June 17, 2017 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Synopsis
Members in Attendance: Rujeko Dumbutshena, Jacqueline Fallon, Claire Jones, Evelyn Mukwedeya, David Simon, Alex Weeks, Janis Weeks
Members Absent: Chris Halaska, Daniel Lockley, Dana Moffett
Done by email
Update on Software Demo (Alex/Janis)
Last week, the last demo was done with Active Network, only a 2-day trial, most expensive and not quite what we need. The Tech Committee has narrowed down to 2 options with the features that we need, Event Grid and RegPacks. A proposal and price information to follow. Nora has been doing an excellent job running the meetings. They will do another mock up soon.
Discussion on 2017 Priorities and Rough Milestone/Task Calendar (All)
Festival Structure (Jacqueline)
Here are some pros and cons that we looked at:
Pros: Guaranteed money from participants who sign up, streamline registration, logistically simpler, we’ll know how many people we need to break even, more affordable for long term festival goers. Cons: Drive some hangers out, need a solution for registration (not knowing how many people are in workshops, etc.), doesn’t give people variety in registration prices.
Alternative Venues: Schools
Pros: Cheaper than universities, potentially closer to foot traffic and non-Zimfest pedestrians, we would be less involved in housing with no dorms, wouldn’t be beholden to college cafeteria, may have more dancing options in the concert venue, more integrated with local communities. Cons: No on site housing besides camping, transportation, getting to workshops and concerts because the locations may not be right next to each other, alternative facilities, possibly fewer facilities or rooms, may have to supplement, concert venue might be challenging to find that fits our requirements.
Similar to schools, with possible less indoor space.
Move Concerts Into the Town
Pros: More accessible to the people in the town we’re in, our marketplace vendors could also potentially be out in the public, use local food vendors at the park, look into permits. Cons: Potentially a little far from the main Zimfest action.
Festival Structure – Afternoon Concert Discussion
Afternoon concert attendance has to do with the scheduling of the festival, maybe not as many groups performing, so that we don’t take away from the money-generating workshops. Putting a plug in for financial sustainability: a number of folks might not travel to Zimfest if they did not have a spot on the stage. In some cases, for each performer there are about 2-3 non-performers that attend concerts or workshops. We could lose those folks. On the other hand, the most amazing thing about the festival is that you are studying with these amazing teachers. We originally set a precedent that all groups can perform. A compromise is to schedule fewer concerts during the day e.g. no concerts during at least one workshop. We sort of started that with the lunchtime concerts, and have already cut back on the length of time we schedule afternoon concerts. Board likes the idea about encouraging groups to attend workshops, making it subtle. Maybe cut back on 1 or 2 more afternoon groups, while maintaining a good quality of performances on the afternoon stage. Maybe still keep working towards the performance workshop model to provide students with the opportunity to perform with their teachers.
Some think that we would lose a lot of the festival feel if we went to that. What about a hanging out fee for those not taking a workshop? In that case, how would we control the afternoon marketplace? What about figuring out a flat fee, unit cost from the financial side? Action item – do the math, on a per participant price, what cost in order to break even.
Pros and Cons of Yearly Festival vs. Every Other Year
To be further discussed in July meeting.
Financial Sustainability (David)
External and internal fundraising activities – Identifying some potential sources, we are at somewhat of a disadvantage with our varying locations and not always knowing our location in time. Murdock Trust group sounds like it could be a possibility but they need an initiative with a timeline and a budget. Approaching local Chamber of Commerce and local businesses prior to the festival might be more likely to raise funding than the grants. Sponsorship letter for fund is now drafted. Maybe compile a list from the Zimfest communities of all the work, activities, and organizations that have been created. If we had a list it might create stronger support and collaboration, the Tour West Grant would have been more possible with the community outreach section. How do we prove how amazing this organization is? Internal fundraising – raise funds specifically for our new software, normal end of year membership – membership and donation drive, bands to help raise money for Zimfest prior to each festival, creating the festival budget, making sure there are no hidden costs, making participants aware that their companies may make matching donations. Nexts steps – Kick off fundraiser. Start fundraising – member matching, Possible buckets- Zimbabwean guests, General pool with New registration software in it, Growing our endowment.
Volunteer Engagement/Marketing (Evelyn)
Improving presence on the marketing front. Who is doing all the tasks? Evelyn and Dana will still do some of this but try to recruit help from the festival committee. Volunteer engagement side – volunteer t-shirts – maybe find a sponsor. Volunteer recognition at festival concerts. Maybe try to form organizing committee sooner, like in October to help launch a mentorship program. Can the volunteer schedule with the tasks be moved up by a month to help prevent burn out? Maybe some can be accomplished sooner. Idea to spotlight volunteers on Facebook.
See Update on Software Demo section above.
Timing of July Meeting (All)
Evelyn will send out a Doodle poll.