The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was established on 1st January 1997 as the single national governing body for all cricket in England and Wales. It has its headquarters at Lord's Cricket Ground in London, with an office based in Birmingham, Edgbaston, which delivers membership services to coach education and the Association of Cricket Officials.
"We've had something like 32,000 registrations in the last nine months. Probably what we didn't expect would be the best part of 1,800 events in that period of time, the sheer volume of events, it's just been huge — we've had a huge amount of positive feedback from people who you wouldn't expect to be hugely technically focused, that they're sports people, they're sports administrators in the main, and they've said to us how easy the product is to use."
Business Systems Manager, ECB
The team at England and Wales Cricket Board identified internally that throughout their county board network, there were a lot of events that needed managing and there was very little use of technology other than spreadsheets, word documents and other manual processes. With the huge amount of bureaucracy involved in setting up events, their staff were spending an inordinate amount of time managing attendee lists, collecting phone numbers, acquiring email addresses and trying to coordinate the schedules — whether it was for speakers and tutors at the events, or for attendees. ECB recognised that they needed to understand their customers more, and wanted to reduce the huge amount of effort that was going into the administration, and one of their core visions was to have more people playing the game and engaged with the game and learning rather than spending time on costly bureaucracy. And so, after vetting providers, they chose Cvent.
Bert Eaton, Business Systems Manager at the ECB, explains the immediate, big plans they had for Cvent: “We didn't just want a customer-facing online booking and payment solution; we wanted a fully integrated, end-to-end, customer journey. So we onboarded Cvent and our CRM integration all at the same time.” Bert continues, “We have an eLearning platform called Moodle, and we integrated all three of those so that people could book on and pay for their courses locally, anywhere in the UK, and that the processes would automatically flow through from Cvent.” After deciding to make the shift to technology, there was an initial fear that some early adopters would have trouble adjusting to the new processes. Michael Woodhouse, eLearning Support at ECB says, “A lot of our users are non-techie — so, we made a decision in the office to look at Cvent Express, because it met our needs. It's easy: you can drag and drop, you can put the widgets where you want, and we created a few simple templates which we just sat in the library and said ‘right, you can select from these templates’. Because it was so successful, and people could see the instant results, they wanted to create absolutely every event going.” They also received great feedback from the local clubs that used Cvent Express: “We've had a huge amount of positive feedback from people who you wouldn't expect to be hugely technically focused — they're sports people, they're sports administrators in the main — and they've said to us how easy the product is to use”.
It was clear to Bert that they had made the right choice in implementing Cvent when he saw how quickly it was adapted and rolled out across the county boards. “People have told us that the learning curve and the intuitive nature of the product means the learning curve is easy, the intuitive, simple nature of it, leads to a quick adoption.” For ECB, Bert noticed the internal impact immediately. “We've saved perhaps up to three man-years' worth of administration effort simply by people being able to manage attendance registrations and simplify the process of online booking and payment, and just taking away the paperwork associated with managing the event on the night-of. You can log in on your iPhone and see who's attending—and all of the benefits that the platform brings, have been a huge benefit and a huge reduction in bureaucracy, so that's made a lot of people happier around our network and allowed us to focus on what our core activity's really about, which is not paperwork. We want people playing cricket and we want people engaged and excited by the game, and the technology is really helping us to focus on that, our corporate goal.”