Solutions

Austin Convention Center

"FileMaker Go for iPad lets staff stay on the show floor helping exhibitors, versus running back and forth to our service desk to grab work orders or change requests…"

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High-tech convention centre spanning six city blocks eliminates paper-based work orders, gets 200 percent ROI with FileMaker Go for iPad

Austin Convention Center, the home of the South by Southwest Festival, responds to customer needs more quickly and reduces costs by automating work orders

Overview

  • Large convention centre needs to automate work orders and change orders to meet exhibitor needs more expediently

Industry

  • Events

Solutions

  • Created a FileMaker work order and validation database accessible on iPad for show floor logistics

Benefits

  • ROI in four months or less Greater productivity,
with hours saved each day Easy to deploy Reduced costs and paperwork
Untitled Document
Austin Convention Center 1
Joe Gonzalez IT Services Manager

Gonzalez explains that maintenance and IT teams are traditionally resistant to change, but Austin Convention Center staffers have responded well to FileMaker Go for iPad. All of them can access work and change orders as well as booth diagrams wherever they are in the facility - avoiding unnecessary footwork. Validation teams then use FileMaker Go on the show floor to ensure that work has been completed to specifications. The database also gives managers visibility into the full event schedule and work order pipeline, which makes planning and staffing smoother and easier.

With FileMaker Go for iPad, the project payback is less than four months with an annual ROI of 200 percent or more. 
Any CFO would love that.

— Joe Gonzalez, IT Services Manager, 
Austin Convention Center

Eliminating paper and legwork

When Gonzalez joined the Austin Convention Center, work orders were based solely on faxes and paper. Exhibitors came to a service desk or caught someone on the show floor and ordered the requirements for their booths – electricity, power strips, Internet services, water and drainage – on paper. The orders were keyed into the system, printed out and placed in a binder with diagrams and other paperwork to start deployment or fulfill changes.

"Saying this is a big building is an understatement," says Gonzalez. "Staff were constantly on the go from one end of the facility to another to meet exhibitors' requests. It wasn't the most efficient way to help exhibitors get their booths or meeting rooms ready. Sometimes move-ins can happen in as little as four hours."

Austin Convention Center 3
FileMaker Go for iPad has virtually eliminated paperwork for Austin Convention Center staff.

The short route to ROI

When Gonzalez and Jeff Moore, Database Administrator at the Austin Convention Center, saw another tradeshow solution based on FileMaker Go that listed event sessions on iPhone and iPad, they made the connection that the same mobile technologies could be used to view work orders and digital diagrams for events.

It took only a couple of days to leverage the convention center's existing FileMaker Pro database billing system, altering it to get a new work order system on FileMaker Go for iPad up and running quickly. The new solution is synchronised with the billing system, so there's less manual entry when invoicing exhibitors.

Gonzalez says the FileMaker Go solution began delivering returns right away. "About 10 percent of all orders take place on the show floor, and we estimate saving $12,000 annually because we don't have to travel back to the service desk to fulfill them," says Gonzalez. "We also save about five hours per event by having booth diagrams right on hand. That translates to another $10,000 in annual savings, conservatively."

Gonzales says up-front costs for the iPad systems and FileMaker Go were about $5,500. "With FileMaker Go for iPad, the project payback is less than four months with an annual ROI of 200 percent or more," he says. "Any CFO would love that."

Austin Convention Center 4
Convention centre staff have embraced FileMaker Go for iPad; it lets them deliver improved customer service.

Ready-made for teams on the go

Gonzalez explains that maintenance and IT teams are traditionally resistant to change, but Austin Convention Center staffers have responded well to FileMaker Go for iPad. All of them can access work and change orders as well as booth diagrams wherever they are in the facility – avoiding unnecessary footwork. Validation teams then use FileMaker Go on the show floor to ensure that work has been completed to specifications. The database also gives managers visibility into the full event schedule and work order pipeline, which makes planning and staffing smoother and easier.

For Austin Convention Center

Joe Gonzalez
IT Services Manager City of Austin Convention Center Department
512-404-4056
joe.gonzalez@ci.austin.tx.us
www.austinconventioncenter.com

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

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