol Beacon now has the tools in place to support their daily operation as the volume of events they deliver will exceed anything in their history. Artifax’s solution is now at the heart of their business, feeding information to all departments and integrated with the box office, financial and staff management applications as required, and enabling the team to effectively deliver an extraordinary programme of events throughout the region.
Bristol Beacon had an existing ArtifaxEvent solution that they had migrated from ArtifaxEventClassic some years previously. Their extensive building transformation project will enable them to deliver significantly more events than they were pre-pandemic, and their previous solution, built for the business they were then, didn’t meet the requirements of the business they were becoming.
Their main objective was to build a system that was fit for purpose for all departments, where all staff would see the benefit of working from a centralised platform. There was also a requirement that information needed to be available in other systems; ticketing, staffing and finance. By centralising the capture of all event information, the venue is able to integrate with additional systems, removing the need for time consuming duplicate data entry with the risk of human error.