Driven Goals


Irish Pubs flow with Life
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Client: Vintners’ Federation of Ireland

Sector: Hospitality


The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) is a national trade association for publicans outside the Greater Dublin Area. With over 5,000 members as of 2023, it lobbies actively on behalf of publican members.

The Federation is organised on a national and county basis to ensure that members have full access and support at all levels for any policy decision, programme or plan which the Federation considers necessary to protect and promote the interests of members.

The VFI works on behalf of its members to promote and protect their interests and give advice to members on relevant issues and topics such as licensing laws, employment legislation and planning matters.

Moving Forward Digitally

The new VFI portal mantra was to:-

  1. Support
  2. Represent
  3. Become strong together

It was important to understand what was required for the members portal success. VFI Membership creates a first port of call for any Licensee in difficulty relating to the trade. The VFI is a source of communication, information and advice on many topics, including Legal Matters, Employment, Taxation, Accounting, Planning, Business, Economic, Revenue and inheritance of the Family Business. The online access allows for quick and easy confidential access in times of urgency.

The online portal wanted members to avail quickly and indiscriminately around sensitive issues within the trade. Contact through the portal was secure, private and direct to source. Many members issues then could be recorded and analysed allowing comprehensive datasets support VFI to make representations on members’ behalf at all levels, including Government, Local Authority and Trade. VFI are there to work for members to promote and protect their interests so informing members quickly through the portal became paramount.

Getting information to hand quickly can be  important for members to take action. Those involved in the Licensed Trade in Ireland are faced with a constant barrage of regulations, restrictions and legislation. It can be daunting to have to face Legislators or Regulators alone. The online portal supports, tracks and documents the necessary details that can be referred to easily when required.

The VFI realised that if it was to continue to maintain its position and continue to be effective in representing and informing its members, the interaction between members and the Federation would need to be modernised.

Communication and contact had traditionally been of a printed hard copy nature and the VFI new that this would have to change with a large and burgeoning membership.

CDG were approached to design and implement a move from a paper process to a modern online platform for the VFI and its members.

The proposed new website platform was to be in two parts:

  • A ‘front end’ – the public face of the VFI in terms of its remit, news and press releases, industry training and registration.
  • A ‘Members Login’ area where publications could subscribe and pay online, access newsletters and other important information and utilise generic signage templates for application at member premises.

An effective solution to a complex problem

The brief therefore was to develop, design and implement a fully functioning web portal that would be truly interactive for members making registration, subscription payment and information flow a simple and seamless process.

Importantly, the new platform would also have to incorporate an email and e-commerce mechanism making the process of subscription and payment easy for both publican and the VFI alike.

CDG began by formulating a strategy to implement engagement and signup that would be properly functional and serve the needs of publicans. There were three phase to this strategy:

Phase 1 – an easy, interactive sign up process.

Phase 2 – a straightforward e-commerce platform for subscription and payment.

Phase 3 – simple access to online events and seminars.

How we got there

CDG designed an effective navigation system that took into account the full scope of the publican’s journey – from initial registration to subscription & payment and interaction with the VFI’s services provided by the Federation. CDG ensured that a positive user experience was delivered by organising subjects and content in a clear, logical way that effectively served that served the needs and interests and members.

To achieve this goal, we developed a bespoke User Management Registration System with tiered levels of access based on the member’s level of subscription.

In addition, we organised the hosting of the new online portal and administer the platform on an ongoing basis. Due to the sensitive and confidential nature of some of the material distributed, CDG ensured that a secure site was implemented with the correct data and GDPR protocols incorporating an automated Cookie system.

What the customer says …

“The VFI were faced with a mammoth task of driving the organisation into the modern era and enabling a successful online transition.

Having listened to us, CDG spent a lot of time researching our organisation in terms of what we do but also and importantly, what are members needed and how this could be achieved in a way that worked best for everybody.

We are very happy with their solutions and their ability to deal with a complex project that went on for several years from start to finish and continues to improve yearly with continuous updates.”

Services Provided

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New Users
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Increase in Sales

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