In 2016 Blenheim Palace one of England’s Treasured Houses, registered as a charity – the Blenheim Palace Heritage foundation – to safeguard the future of the World Heritage Site. As a result, maximising Gift Aid donations has become a priority to fund vital restoration and conservation projects. Having worked alongside Vennersys for many years to provide ticketing solutions, the Palace team turned to the Vennersys development team for a solution.
Thanks to the flexibility of Vennersys software, the development team were able to create an almost bespoke two-step system whereby donations could be converted to Gift Aid once visitors purchase annual passes. Being fully integrated, the Venpos system can process Gift Aid donations electronically making them instantly visible within the internal accounting system. Offering 24 hour, seven-day support was also key for the Palace which operates 364 days a year with busy extremely busy peak periods as Blenheim Palace welcomes around 800,000 visitors a year and processes 160,000 annual passes.
Venpos at Blenheim Palace
David Green, Head of Digital and Data Systems at Blenheim Palace, said: “We are open all year round and have used Vennersys for a long long time.
“The key challenge for us was we became a charity last year and as a result we needed to optimise our Gift Aid donations and for Vennersys to tailor a solution which suited our needs.
“With a bar code at the bottom of the entrance ticket we can track the ticket sale to an annual pass which can be gift aided and the system we have works very well.
“We’re a very busy site so if there are issues at the entrance gates for example, problems can build up very quickly. When we need to come up with a solution having access to both the Vennersys support team and development team is invaluable to us.
“A key part of my role is also measuring how successful we are, so having access to Vennersys data allowed me to create a real-time reporting feature which means I can see by the hour what’s happening round the site. We can see who’s selling annual passes well, who may need more training for example or at a busy peak whether we need to open another gate, so that data service is incredibly valuable to us.
“The Vennersys CRM system then links to our direct mailing software and updates the details there automatically, which is vital as we deliver over a million emails a month and previous to having the system that would have been a manual process.
“Our next step is to upgrade our retail software to run on Vennersys VenposCloud which will be really helpful as all of our data will be stored in one place.
“We would certainly recommend Vennersys to other visitor attractions, and we have welcomed potential Vennersys clients on site here to see how their system works, as there is nothing else in the market place which can do what their software does.”