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Assemble! Conference Recap By Rob

By Rob Egginton, Sunday Assembly Bristol.

Where a good assembly leaves me feeling on a high, the world’s first Sunday Assembly conference has left me feeling excited for a whole week. Luckily, Bristol has their assembly on the second Sunday of the month, so not only have I been able to channel my energy into this coming assembly, but I’ll get a top up of whizziness to keep me bubbling along for a while longer 🙂

What were the big take aways for us? The over-arching feeling is that there are lots of ideas in every area of organisation, content and advertising for us to work on. More specifically,

* There’s always something we can do to make assemblies better. The gap between good and great is in the details.
– We heard so many great ideas that there’s no way we can do them all at once, but one step at a time!
– One thing that’s already arranged since the conference is training for hosts – we have some charismatic people with plenty of brains in them, but without a lot of experience in front of an audience. As the thespian on the committee, I’ve made use of the professional MCs I know to gather together a bunch of tips and exercises. I’ll feed them back after May 19th once I see how the session goes!
– Fraeya has taken the lead in organising a half-day Bristol workshop where we’ll work through what we’ve learned from the conference.

* LA has the most organised people in the world
– A dozen assigned committee roles, layers of volunteers and leaders. Wow – these guys know how to make stuff work. So… stealing some of that.
– We have our first AGM coming up soon (1 year of Bristol Assemblies in June), but even before that we’ve started assigning more roles – e.g. we now have both a press officer and social media coordinator – you may notice that there are more tweets, blogs and FB posts already.

* We need more volunteers, and if you don’t ask you don’t get
– The excellent talk on getting and nurturing your volunteers made us realise how much more we could do to get more people involved. It’s a small outlay of time to put the information out there, have the one on one conversations and do the actual asking, but in the long run it’ll take some of the stress of organising everything away. It’s great to have a dedicated committee, but few people are able to do these jobs forever and the next committee will probably be from current volunteers stepping up.

It also helps that I now know quite a lot of people from all over the world who, when things get tough and it maybe seems like it’s not worth it, will not only understand, but will probably have even more good ideas to get us through.

Well, that’s what comes to mind, anyway.