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TOPIC: Getting new members involved

Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #1

I've been thinking a lot recently about how we get new members involved more effectively in backstage roles once they've joined.

We get quite few people signing up on Wednesday nights who want to do non-acting things, but we don't have an obvious mechanism to link them up with shows that need crew, and I think we're probably losing a lot of new members by not hooking them in right away and getting them involved. I always encourage them to contact directors of shows that interest them to offer their services, and where I can I try to put appropriate people in touch with each other, but I still feel we're not doing all we can.

We no longer ask on the application form what areas of theatre the new member is interested in, as we didn't ever use this info, and I think it was giving a false impression that someone would get in touch to offer appropriate roles. But now I'm wondering if we do need to somehow hold this information so that directors and stage managers have somewhere they can refer to when looking for crew. Perhaps a folder with names, contact details, and interests of recently joined members could be kept in Box Office to be refered to when required? Or is there another, better way to do this?

My inclination to is to keep the solution low tech (most people don't have access to the database, which is where this info was previously held), but we need to bear in mind that we need to be careful with people's contact information.

I'm open to any comments, or suggestions, or just opinions from different angles on this. How do you think we should do this?

Re: Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #2

Maybe a continuing article on the Discussion Board? As at least a start?

 

We can make it stick to the top of the board so that any newbies can see it easily...

 

Then Directors & Stage Managers can contact them via IM or email (if they so wish)...

 

 

C

Re: Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #3

Perhaps one of the interested new members could be asked to be "Resources Officer/Secretary" to liase with directors and new members, I think that's what we used to do.

Last Edit: 4 years, 6 months ago by Brian F.

Re: Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #4

See, I think new members mostly join to do theatrical things - though a few do quickly sign up for FoH and Bar and the like - so I'm really more interested in getting into fun hands-on roles backstage, if that's what they want to do. 

A liason type person between directors and new members would have made more sense back when just one person dealt with Membership. But now that we have the Membership Team sharing Wednesday Open Evening shifts, no one person meets every newcomer, so we still need some sort of way of holding and sharing info on who is interested in doing what.

The more I think about it, the more I think that a simple paper list, alongside Chaz's suggestion of a sticky message board post where both Help Offered and Help Wanted things can be posted, is the way to go...

Re: Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #5

  • jesso
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I did used to use that information to do searches and pass it on to directors or Sm's looking for people to help out, or box office etc.

Sounds like a very good idea Michelle. If any one offers to do box office please pass on my box office email or email me theirs and I will call or email them straight away. Same for wardrobe but with wardrobe email

Jess O
Last Edit: 4 years, 6 months ago by jesso.

Re: Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #6

As a recent new member interested in fun hands-on backstage stuff, I can confirm that Michelle's introducing me to the relevant people and steering me towards relevant plays played a big part in getting me involved rather than drifting off.  While the easy ability to proactively contact directors is great, actually doing so for someone who doesn't know any of the people, or how the whole thing works in practice, is pretty intimidating, especially for us timid non-performy types!

Providing a solid route for this sort of thing to happen sounds like a great idea to me.

Re: Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #7


the Resorses officer was the person who kept the paper list you suggest up to date, from the information that was on the membership forms and also was the person to contact if someone added new interests. I kept the duties of the Membership person down.
 

Post by Clarisinda

A liason type person between directors and new members would have made more sense back when just one person dealt with Membership. But now that we have the Membership Team sharing Wednesday Open Evening shifts, no one person meets every newcomer, so we still need some sort of way of holding and sharing info on who is interested in doing what.

The more I think about it, the more I think that a simple paper list, alongside Chaz's suggestion of a sticky message board post where both Help Offered and Help Wanted things can be posted, is the way to go...

Re: Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #8

I like the idea of a simple system using sticky posts on the discussion board and a paper list in the Membership folder. 

I can appreciate what Brian is saying about keeping the Membership responsibilities down through having a separate person, but personally feel that this benefit would be outweighed by the risk of losing interested people in the handover between two separate roles so would rather keep the piece of paper with Membership for now and see how it goes for a while.

We could also put a sheet up in the bar for current members to express interest in helping out, so that those that have joined in recent months but not yet found a way to get involved can be picked up too.

Re: Getting new members involved 4 years, 6 months ago #9

Ok, we now have a small blue folder which lives in the Membership Box (which itself lives on the shelf just inside the Box Office door) so that on Open Evenings the details of new members interested in backstage work can be recorded.

Any existing member who fancies trying something new can also get themselves added to the list by either speaking to the membership person on duty any Wednesday night, or emailing me with an indication of what they'd like to do, and I'll add them.

Chaz, can you please create a sticky discussion board topic called "Help Offered" for me? It might be useful to also have a "Help Wanted" one so people can see the sort of things that come up.

We'll see how this all goes for a bit, and tweak it if neccessary :-)

Michelle.

Re: Getting new members involved 3 years, 4 months ago #10

Whilst scanning some negatives of a party in the bar (We had one a month in our {SLTC then} 25th Anniversary year) I found that the notice board by the coat hooks used to feature sheets showing "New Members Interests". Separate sheets for Backstage work, Sets, Technical Wardrobe and Front of House.

Another showed one of the 25th Anniversary Tee Shirts, featuring a logo not far removed from the SLT one.

Last Edit: 3 years, 4 months ago by Brian F.

Re: Getting new members involved 3 years, 4 months ago #11

A  who's who poster especially on committees/directing/managing box office etc could really help. A pic and contact details and their membership name on here on a notice board would be great.  I am waiting to hear back from tc about new members night in Sept but we should do it twice yearly I think.

We could also name check new members each month in Backstage saying welcome to them ?  

 
 

Re: Getting new members involved 3 years, 4 months ago #12

We used to name check new members (When the magazine was called SCENE) but it does rely on Membership sending the list in each month.

Re: Getting new members involved 3 years, 4 months ago #13

  • Naomi
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We discussed putting lists of new members in Backstage at the last GC and it met with a resounding 'yes'.  I haven't been around much since then though so it isn't likely to start until the September issue. I'll send Brian a list each month before the deadline. 

Re: Getting new members involved 3 years, 4 months ago #14

  • jesso
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that is very true Brian - I did that when did membership

Jen PV who has taken over from me as box office manager said she felt it was hard to come down to bar to socialise - maybe some of the existing/regular members and bar users could say hi to her if they see her around, or passing through bar to do banking.

She will be coming to first GC soon and hopefully will come to New Member social if and when it happens. I am trying to introduce her to people slowly but surely when I am there with her

please make all members of box office feel part of SLT team, or even think about signing up. Jen is going to do an article for Backstage soon to introduce herself etc.

Jess O

Re: Getting new members involved 3 years, 4 months ago #15

  • jesso
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Clybourne Park needs an ASM I think. Speak to me or Gavin. Jess
Jess O
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