Monday, June 22, 2015
Attendees (): Princess, Problem, Thomas, Henry, Adam, Beth, Stephanie, Reese, Casey, Dahling, T Rey, Wrinn, Psyche, cLovis, Decibel, Bonobo, Pinky Farrington, Susan, Brandt,
## 7:54pm MEETING BEGINS
LLC Update (Problem)
Warehouse lease is up end of September. AF’s will have first sort of the warehouse, then community, then whatever’s left will be disposed of.
Looked at Warehouse off old bastrop hwy. Parking too small for load out, too far away.
Looked at another Warehouse near Mr. Tramps off 183. 40% larger than our current space, in addition to climate controlled office space. Has good storage. Room for storage container outside. Active industrial park. Not conducive to working on vehicles outside. Property is gated. Need to assess gate controls. Neighbors are refrigerator repair company (pretty cool) and surf board manufacturing company. Mostly 9-5 companies. ServPro is there, would have to make sure we don’t block their parking.
## Regional Update (cLovis)
-Lakes of Fire was last weekend.
-Austin list moved to Google group.
-Regional agreement still under discussion by LLC. Same discussion likely ongoing at other regionals as well.
-Burning Man is in 2 months.
## AF Updates (Wrinn)
-LNT: Two trips, once for theme camps to get their stuff that we asked them to abandon, once just for cleanup. Filled two dumpsters with large items. However, river was still high so we don’t know what’s under there, and we missed a lot of small stuff (zip ties, etc.). Landowner flattened all that into the mud. Will need to wait until waters recede and then go out and do another cleanup.
-Lost 5 structures, 2 portapotties, one generator (might have walked). All was covered by insurance but $100 of the new generator. Org prepared to cover these losses.
Volunteer Burnout (Dahling)
-Not fair to judge the volunteer situation this year since we had severe weather. On the other hand, it was great to see where anything and everything could go wrong so we can improve and reinforce our model.
-We had more people in the gates for early entry and sold more tickets than ever before, and we had more no-shows for volunteer shifts than we’ve ever had before. When volunteers don’t show up to do their jobs, the community suffers because we have fewer people allowed for early entry and the event in the future.
-MGA went from 2500 to 3000 but we still recruit the same volunteer base in the same way. Feels like it’s time to discuss reoptimizing our distribution of volunteer responsibility. Would be nice to make every lead have a lieutenant. (Lieutenants aren’t a formally recognized position currently.)
-Time commitment for volunteers is what leads to burnout. Would be nice to have lieutenants were trained and empowered to be complete backups for the leads. People are less effective when they’re overworked and will start making decisions that may not be the best for the organization. We need to give people the breaks they need.
-Would need to figure out how to ensure information is communicated clearly and fully throughout the ranks as we expand them
-Dahling: Highly visible org explanation (who are the leads, what are their responsibilities) and radio guides posted on the property would have helped this year.
-Also having this info visible at committee meetings may be helpful in educating the community pre-event since we usually just say “check the wiki” and people don’t always follow up on doing that.
-How can we make our volunteers feel appreciated and empowered? Incentives or consequences? We want volunteering to be a gift, not a job. As an AF or a lead, if one of our volunteers doesn’t do their job, we just don’t invite them back to do that job next year. We’ve seen TTITD and other regionals experiment with incentives like discounted tickets and it has not accomplished what we want. This isn’t an event that you “go to,” it’s an event that you build, and we need to keep getting that message to new participants.
-Very few organizations do it the way we do. Because of our principles, including drawing a line in the sand at 69 leads which hasn’t changed in 5 years, we’ve done a lot, grown the event, kept it flat rate, with failures (not meant critically) are because we choose to be flexible, empower our volunteers, and never punish anyone. Volunteering at Flipside is unlike volunteering in any other realm because you’re doing it because you want to or you love it, because you believe in it in a cult-like way. You engage with the event on your own terms. We should change our language requesting volunteers to include who we are and what we’re doing and why, so people don’t think we’re in it for the sexiness or the money. LLC has talked about capital expenses and budgets, and we often think we’re getting the message out, but it doesn’t make it out to everyone. Sometimes we miss even our key volunteers in communication, but as an event we are successful. We just need to tweak the successful model we have to make improvements.
-Had some volunteers sign up for lead positions not knowing how much work it would be or what would be expected of them.
-A lot of info is communicated verbally. Some people are visual; having written expectations would be helpful. How could we align people with similar work/communication styles together in the right roles?
-Calendar of deadlines may be helpful, especially for positions where work happens before the event.
-Would like more organized volunteer outreach to new people. Volunteers who signed up at town hall were not contacted. Navigating wiki isn’t easy (most people don’t know cartel exists, much less who to talk to about volunteering for it.)
-Burnout isn’t always bad. Turnover can be good.
-Working on redesign for volunteering website.
-Would like system to communicate on site when we need people to step up to volunteer during the event.
-Dahling riding around on the cart with water this year was really helpful. It helps to make sure volunteers and leads have basic necessities covered. Would be nice to have one big shade structure with water up during pre-post. Fluffer carts are really important.
-Leads should assess what would make their job less challenging, talk to their AF, and make sure they get what they need to make their department enjoyable to work for. Leads should all have a budget.
-The roles for leads and lieutenants are somewhat being made up as we go along. We don’t want to unnecessarily restrict their roles. Want to foster creativity and initiative. That’s also part of why we don’t have a master schedule. No one knows all of the details that go into producing flipside. There are a lot of moving parts.
-It may help to minimize the number of positions that must be filled for the event to be successful. We want to build a structure that allows for volunteers to be unreliable. We can’t pay them not to have other obligations of higher priority going on in their lives.
-We’re on burner time at the event, so it helps to have someone out on the cart reminding people that they have a shift coming up.
-We don’t want to overload our volunteers with responsibilities. We need to make sure we’re communicating with our volunteers about what a realistic commitment would be for them.
-If you’re volunteering for the appreciation or the recognition, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. For a myriad of reasons the community can fall short. Volunteering is sexy. We need to communicate that.
-Would be cool to nominate people to post in the flame about how they kicked ass this year.
-Leads list was really small this year. First and second leads all hands were also very small this year. Those are good checkpoints for next year.
-Reese’s mantra: “It doesn’t matter what happens on your volunteer shift; the event is still going to happen.” We knew volunteerism was down this year, but we embraced the suck. We need to keep people aware of what’s going on during the event when volunteers are needed, instead of making it look so easy. If we pull the “hero” thing, maybe we prevent the opportunity for someone else to step up.
-We breached the $100 mark for tickets this year, and maybe that had something to do with people not signing up for a 6 hour shift.
-We want Flipside to stay up to our high standard or we think it’s not working. The truth is, it’s working pretty well, and we may be killing ourselves trying to get it up to the high standards, leading to a certain cliquishness among our hard core volunteers, and leading to burnout.
-Having high visibility on-site volunteer signup would be great.
-Need to regularly check up on shift volunteers pre-event. Just because they put their name on the wiki months ago doesn’t mean they’re still planning to show up.
-Need to empower the community to teach people how to sign up to volunteer, teach everyone that this is their event and they need to know how to maintain it.
-Maybe stop asking people if they’re going to Flipside this year and start asking them if they’re building Flipside this year.
Town Hall, When Is It & Who’s Producing It (Beth)
-Would like to have it Sept 26.
-People we’d normally voluntell to be producer aren’t here, but Clovis will browbeat someone into producing it.
-Not sure whether we should have it at current or future warehouse or offsite at moose or something; maybe town hall at new warehouse with afterparty at old warehouse.
-AF meeting is coming up so if we could tell them what the format would be that would be great mmkay
MOTION PASSES: Town hall date is tentatively set for 2:34 on Sept 26, tailgating starting at noon.
##Topic: Submit topic descriptions to CC list. <insert topic list from Beth’s last email>
Next Meeting: in 2 weeks
## 10:00 STACK OFFICIALLY CLOSED
## 10:04 METING ADJOURNED