Throwing my hat in on the #asae10 conversation

03Sep10

YAPstarsToday watching the #sweetspot something occurred to me…

Can associations be all things to all members?

There were ideas flowing everywhere during the broadcast (and on the blogs for the past week) about how ASAE Annual can improve. My question is, can we as a community do all of them?

This is something that I struggle with with the group that I’m on the Board for (small membership alliance focused on Bmore Theatre). We are delving in and looking at if we have the power to be all things to all people within our community. We’re asking ourselves whether or not we have the manpower, the resources and the support to be there for all of these segments. Tough questions, but necessary questions in a time like this.

Unlike large organizations, we don’t have committees. The Board and Advisory Board are the main stables of volunteers. Part of this lack of volunteerism happens to be we serve a community that is already over committed. Most have day jobs, then decide to take on a show (or in some cases two) so that they can exercise their passion. It doesn’t leave much for the support structure that is our organization. In fact, one of our strengths is that we have many people on the Board who do not actually do theatre in their off time (usually patrons), or are like me and maybe only do a show or two a year.

But we’re really examining what it is we are doing. Which segment of the community can we really serve? What programs need to be cut so that we can truly focus on our constituents? What new items can bring about interest and meet their needs? We’re focusing down, cutting back and moving forward.

The Board gets suggestions from former volunteers, former Board members and other leaders in our community about things we “should” be doing. We love the feedback, but we have also come to a point where we as Board members have to say, “that is a fabulous idea and if you would like to execute, please feel free to take that on with our support.” Most of the time the idea bringer, says “great” and we see nothing of it.

I guess that’s the point of my story. Who is going to execute all of these ideas?

With the exception of the networking, I had a lack-luster #asae10 experience. I felt the backchannel was overcrowded and people were talking at each other most of the time (there were exceptions). The scheduling of sessions was horrendous (my solution would be formal tracks for help with organizing). If I hadn’t had my YAP group and the relationships I built long before I arrived in L.A., I truly would have had an experience not worth the price paid. Luckily my network saved the day (they’re kind of amazing that way).

This is where the beauty of ASAE comes in. They do have committees. They do have a structure to help execute.

I’m not well versed on the goals and work of each committee since I’m not a volunteer for them (another post for another day), but who helps with planning? Are there ideas thrown out that some of the committees are willing to reprioritize their work for the coming year so that the flagship event can be better for all? How will they work on compromising or choosing goals that will serve the common good?

I’d have to say that because part of my experience in L.A. was so fantastic, I see hope for the event. If I didn’t have that, who knows how this post would have turned out…

Advertisements


No Responses Yet to “Throwing my hat in on the #asae10 conversation”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: