IDEAS - IDEA05

We need to be both creative & co-operative to make the most of our venues (halls, pubs, etc.).

'Venues' may cover any place where a community-support activity is carried out. We are not restricting ourselves to village & church halls even though they may well be the main types.

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This Idea deals directly with a problem mentioned in the Venues lead page: that our region has so many venues that may be used to support community-support groups that they tend to think of each other as Competition. We do not doubt that each of these venues can make an excellent case for fighting for rare resources (not least volunteers & financial support) and for competing to host revenue-generating activities. However, whilst we accept that it will not be appropriate in all circumstances, we believe that:
- it will often be better for venues to co-operate with each other rather than to compete with each other; and
- it may be sensible for venues not to try to solve some problems in isolation but to tackle those problems in collaboration with other nearby venues, pooling resources to save costs.

Simple hypothetical examples.
(1) None of a number of venues is able to host an event that by itself would attract many non-local visitors. However, if they work together, they may be able to host a series of events that combine to give a Good Day Out that would attract people from quite a distance.
- Variation: venues are able to host major attractive events but these take so much effort to organise that they have to be rare. By occasionally 'sharing the burden', those venues may be able to do more things more often and they may find that those shared 'multiple events days' provide good marketing for their own main events.
- Expansion of thought! There could be a 'Golden Valley Show Week' once or twice a year, being a succession of 'multiple events days' with accommodation arranged locally. There is already some co-ordination of local events but there is potential for a lot more. This has the making of another Idea that could lead to an Event!
(2) Holding an event may need 12 visitors to cover costs. 2 nearby venues each hold the same sort of event but each attracts only 10 local visitors. The result is that both venues lose money on those events. Say that only half of the local visitors would attend the event at the other venue. Even so there is an obvious possible solution (there may be others): Hold the events in rotation. Each event would attract 15 visitors so both would make money. Even if the venues are not close to each other, it could still be worthwhile to use some form of Community Transport to encourage people to go to the other venue.
- Although the figures may only rarely be this simple in practice, the principles involved apply remarkably often.
(3) None of 10 venues can afford full-time maintenance staff on their own. Indeed, they struggle to pay for routine maintenance costs which can cost thousands of pounds. By coming together, however, they might be able to afford to hire part/full-time maintenance staff and find that the overall cost is less than paying for their routine maintenance individually.
- This would need some working out but the effort to do so could well be less than the combined effort of struggling to pay for the maintenance case-by-case.

* What area are we covering? This matter is referred to on the About page. It will be clarified in due course.
* Some venues are already pooling resources on matters such as transport (see Idea#04) and routine maintenance. However, it appears that many do not and that much more could be done on this sort of thing.

 

This idea is an example of what we are calling a 'generic idea', intended to lead to other Ideas rather than to a specific Event. It has already spawned Idea#06 (development of some sort of a Venues Network or Forum) and Idea#07 (competitions can be good for getting things done and for generating fresh ideas) and is expected to lead to others. You could argue that it spawned Event#03 (development of an Online Shared Diary) but we attribute that to Idea#06.