The WM Area's first Development Day, held at the Edgbaston Golf Club on Monday 10 June and themed Leading and Managing a Successful Society, was well received by the 31 delegates from fourteen societies in the region.
Following the welcome and opening remarks by event orgainiser, Jen Collins, Howard Franklin, the Shrewsbury Society's President, offered his thoughts on what makes a successful society, focusing on strong chairmanship and committee teamwork, a welcoming atmosphere and diversity of art forms and activities. A newcomer to the Arts Society Birmingham, Tracey Cameron, then followed with her personal experiences on how she came to join the society and all the benefits she'd realized since.
Sub-divided into five groups, each with two supporting committee members or one of the two representatives from Guilford St, the delegates then got down to brainstorming the issues of concern to many societies: recruitment of new members and committee-post holders, participation in societies' activities and how to sell the benefits offered by The Arts Society to others. After-lunch discussions focused on both internal and external communication. These were followed by a useful presentation by Isabel Cooper, the Arts Society PR & Communications Officer, on the range of social media opportunities available for both attracting interest in The Arts Society and reaching a larger 'pool' of potential members.
The day concluded with a short feedback session, with a consensus that the day had been very useful, the format appropriate and that a similar day would be welcome in the not too diastant future. But, as ever, the day had provided another valuable opportunity for the Arts Society West Midlands members to meet and share information and experiences in a convivial atmosphere.
"I hope everyone was pleased with the response from the WM Area Societies, I certainly was," said Jen afterwards. "There were lots of positive comments about the day, the most common being that the delegates enjoyed having the opportunity to socialise and to share good ideas and practice. For me that made it all worthwhile. It was great to have you on board yesterday and I hope that the next Development Day will be as well attended as this one."
Delegates at work
Jen Collins summing up
Carolyn Trevor-Jones (WMA Chairman), Howard Franklin & Jen Collins
Isabel Cooper, Jen Collins & Joe Little (Training Officer)