At the end of last year Andy, Paul and I sat down and discussed how the year had gone and what we wanted to do in 2016. I’d had a similar discussion in my head the previous year when I took over the reigns of the meet up, which was a little down on numbers and needed an injection of life.
The main goal of 2015 was to bring numbers back up, get a good, regular crowd again and maybe put on another event on the scale of Small Talk. By October we’d done that, and I brought Andy, Paul and very briefly Will on board to the admin team to help bounce ideas off of and run events. We’d grown to nearly 1000 members on meet up and I wanted to take stock of what was going well and what we could improve.
The idea for 2016 was more of the same, continue to grow, put on more events – at a bigger scale – and get involved in more things around the city. The first half of the year however didn’t really see much of any of that. I had a job that I bloody hated and was very much focussed on getting a new one. This did give me a chance to take wider stock of what we were doing, and I put out a questionnaire that I was very grateful people took the time to full in, the results of which were a big pat on the back for what we’d done so far, but more importantly a good insight in what we needed to do.
The Outcome of the Questionnaire
Badego’s always been about getting creatives together in a relaxed environment, but the overwhelming response to the survey was more talks. I’ve always been reluctant for talks to become our thing, especially as there’s so many other groups in Birmingham that do them well, but I felt that the Creative Mornings concept was something that was missing from the city’s landscape and would create the relaxed environment we’re known for, whilst doing something more productive. I looked into being an official Creative Morning, but it looked way too much for what we wanted to achieve (you also can’t register as a company, only individual fore example). Fortunately they’re happy for you to completely rip it off if you change the name, so that’s what we did.
The other notable response to the survey was that no one used our website. I mean literally no one. I did a bit of a bodge job of reworking what was there last year to be able to put up events, but adding a new event was so time consuming we didn’t bother doing it regularly. That needed to change, and I began plans for the new site.
The New Site
The new site was going to be quite a complex place where Brum based creatives could come together and find a whole host of info about the city, however this just didn’t feel like the purpose of a Badego site. We are foremost an events organisation and I think it will stay that way, so the other ideas for what this site could be have been pushed into a different project that we’re working on at the moment. More on that to come.
The result of that refocus is this site, it does little more than the previous site did except it hopefully looks a bit nicer, it’s easier to find what you’re looking for and it’s easier for us to update (which was the most important bit). Our aim is for the site to be the main place you interact with Badego, and that meet up becomes a subsidiary, a place to register your interaction. Whether that happens, who knows. But at least we can point you here instead of there now.
We didn’t achieve the goal of more large scale events this year, but I do think we put in more work on the foundations that will serve us well in the long run. It’s difficult to say for definite, but hopefully next year you’ll see a few more big events pop up with the Badego name on.
We’re also looking for people to join our team. It doesn’t pay, but it is a great chance to work the creative community in Birmingham, connect with very nice people and do things that you are ultimately very proud of. Please get in touch if you think you’d be a good fit with us.
Lastly, a big thank you to everyone who has given up their time to help Badego this year. You’re all amazing and we’re very grateful to you. I’ll be doing an end of year round up next month and do a bigger thank you, but I felt I couldn’t post this without at least touching upon the fact that we’ve been very lucky our friends have given their time up for free to appear at our events. Much love x.