The MTN South African Music Awards reaches a new summit with Summit Pro from NFS Technology
Summit Pro, a leading events management software solution provided by the NFS Technology Group, is making increasing inroads into the South African business scene as events organisers realise the importance of harnessing software solutions to streamline the overall operation of events.
One of the company's recent successes was at the prestigious 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards, held earlier this year, at Sun City.
According to Michelle Fernandes, event manager of the annual music awards, Summit Pro was used to facilitate and organise all the accommodation requirements for all the guests, including the record companies, the nominees, the sponsors and the production crews.
"This can be a sizeable and time-consuming job - and it has to be done right. There is really no room for error. Things, at events like these, naturally have to run smoothly.
"Summit Pro automates everything and we were able to control every facet of the bookings and overall accommodation with the click of a button. This is ultimately the beauty of this type of software - it literally gives you control at the click of a button," said Fernandes.
She said Summit Pro is also geared to assist with ticket sales. "We handle ticket sales in conjunction with Computicket, but we also manage our own allocation of tickets - and Summit Pro is able to seamlessly put all of this together so that you have a one-button, bird's eye view of all the collated data. This type of detail is hard to manage manually - it would just open one up to too many mistakes. And just one mistake can turn into a nightmare at an event of this nature."
Fernandes said Summit Pro is essentially an "information hub" and eliminates the need to put all the information onto an Excel spreadsheet.
"With this type of manual input, there would definitely be errors."
Fernandes said Summit Pro enables the user to build up information on each person, allowing the collation of a complete profile, right down to being able to send out tailored SMSes to all, or selected, guests.
"All invoicing is also managed via Summit Pro and we are able to get up-to-date reports, at various drill-down levels, such as who has paid - and who is still to pay. There is no manual intervention needed: with the click of one button, we are able to see exactly who still owes money."
Fernandes said putting together an event like the annual MTN South African Music Awards would be a nightmare without an efficient software system. "We have been using Summit Pro for the past five years and, this time, I can safely say that things have gone smoothly."
There were numerous awards at this year's event, with local artists Ray Phiri and Vusi Mahlasela walking away with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards for their invaluable service and contribution to South African music. Johan van der Colff won the MTN SAMA for Best Engineer for Zahara's album, Loliwe, one of the big hits of 2011. Zahara's track, Loliwe, was also named Best-Selling Full Track Download of the Year. House and kwaito producer DJ Cleo walked away with two trophies for his smash hit single, Facebook, winning the category for Best-Selling True-Tone Download of the Year and Best-Selling Ring-Back Tone of the Year - with 252 184 downloads.