On Thursday 11 and Friday 12 September 2008, SCI ran two ‘workshop and best practice sharing’ events, open to all Treasurers, Secretaries and Chairs of Regional Interest (RIG) and Technical Interest Groups (TIG). The days were designed with four key aims:
- Allow SCI’s honorary volunteers to interact with each other in a social and relaxed atmosphere
- Enable these highly active volunteers to meet the staff they frequently deal with at headquarters
- Allow Advisory Committee members to pass on updates and information about Group operations
- Provide a venue for volunteers to discuss best practice and to learn from one another.
On both days, the workshops involved interactive presentations looking at recent changes to Group operations and new Group rules. The Chairmen and Secretaries’ event included best practice sharing sessions.
The Regional Groups session focused on four different elements; RIG development, purpose of RIGs, measures of success and succession planning. It was led by Dr Mike Pitts, chair of the Liverpool and North West Group, and member of the Membership Advisory Committee (MAC). The key purposes of the RIGs were highlighted as:
- Raising public awareness of SCI
- Being a local forum for networking
- Creating links with local universities and organisations.
The TIGs’ session was led by Dr Len Copping, member of the Board of Trustees, Finance Advisory Committee and MAC. Key to this discussion was how to improve the success of events and how to measure the Groups’ overall success.
It was noticed that in the past, event attendees were more interested in seeking inspiration and new ideas out of event content. Today, however, delegates require a more targeted programme, specific to their core interests in order for them to sign up to an event. This means that apart from creating a programme full of ‘hot topics’, an event’s breadth of appeal, the ownership of pulling in an audience and the event’s publicity were all identified as vital elements of success.
Core issues to both Groups included succession planning for committees and pulling in younger members. It was felt that promoting the benefits of networking and publishing case studies of how and why current volunteers have become involved, would emphasise the personal touch that makes working with SCI so unique and so rewarding.
The feedback on holding these workshops was overwhelmingly positive, with over 80% of the attendees feeling that they had gained significant benefit from attending. SCI would like to thank everyone that participated in making these two days such a success. More detailed information on the best practice sharing portion of these events are now available.
SCI Communications Team