A new, tailor-made website system designed specifically for trade associations was launched today (February 20, 2002) with the offer of free trial websites to the first 50 trade associations to apply.
Novacaster, a unique combination of online features, has been designed to meet the needs of a trade association. The team behind Novacaster is the same team who developed the country’s only totally ’virtual’ trade association, the Professional Contractors Group which is also the country’s fastest growing representative body.
To mark the launch of Novacaster, there are 50 free demonstration sites available for the first 50 associations to apply. The sites mirror the running of a trade association so they can be easily integrated into existing trade associations’ practices. They will be tailored to each individual association, training will be available and they will be ‘live’ for a month’s trial with no obligation.
Andy White, managing director of Webtastic Ltd, the developers of Novacaster said: “Novacaster is specifically designed to meet the online requirements of a trade association. The role of any trade association is to ‘connect its community’ in terms of information and representation – the Internet provides the best method for building a community without restrictions of time or place; and Novacaster provides the tools needed for trade associations to make the most of the online world.
“Our experience allows us to provide not only the technological solution to a trade association’s needs, but also our hands-on practical experience of running such organisations means that we can work in partnership with trade associations to grow their membership and enhance the delivery of their services. This system provides ‘best practise’ for trade association so we are offering a ‘try before you buy’ facility to allow trade associations to assess it for themselves without obligations or incurring ‘up-front’ costs.”
Novacaster contains a unique combination of features including:
· Centralised management of content and access;
· The ability to interact with members and stake-holders at an infinite number of levels;
· Low IT ability required to operate the system;
· Ability to personalise the design and content;
· Integration into email alerts and notices;
· An on-going partnership arrangement with the Novacaster team to ensure the software continues to deliver the highest quality of service.
The principle behind Novacaster is that of a virtual office block. The association specifies the rooms, layout, facilities, who can enter each area and what they can do in there. This allows the flexibility for the associations to manage the information flow, accessibility and content of the site.
Prior to launching Novacaster, there were several "pathfinder partners" who worked with the development team to ensure that Novacaster met the requirements of their sector. One of these early partners was the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, (RINA), an internationally renowned professional institution, whose members are involved at all levels in the design, construction, repair and operation of ships, boats and marine structures.
The chief executive of RINA, Trevor Blakely said: “We chose Novacaster as the 'best practice supplier' because of its experience of building successful associations from scratch. Thanks to Novacaster we can now share information faster; communicate better with our members as groups or individually; and control our news, information and online discussions for easier navigation"
Further information about Novacaster and to apply for a free trial, visit: http://www.novacaster.com/
Notes to Editors:
1. Novacaster was launched by Webtastic at CHASE (charity and associations exhibition) at the Design Centre, London N1 on February 20, 2002.
2. Webtastic was formed in 2000 and is based in Southampton and London. It is responsible for developing the Novacaster code through its technology team which includes leading "open source" programming experts. Webtastic also has a specialist division dealing with marketing and communications; and works in close partnership with trade associations who use the Novacaster system to ensure that they and their members achieve maximum benefit.
Further information contact: Susie Hughes, 020 7462 7955/07703 486276
Issued on behalf of Webtastic, Building 2, Shamrock Quay, William St, Southampton SO14 5QL
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