Carole – Club Development Workshop

Carole -Club Development Workshop

On Monday 15 August I took the long and winding road to Fintry where representatives of 3 clubs were waiting for me – Fintry Amateur Drama, Riverside Drama Club and Thornhill Players.

We had been having conversations for a while about the need to attract new members and audiences – a challenge which I am sure is faced by many SCDA clubs.

Whilst I didn’t think that I had all the answers I was confident that I could help to refine the questions and encourage some joined up thinking to share with each other what already worked and what they could take forward as one group.  As a facilitator in other parts of my working life, I decided to use a model called GROW – this would enable us to look at GOALS (what were the things we would like to look at), REALITY (the current situation), OPTIONS (our ideas to try), WAY FORWARD (agree some actions, who would take them on and importantly when did they think they could make some progress).

After people got themselves into smaller groups with members from each club spread out, everyone started to identify the goals – I am not sure if everyone was as surprised as me at the breadth of things that people raised and I soon realised that it wouldn’t be possible to tackle everything in one hit.  The discussions around new members quickly identified that it was really people in the 20 – 40 age bracket.  People also wanted to talk about the challenges of finding suitable plays and new directors.  There was also quite a high focus on commitment of members and many people strongly felt that they would like to increase the ‘club’ feeling to extend beyond performances.  Marketing including social media reared it’s head as something that many people knew they needed to think about but really didn’t know where to start.

Defining the reality was an opportunity to voice the problems but also allowed us all to see that a lot of things were working really well.  After a tea and coffee break I cracked the whip once more to move people along to the fun part – coming up with ideas on how to tackle the issues.  People could choose which problems they wanted to work on and the ones that were left on the shelf didn’t disappear but it meant that we knew that they were less of a high priority.

I’m not going to paste in all of the fantastic ideas that everyone came up with but I have put everything together and sent that off to the group.  Unfortunately due to time restraints we didn’t get to the very important bit of agreeing who would take things forward with dates pencilled in but nobody could have worked any harder that we did.

I hope to continue to work with the groups to help take things forward and I have added some ideas of my own to the outcomes so I’ll keep you posted on what happens next but it was great to be involved with a group of creative people with lots of experiences that they could bring to the table.  It was also interesting to see how many people who had been involved for many years were able to be so honest themselves about the challenges of trying new things and how important it was to bin the phrase ‘but we’ve always done it that way’.

Did we change the world – probably not.  Did we kick start some new was of thinking – definitely.

Here’s a few pictures of people beavering away.

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