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Ideas for CSH meet-up June/July 2011
Fri 2-Jul-10
12:48 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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This topic is specifically to gather ideas for the format of our proposed meet-up in the summer of 2011.

The first decision is whether we should keep it small, just for our online friends, or enlarge it to a bigger public event.

It would be deflating for everybody if, say, only 10 people turned up. So we think it should be expanded to a bigger "self sufficiency" themed event. But that decision is also open to input from you guys.

The realities, constrains and likely costs of a bigger event are along these

lines:

1 " our place is too small to hold a gathering, so we need to use our

neighbour's much larger garden

2 " it is only fair that we contribute a decent few shillings to her for the

facility " we have not asked her yet if she would be willing to accommodate

this event

3 " our local church runs an extremely successful and well organised garden

fete in her garden every year " we are considering engaging that group (and

their tents, marquees etc) in exchange for a decent donation to church funds

4 " any public event requires adequate insurance cover

5 " events like demonstrations or talks by prominent and people on a

relevant topic require us to at least cover the travel expenses of those people

6 " the timing is important so as not to conflict with Newmarket races or

sales so to ensure that accommodation is freely available at reasonable prices

for um as wants to stay over for a night

So there is a cost that must be covered. We have no desire to make a profit

but we need to cover these costs.

These are our early thoughts regarding covering costs for a bigger event:

A " publicise the event locally, within a 20 mile radius " including free PR

in local rags and leaflet drops, for example

B " make the event really attractive to like minded people

C " charge a reasonable entry fee for the main event

D " invite commercial organisations who would pay a fee for a stand, for

example

E " perhaps negotiate discounted rates with local hotels and B&Bs that

are willing to participate in such a scheme

F- active forum members and regular blog contributors get a big discount (as

close as possible to FOC) and get a special invitation to join us at our place

via a temporary gate in the adjoining fence

Or would it be more fun with just, say, 10 friends at ours?

We hope to flesh it out over the coming months with your help.

 

Never knowingly underfed

Fri 2-Jul-10
11:11 am
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Personally, I'm not good with crowds so will decline to offer any suggestions. Embarassed  I'll be interested to read what everyone else thinks though.  

I'll try that again!

Fri 2-Jul-10
12:12 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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My main problem besides distance is that it is summer when we are at our busiest. I guess I could come as a trade if it was bigger and then I would have to drive over with a friend or hubby but leave someone else here in chargeWhistle. Decisions, decisions! I suspect it would be a good idea to have some sort of ticket arrangement where tickets can be bought beforehand, that would give you at least some indication of numbers although so many folks do leave that kind of thing until the last possible moment before making a decision.Smug

Sun 4-Jul-10
12:39 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Maybe a small and simple open day is a better idea after all. The prospect of organising a bigger event is a bit offputting and it would have to be done well and professionally or not at all. Available time is the main constraint.

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 4-Jul-10
1:02 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Wave I must admit I would prefer a smaller event where  we can meet the friends we have made, share ideas and perhaps produce.  I guess it depends how many people can come.  Not easy to estimate so we should be looking to ascertain possible numbers soon to allow the organisation to proceed.  Numbers need not be definite but an indication of interest at this stage.  Once we know that, it will be easier to plan. You would know then whether to include some of your local interested parties and also costs involved.  I could go on, but this is probably enough just now.Whistle

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 4-Jul-10
1:58 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Yes, Danuta, that is a practical approach. I had a chat with Fiona about it just now and we are happier with a simple approach. Perhaps from midday to 7 pm -ish where people can arrive and leave at any time that suits them. Chat and have a wander around. Also, we will restrict it to our online friends but not just posters. I think there are many readers who might be interested. We have plenty of small tables and chairs from our garden party days, just less space now because of extending the borders for flower planting.

That way it does not really matter if only a dozen people turn up or if it is pouring with rain (we can have a tea party indoors). It's primarily to meet and chat but any ideas for produce swaps/sales would add interest too. I will ask TA to demonstrate broomstick control and spanner wielding. I wonder if Mutley could rig up a webcam or two for the day Champagne

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 4-Jul-10
2:00 pm
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MOS
Cannock Chase

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I AM NOW GOING INTO DOOM MODE

personally i would love to attend a big do with loads of stalls and shows to keep me entertained ,but i am just as happy to sit and natter with like minded people and meet new friends, but i will say my piece just to get the discussion rolling.

 

certainly a big event would take a lot of organising, and you would have to aim at making a profit. if you are aiming at trade stalls and talks and seminars and the like you will need lots of funding these things take up time and moneyat an alarming rate .i have been on the outskirts of a few minority rallies and they fall into one of two camps they are well attended and overflow their capabilities, or they are over over engineered and fail to make their cost back .the LATTEReither because of WEATHER or CLASHING WITH OTHER EVENTS or insufficient or misdirected advertising .also how long will it run ,if its a one day show then it has to be right on the first attempt ,there is no time for fiddling when it up and running .if its a two day show you are into accommodation for non business attractions (talks demos etc)AND you have to attract twice as many visitors .THE FORMER is a bit testing at the time and will cause heartache on the day but at least you wont lose money .sorry to harp on about money but from the sounds of it you like most of us don't have pots of it to throw away. as you have already said insurance is paramount if you invite Joe public in .not everyone is off my and lots more like me 's mind about safety ,i believe that you should be responsible for your own actions but some out there think someone el's is responsible for them ,and there are too many no cost lawyers out there to help,(but that's another of my pet rants so i will say no more).An informal gathering amongst friends will police itself ,a large event wont security and crowd control are unavoidable evils ,and cost big time ,as Joanna said as a trade you take your chance you travel here on the hope of a return ,and if its something you like doing then a profit is nice, break even would not be the end of the world, and a loss would hopefully be absorbed by the business . but as an organiser of a first event you have nothing to offset it against and a second one would be a daunting chalenge after a shaky start .all in all its a hell of a challenge and one i don't envy you for especialy in such a short time scale .

sit down with a cupa and the urge will subside

Sun 4-Jul-10
2:44 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Very well said, MOS. Thanks for your input, especially regarding funding. It had not occurred to me that an event would start eating up money from the outset.

I suppose another option is to start small and grow it gradually over time if growing it makes sense.

It's primary objective is to provide an enjoyable environment for all of us to get together.

A secondary aim would be to provide some means of buying and selling wares and so on. We would love to try some of Shelley's jams, just to quote one example.

If interesting activities can be tacked on then all the better, like talks or demonstrations.

Right. That will be the format for 2011. At this point it is all free, no cash changes hands.

Next up - suggestions for interesting activities that could be tacked on. If there is a cost then I guess we could charge a small fee to cover them but let's see what pops up first.

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 4-Jul-10
3:44 pm
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MOS
Cannock Chase

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MRS MOS has made a suggestion for a practical demonstration that would take the form of a 3 part informative and educational lecture primarily for the more male oriented members of the throng

 

1where it is kept

2how to use it effectively

3 and most important of all HOW TO PUT THE VACUME CLEANER AWAY AFTER USE

I think she is being sarky Thumbs_Down,but she said there could be a beer break in the final stages of the (lecture)just in case hyperventilation sets in Whistle

 

i think that should be a tea break as a inebriated bloke with a vac is probably worse than not letting them lose with one at allDevilMOS

sit down with a cupa and the urge will subside

Sun 4-Jul-10
4:13 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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I think I agree about keeping it small, the main point is to get an opportunity to meet finally, isn't it?

How about some friendly competitions too? There seems to be quite a few wine/liquor makers, maybe they need to provide some samples for a contest? Jam and preserves too? How about the best make-your-own solution category? Pictures only on that one, don't want someone to haul a homemade compost tumbler all the way from home!

I know you said you wouldn't charge anything, but I would be willing to put up some money to help with prizes.

I talked to Dan, and we have always wanted to come to England, so hopefully this will be a great reason to get our lives in order, save some money up, and come too. Wave

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sun 4-Jul-10
4:27 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Well it would be pleasure to have your company, Michelle, if you manage to cross the pond.

We are here

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 4-Jul-10
6:36 pm
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mike.
Coventry

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A small garden party style meet up sounds like fun. If people brought home made food and drink, it would be a great way of sharing recipes, sampling different foods, etc. I'd happily provide a few bottles of some of my home made wines if anyone is daring enough to try some. My recent ones have been ok and I've not poisoned anybody yet Wink

 

Oh, and if drink is involved, are there any hotels or camp sites nearby for people to stay? OH doesn't drive and I get all miserable if I have to stay sober when we go out :-p

 

(arrgghh, no smiley editor when I went back to amend this post so I'm not sure that the :-p will work)

Visit my blog for food, drink, photography and hamsters.

Sun 4-Jul-10
7:26 pm
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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Me and jade are up for this and for bringing wine jams ect is good to, can bring camcorder too.

Got a tent. would look forward to this very much, a yearly event would be a good ider too as it could grow slowley over the years.Better start collecting some grasshoppers.Big_Laugh

Sun 4-Jul-10
7:45 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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I like the idea of a small initial event that grows over time.

It could feature everything from a bring and buy stall or two (one food, one crafts?), a recipe swap, talks from amateur experts, a refreshments stall with tea/coffee/home baking (can you sell liqueurs or would you need a licence?), Min Pin assault course demonstrations, a help desk for kitchen gadget addicts.

Sorry - went a bit off course at the end there 😉

Sun 4-Jul-10
7:52 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Must admit the one thing I would be worried about the most is the timing, June/July are certainly the better months weather wise but hopeless for me to ever think of getting as it is slap bang in the middle of the busiest time of the year. I suppose that is because I couldn't just pop over for the do, I would have to combine it with the mega-drive around and see all relatives and friends whilst in England - the joys of being an ex-pat. How about an autumn harvest festival Whistle

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