The Nottingham Social Activities Group Message Board › Leadership Team Meeting Notes
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For those of you that don’t know me, I am the Organiser of The Nottingham Social Activities Group. The group has had several main Organisers before me; I took over as Organiser in June 2011.
It is my aim to make sure the group remains as free and open as it can, an exciting and fun place for people to make new friends, get involved in things they wouldn’t ordinarily be able too, see parts of the City they may not have known existed, and generally have a great time.
This group is free to all members, and will always remain so. When I became Organiser I began holding regular ‘Leadership Team’ Meetings. The aim of these has been for any member of the group to come along and have a say in how the group is run, and how we can improve the experience for all members. These meetings usually also allow me to gather a ‘Leadership Team’, a number of people who are interested in contributing that bit more to ensure the group continues to run smoothly for all members, and remains open, fair, and above all… FUN
After the most recent of these meetings, it was suggested that the notes from each meeting should be made available for all the members to see, so they will be posted in this thread from now on. If you want to learn more about how the group is run, what decisions have been made and why, then read on!
Team Meeting 1: July 15th 2011
Clashes of events on the Calendar
• Events should not clash, especially similar style events
• List of organisers to be checked to ensure happy to continue
• Duties should be outlined
• Co-Org role to be used to create a ‘Leadership Team’ to run the group democratically and share group work and responsibility
• Assistant Organiser role to be retired as creates to many ‘levels’
Creation of a Separate Derby Group
• Monica starting ‘Derby Sociables’
• ‘Nottingham and Derby Social Activities Group’ to remove ‘Derby’
• Groups should remain linked, in group info plus have joint events
Group Members in General
• Difficult members should not remain in the group
• Encounters with difficult situations are rare but need to be addressed
• We are not a dating group
• Members should be encouraged to have pictures on their profiles (especially Organisers)
• Members inactive on the site for over six months to be removed
• Advert emails should be stopped
• The group should not have active sponsors and should remain independent
• Paid events should not be allowed (such as paid dance classes, or charging to go to a Saturday Social etc.)
• Events that take place in a paid environment or for charity are fine (e.g. a cinema trip or gig)
Code of Conduct
• To be created and discussed, then posted to the discussion board
• Enables us to act quickly on difficult situations by having information clearly posted
• Allows new and existing members to see that they can contact the Leadership Team if they have any issues in the group or at events
New Members Meetups
• Events specifically for new members to help people get into the group without being overwhelmed
• Hope to address high number of group joins that do not make it to events
Team Meeting 2: January 25th 2012
Meetup is an American company, with its own rules and terms of service which we have to operate under. We then have our own Code of Conduct, to help guide our members. We try to have very few rules and be as open as possible, but some are needed.
Recap of Previous Meeting, Further Comments
• Events should not clash, Hosts upset by ‘competition’ for members to attend
• Profile pictures hard to encourage
• No sponsors for group
Graphs (some graphs showing member joins vs. active members shown to demonstrate group rising popularity, but more could be done to encourage members to come to events)
• Can we define what a host should be expected to do, and what they do not have to do
• Hosts should be ‘findable’ at events, open to communication with members
• More info to be placed on site for members to enable them to know what to expect, not demand to much from the hosts
• Creation of ‘Newbie FAQ’ by Dave
Leadership Team Changes
• Asked for extra members to support the role
• Certain behaviour is expected of Leadership Team members
• Role of a Co-Org (Leadership Team member) is to offer advice and opinions, act as moderator for the site, assist in event posting and moderation, guiding how the group is run, ensuring accordance to rules, both Code of Conduct and general Meetup Terms of Service.
• A number of people volunteered for consideration in joining the Leadership Team
New Members and New Member Meetup Controversy
• January’s new members Meetup was well attended by new members, but caused controversy with existing members feeling excluded from an event. Explained that was not the intention, although new members had benefited from the event decided not to run any more
• How can we encourage new members to get more involved in the group? On-going.
• Difficult to encourage members to remain active
Dealing with Difficult Members
• Leadership Team are able to respond to queries from members, and have the power to act. Must ensure fairness is maintained for all members
• Members have been removed for inappropriate behaviour, Posting adverts, and being non responsive to communication and queries. Not many in total, a very slight number in comparison to general group membership numbers. Almost all were non active members using the site remotely
• Code of Conduct has helped. Other local Meetup groups including Derby Sociables and Spanish Language Group have asked to use it in their groups
• Important to be clear that the group is a friendly and welcoming place, effort from the Leadership Team will benefit all members in this way
• All complaints including verbal to be forwarded to whole Leadership Team, and dealt with as email
• Construction of complaints procedure to be considered
• Events should be placed to consider other events e.g. no long walks the day before a big night out
• Wider effects on group to be considered during event placement, hosts should not just put events on when it suits them without consideration for other hosts and members
Photo Management on Site
• There should be photos that show the variety of events we run on the site, not more of one type than another if possible
Team Meeting 3: June 26th 2012
Note: Recap of previous Team Meetings included within main agenda items. Discussion flowed between agenda items; I have tried to put points under the appropriate agenda item where possible.
How Can we continue to empower every member of the group, so that everyone can learn how things work, and contribute? Moving towards a self-running group that doesn’t need ‘leaders’
• More information to be made available to all members, not just attendees of Leadership Team Meetings
• ‘Host Guide’ created by Dave and James to enable new hosts to gain access to information quickly without need for contacting an existing host and arranging time to discuss. Not rules, just a guide (can be seen on ‘pages’ section of site)
• Event schedule to be posted to site for to enable hosts to see which events regularly repeat with a guide to when (can be seen on ‘pages’ section of site)
• Co-Org role on Leadership Team to be more clearly defined
• Creation of ‘admin’ only Co-Org, deals primarily with site admin, emails, moderation.
• Creation of ‘Contact’ Co-Org, deals with difficult situations, membership issues and conflict resolution. Potentially doesn’t need to be a Co-Org to be a group ‘Contact’
• Accountability of all Leadership Team roles must be ensured
• Ensure people remain involved in the running of the group rather than just a few
• Ensure response times are appropriate to avoid people felling ignored. 72 hours suggested
• Leadership Team should be about helping run the group, not about individual power. There is no ‘power’
The Calendar Schedule – How we manage it, why, and how doing so enables more people to host more events – How to get the information out better
• New hosts have faced confusion over existing policies regarding placing events on the calendar
• Hosts should be allowed to place events where they choose, relaxation of rules to protect hosts form competition
• Wider consideration for group to not be considered by Leadership Team, unless queried by a member. Events to be placed at Hosts discretion, hosts encouraged to be considerate of each other.
• Regular repeating events to be more easily identifiable (see created Calendar Schedule note on previous agenda item)
• Calendar Schedule to be posted to ‘pages’ section of website
• Fairness should be ensured for all hosts
• Any potential conflicts between hosts should be resolved by them, not a matter for the leadership Team
Photos on site – What happens to a photo that gets uploaded, who can see it.
• Some photos have been removed at the request of members
• All members should be aware this is a public website, and if they don’t want their photo to appear on the site they can contact the Leadership Team to have it removed
• There should be no quality control for photos on the site
Adverts and the Code of Conduct – What definitions do we use?
• Advert Links on member profiles have been banned since the introduction of the Code of Conduct
• What defines an ‘advert’ can be a grey area, to be continually looked at. Any grey area requires someone to look at each case, could take more time and effort than continuing with a blanket ban on profile links
Confidentiality Vs. Transparency – how do we protect people’s confidentiality whilst also ensuring group matters are conducted in a transparent and accountable manner?
• Confidentiality should be maintained when required
• Difficult to ensure Team members don’t appear to be acting without evidence if members request evidence remains confidential
• Organiser does not have to put up with member insults when acting on confidential information
• On-going subject for future discussion
The role of the leadership team with respect to enforcing the code of conduct and, in particular, "inappropriate behaviour".
• Official complaints are actionable by the Leadership Team. Clarity is needed on what makes a complaint ‘official’.
• The wider group does need to be considered when dealing with a compliant, even if no direct action is taken. More people are needed to ensure fairness and appropriateness of response
• Organiser does not have to take insults from members regarding complaint resolution
• Creation of ‘contact’ team of Co-org/members to deal specifically with complaints and difficult situations should ease burden and enable wider participation
• Communication delays affect ability of whole Leadership Team
• Clarity that official style emails often come from Organiser, but Team involved. Not Organiser acting alone
What should the meetings be called in the future?
• Possible name change from ‘Leadership Team’ to emphasize that it is not a power based team, but an organisational team, and that all member input is welcome. To be decided
• Meetings to be held every three months instead of every six
Edited by James on Jul 18, 2012 4:14 PM
Team Meeting 4: September 18th 2012
Look back at last meeting. All information has been added to the site that was requested following last meeting.
• New Leadership team has been formed: James, Dave, Mat, Amelie, Charlotte (Admin), Julie (Contact), Schuggie (Contact)
• Amendments to be made to site where needed (welcome message)
• Suggestion of separate page highlighting the team be placed on ‘pages’, unclear on whether needed
• Suggestion that I (James) set up an auto email reply for any messages that get sent directly to me, stating that they will be passed to the Leadership Team
New ‘multiple event’ events
Social games designed to bring together some different event types in a new way. Seemed to kick off some good new styles of events, with interest – second pool tournament was well attended.
• Generally agreed that these kind of themed multiple events were a good idea and should continue
• Winter games suggested
The ‘Featured Meetup’ function is rarely used, how can it best be used to benefit the group?
• Suggested that our bigger events are already popular enough to not need the push
• Should highlight newer ideas or smaller events
• Used for important events or one off events such as the Five Year meeting, or these meetings
• Use sparingly
Some generally statistic info for the site was given, August saw 1,323 visits to the site, 17.88% new visits (5,397 in total). 23,929 page views, average 4 pages per view.
The group is approaching 1,000th member, and 900 past Meetups
• Suggestion for celebrating both
• 1,000th member could flux as people join and leave, so could be left until we are over the number to celebrate
• Easier to celebrate the 1,000 event as that number is more fixed
Other Items Raised:
Current Ban on Commercial Adverts
Group Code of Conduct currently prohibits commercial adverts on the site, including in web links on member profiles. Member raised that this ban be dropped allowing adverts on site.
• Adverts are currently banned as everyone that works on the site/hosts events does so as a volunteer and its unfair for others to use that good work to attempt to make money for themselves
• Defining ‘commercial’ can be tricky, and time consuming having to check all links
• Yes/No system better, no grey area, better to have ‘no links at all’
• Ban should stand, increased to ‘no links on profiles’. Majority agreed
• Possibly add to the welcome message
Events in member’s houses – currently banned?
Member raised the status of having events in people’s houses, and that it should be allowed.
• Many reasons why events in member homes should be banned from the group; agreed by vast majority as valid
• Hosting events in houses or private residences is banned
• No need to add to Code of Conduct, as only event hosts need be aware, to be added to host guide for clarity
Frequency of Leadership Team Meetings:
• At previous meeting it was requested that meetings be every 3 months rather than 6
• Less people at this meeting, suggested we schedule next meeting for January, and see how the attendance goes, plus ask again about frequency. Possibly return to every 6 months
Suggestion that breaks are scheduled into the meeting. Noted by Host :)