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Learn how Ivanhoe Grammar uses TryBooking to build a stronger school community through events.


Background: 3 campuses, over 2,000 students and more than 100 years of education

At Melbourne-based Ivanhoe Grammar School, community building is part of their impressive 100-year plus educational tradition. Building an active school community is a fundamental part of the school's values and mission and something that continues to attract hundreds of families each year to its 3 campuses.

Ivanhoe Grammar School embraces over 2,000 current and over 12,000 past students, parents and friends of the school to develop a wide, yet connected network. Their focus on community is designed to benefit both present and past students, welcome new families and connect old peers.

Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Community Relations and Events Manager Terry Kitchen has been actively involved at the school for 15 years and has played a vital part in building the thriving school environment that exists today. For Terry, events are a major part of her role in growing this community.


Scope of events

With a packed calendar consisting of at least 100 school events each year, Terry was looking for an online system that would help manage it all. She came across TryBooking through EducatePlus, a reputable professional education network in Australia. She noticed that a lot of institutions were using TryBooking and decided to use the system to run Ivanhoe Grammar School’s events.

TryBooking was put to the test with handling a diverse range of activities connecting staff, students, family, alumni and the broader Ivanhoe Grammar School community, including:


Student events: Senior formals, valedictories, performances, student film festivals, music nights and sporting group functions.

Ivanhoe Grammar Plenty Campus Performing Arts Concert, September 2016.

Ivanhoe Grammar Ridgeway Campus Valedictory Dinner, October 2015.


Parent events: Luncheons, Ladies' Association events, mother's and father's day events, year level functions and end of year functions.

Friends of Plenty Campus Spring Luncheon Fundraiser, September 2015.


Fundraising: Balls, mango fundraisers, online donations for school related funds and community fundraisers and overseas trips to support countries in need.

Student Cambodia Service Trip, 2016


Alumni: Reunions and networking events.

Old Ivanhoe Cocktails & Connections, 2017


Events were also diverse in size, varying from small parent dinners of 25 people, to major community events with hundreds of attendees. In 2015 Ivanhoe Grammar used TryBooking to manage their School’s Centenary Ball, which was a sold-out event with 650 guests at the Grand Hyatt.

Ivanhoe Grammar Centenary Ball, August 2015. Attended by past and current parents, alumni, staff and friends. 


The Ball was very meaningful to the school and its community.

“The event celebrated the School’s 100 years of educational excellence, with stakeholders from our whole community in attendance including students, parents, staff, past students and friends of the school. We also had a floor show which featured alumni performers and we farewelled our previous Principal.”

“The Ball was a huge success but we could not have managed it without TryBooking.”

Terry is often juggling numerous stakeholders with each event. “We look at our staff, students, parents and alumni. We work very hard to ensure all constituents are catered for through a range of activities which bring the community together.”

Events are instrumental in building long-lasting ties, welcoming new families and students, keeping in touch with past students and peers and allowing students to be inspired by our alumni's achievements. Most importantly, events (such as fundraisers) contribute to Ivanhoe Grammar School enhancing the students' learning experience.


How online ticketing helped Ivanhoe Grammar School simplify their events

“The whole process used to be very messy before we started using TryBooking. Chasing payments for things was always an unpleasant task. Parents would come into the office with wads of cash and confusing forms. Now, they have a much simpler system to buy tickets in their own time and it’s easier for us to internally track and manage bookings.”

Managing events on TryBooking means parents, students and alumni no longer have to waste their time visiting school reception, paper forms are kept to a minimum and valuable school resources can be better diverted.

The flexibility of the platform also works to support the different setup styles required for each type of event.

For example, formals and valedictories are organised so that students can select their own tables and gather their friends together, which means school staff do not need to manage the tables.

Balls are set up more openly, to encourage a wider community to attend and table selections are coordinated by the organisers after the bookings have closed.

Ivanhoe Grammar used TryBooking to set up an event homepage for their Centenary Ball and sell tickets online.


Staff can also manage donations online (instead of via cash) for various causes around the school, such as a library or scholarship funds.

Taking donations to their School Library Fund online meant that staff didn't have to chase up or process cash donations.


Customer support services and group training sessions

A small number of designated staff at Ivanhoe Grammar School share responsibility when it comes to managing events. It’s not just one person’s role to use TryBooking, but more of a team approach with a combination of basic and advanced users set up for different control levels.

TryBooking’s customer support team provide dedicated support and training for Ivanhoe Grammar School through phone, email and group training sessions.

Because they operate as a team, it’s important for everyone to stay on the same page with TryBooking’s features and use them in a consistent way. To facilitate this, the TryBooking team provide personalised group training sessions to keep new and existing staff updated on changes and how to take full advantage of the system.

The TryBooking team work with schools around Australia every day to provide personalised support to school staff.


For Terry, the sessions are a great fit for the school’s proactive approach to events and help to keep staff communication lines clear and open.

“Staff members are able to quickly understand what’s possible on the platform, and everyone can be on the same page moving forward with setups as staff members come and go.”

TryBooking has also proved useful for parent communication, with tools like Producer’s Access playing a key role in managing events that directly involve parents.

“Producer’s Access has been really helpful for Parent and Friend events. The parents have access to the data without requiring account access, so we don’t need to think about compromising sensitive areas of the account or seeing unauthorised changes to events.”

With the right training provided, TryBooking aims to make sure that every school has the tools needed to set up and run events successfully.


Staff picks: recommended features to simplify school events

TryBooking has something for everyone when it comes to events, and so with staff members using such a diverse range of features, some feedback was gathered from their favourite ones.


Black tickTable event setup

Having students select which table they wish to be seated on saves staff members from a lot of administrative work. As students work everything out as a committee prior to the event, they have already provided each other with clear communication of which table they want to book.

Black tickMove a Booking

This feature allows families to be moved to other sections or sessions without having to provide a refund or asking them to book once more. This is particularly helpful when their family situation changes.

Black tickBasic user access

Setting up select staff members with basic user access means that there is more control over account access, as well as ensuring the integrity and security of the financial data.

Black tickClone events

The clone event feature helps staff standardise the way their events will be set up, ensuring consistency across all campuses, as well as saving them time.


Experience sharing - the experts in schools

TryBooking first started with the aim of solving many of the administration issues faced by schools. Ten years later, with a wealth of experience and information under their belt, the TryBooking support team are still just as passionate about helping schools like Ivanhoe Grammar School with running events and engaging the wider community.

Terry Kitchen and the other staff members at Ivanhoe Grammar School continue to work closely with the TryBooking support team to deliver a wide array of events that engage, inspire and grow their school’s community.

Terry Kitchen
Community Relations Manager
Ivanhoe Grammar School