English Heritage, Kate Movor

Convene Customer Success

English Heritage

We spoke to Kathryn Lanning, English Heritage’s Governance Officer to find out how Convene understood their requirements and provided the solutions to meet them.

Picture: Kate Movar, CEO  

English Heritage is a stalwart of British tradition and historical custodian of over 400 of England’s most beautiful buildings and monuments. They implemented Convene to provide a range of solutions that were needed to address their key requirements: Inspiration, Conservation, Involvement, and Financial Stability.

We began the search for a board solution for two key reasons. One of our trustees was a keen promoter of a paperless model for our institution. He sits on a number of Boards and has experience of several different Board solution providers.   

When our sister organisation divided, we moved to a smaller office with reduced admin facilities. This meant that all photocopying needed to be outsourced. When the costs for staff time, postage, and the paper itself were added up, they were phenomenally expensive. 

A Modernised Meeting Process

We are known for our extensive reading material and our Board pack alone is made up of 150 pages! We streamlined this by adding information reports and appendices separately to the main agenda. All the key information remains within the main agenda pack, but with Convene, we now have increased ease of access to all levels, making a specific piece of information easy to locate if needed.  With Convene, we no longer compromise valued meeting time by chasing any late submissions. Papers can still be submitted late, simply by dropping them into an electronic meeting pack. 

Difficult decisions as to whether to delay entire meeting packs if papers are submitted late are now a thing of the past. We no longer have to bring spare copies of papers for attendees arriving without them.  With Convene, we publish the main bulk of the meeting pack and drip feed any follow-up papers if needed.  Convene allows for full visibility of the audit trail which makes it possible for meeting organisers to notify anyone of any late papers. This means we can now attend meetings knowing that everyone will have downloaded the material.

Convene. The Solution For The Top Tier

Convene is used by our Board of trustees, and our top-level leadership team.

One of our directors uses Convene for her own Management meetings, and another uses it not only for meetings but also as a personal resource. His PA has a license and can download any documents as required.

We were interested in Convene and all it could offer us from the outset.  Our user response has been overwhelmingly positive, even from our most traditional, non-technical members. Any initial hesitation evaporated thanks to the start to finish line provided by our Account Manager Gemma Walford.  Convene is such an intuitive and user-friendly system, and very importantly, easy to understand.  It has really increased our creative thinking space.

Convene. Head And Shoulders Above The Competition

We consulted several providers, and four were invited in for product demonstrations. Diligent was one of the providers we considered. Convene came up trumps in terms of its solution offering, plus there was the immediate advantage of it being considerably less expensive.

Making Its Mark On Our History.  The Convene Features That Give Us The Edge

It’s easy it is to complete agendas and to make any short notice changes to the order of meeting items. The Document Library is great for a Board of Trustees and for when we hold our two main committee meetings. All our governance documents, terms of reference, and meeting minutes are available for them to look at.

Any Advice To Any Other Organisation Thinking Of Going Paperless?

“….and in with the new…”  Convene delivers increased efficiency and lowers our costs

Whenever we hear from anyone considering a move to paperless meetings, Convene is always our instant recommendation. There are other products out there however Convene is a standout product. Both in terms of what it can offer features-wise and its cost-effectiveness.  Especially when compared to competing products we have experienced. 

Other notable governance group members including the National Archives and the Science Museum use Convene. Our sister organisation Historic England is on the point of using Convene, and two of their Board members sit on our Board of trustees.

As far as our overall experience with Convene is concerned, we could not be happier. We have received a high standard of Account Management from Gemma Walford, who liaised with our trustees, tailoring her approach in line with our needs, all the while providing support if we needed it.

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