When the fourth act of La Bohème fades and the audience rises to give their ovations to Puccini’s classical opera, it’s not just a musical masterpiece they applaud. It is also a masterpiece in planning, logistics and collaboration. A well-functioning machine is required. At GöteborgsOperan, the beautiful opera house on the west coast of Sweden, Sirvoy’s booking system is one of many gears in such a well-oiled machine. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Opera houses are just one of the countless businesses where a well-thought-out booking system can prove to be a perfect solution. Join us as we meet Kristoffer Pålman. After 22 years of working behind the scenes, he knows the nuts and bolts of how it operates. We asked him how Sirvoy has played a key role in his work.
First of all, tell us what it’s like to work in an opera house?
It’s certainly an interesting workplace with a very large variety of tasks that require creative thinking around the clock. You meet a lot of interesting people that aren’t afraid to speak their mind. Most of all we have a lot of fun. That’s why I’m still here after more than twenty years. The past year, though, has been very different because of the pandemic. We hope and plan that autumn 2021 will be a turning point.
There is so much going on in an opera house. How does Sirvoy fit into the picture?
We have access to about 40 apartments around the city that are needed to accommodate our visiting teams, directors, choreographers, set designers, dancers, singers, etc. Many arrive well in advance and travel on before the premiere, others arrive later. Some bring along their whole family. It can be very tricky to meet everyone’s needs and wishes but we want everyone to feel welcome. Sirvoy is my tool to help make this work.
How did it all start?
Ten years ago I became responsible for the apartments. At that time bookings were handled with pen, paper and eraser. I knew right away that it wouldn’t work for me. I started searching for web-based booking systems and found Sirvoy. It seemed to fit our needs, so I signed up for a free trial.
Was it easy to get started?
Yes, absolutely. Sirvoy is self-explanatory and the chat function is really good, you get help immediately. But of course, our business is a bit special. I use the system in an unusual way and understand that not everything can be solved right away.
“Sirvoy is a tool that can be used for a number of different businesses.”
Which parts of the system do you like the most?
I use Calendar View a lot. It gives me a good overview of what’s happening. I often need to change and move bookings. Since I always enter the project name in the booking, the search function is superb. When, for example, I search for a specific project or date I immediately get all the information needed. I can then send it as a report to the project manager, or I might want to double-check some dates. It’s all very quick and easy which I think is pretty awesome!
I also like the features to add more Sirvoy users and the ability to set restrictions. The reception at the opera has access to the system for handling keys, but then I can give them limited access so I don’t have to be afraid that they will accidentally delete something in the system. Also, the cleaning department has a login so they can see when the apartments need to be cleaned and they only see what they need to, so there’s no confusion. I really like the system and can see that everything is well thought out to be flexible. Sirvoy is definitely a tool that can be used for a number of different businesses.
Kristoffer returns to work and I leave the opera house. The sun and a warm wind welcome me, spring is in the air. Maybe one day you will have the opportunity to visit Gothenburg and its beautiful opera house located right by the water, where the river meets the sea. When you sit down and the murmur falls silent before the performance, perhaps give some thought to all the hard work that takes place behind the scenes, everything working together, to provide you with an unforgettable experience.