The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination with a missionary presence in over 215 countries. Its South Pacific Division is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, and other islands throughout the South Pacific, and has nearly 37 million people in its community. They have been using Convene since August 2016.
Danijela Schubert, the Associate Division Secretary of SDAC-SPD, shares how their meeting process has improved now that they use Convene.
Seventh-day Adventist Church – South Pacific Division (SDACSPD) saw the need for board portal software due to the excessive amount of time, money, and effort spent on their meetings. After enquiring with a total of three providers, SDAC-SPD ultimately chose Convene for its heightened security, seamless transition process, and the convenience its intuitive features brought to both meeting administrators and participants.
Convenient and Efficient Paperless Meetings
Danijela shares how all meeting preparations were done manually before they started using Convene. “We used to print the materials and hand them out to the participants at the start of each meeting. When board packs reached as much as three-hundred pages, it would take us the whole weekend photocopying and preparing everything. Now, thanks to Convene, none of that is necessary.”
It’s not only meeting administrators who have felt the benefits since shifting to digital. Now that board packs are distributed and updated with last minute revisions automatically, participants are able to prepare for their meetings more efficiently. “We wanted our participants to be able to access materials ahead of time so they can be prepared for the meeting.”
Convene has also changed their post-meeting process. They no longer have to shred documents that need to be tossed out, thus saving time, effort, and paper. “We wanted to save paper and, in turn, trees. We wanted to be environmentally friendly. And considering the time and effort that it took to prepare for our numerous meetings – we wanted our secretaries to have time for more important things rather than spending weekends preparing documents. It’s just much much more convenient this way.”
Seamless and Secure Transition from Paper-Based to Digital
Whilst canvassing for board portals that suited their organisation, SDAC-SPD also looked into other solutions such as Diligent and BoardPad. “We requested the demo and then had a trial with Convene. We were just very happy with it so we went ahead and chose to implement Convene. Convene is also more user-friendly and cost-efficient than the others that we tested.”
Aside from cost and convenience, Danijela said that SDAC-SPD chose Convene because of its security and self-hosting features. “We wanted to make sure that our information would be secure and self-hosted, and Convene was able to provide that.”
From there, SDAC-SPD was able to make a seamless switch from completely manual preparations and paper-based meetings to being fully digital with Convene. Now, they have more than 500 users using the software in their educational institutions, hospitals, and food and wellness organisations across 12 countries.
As for the implementation, she described the process to be “very smooth and there was ample training provided by Convene. Whenever we requested further training, the Convene team was easy to contact and sessions were scheduled immediately.”
Overall, she commented that introducing Convene in 2016 had helped SDAC-SPD to operate more smoothly. “Convene as a whole is very convenient to use. It’s easy to change items, roll over agendas and actions, and even write annotations on documents. Making annotations directly on the files especially helps us during meetings as we can write notes while reviewing the board pack beforehand, and just refer to them during the actual meetings. It’s very handy as we know exactly what question or point we wanted to raise. What’s great about Convene is that it is able to support all of these functions even offline without compromising confidentiality and security.”
Interview with Danijela Schubert, Associate Division Secretary