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Thread: Question 2: What would you like to improve or change in the GAGB?

  1. #1

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    Question Question 2: What would you like to improve or change in the GAGB?

    I would like to ask the other candidates what they would like to improve or change in the GAGB?

    For me it would be the reach and exposure of the GAGB. I have heard and seen from many people asking the same question...
    "What does the GAGB do...?"

    I don't think the GAGB blows its own trumpet enough. I don't want to turn it into anything close to boasting, but I would love for the GAGB to get more exposure to the efforts and works it does and to get that info far and wide around the country. A little appreciation where it is deserved and feedback from the community of what they want from the GAGB.

    I think it would be great to host a range of events in various regions where committee members host these events as a "GAGB meet" for the community. And this also would be a great tool to inviting the people and organisations the GAGB talk with to meet with the geocaching communities that benefit from their connections.

  2. #2

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    That’s a really good question.

    We definitely need to do more of the Roving events in other regions of the U.K. but that is a lot easier said than done due to the practicalities of getting the whole committee together in one place.
    At the start of 2019 we introduced our start of the year events and for one of the only times in history we had the entire committee in the same place at the same time. Which normally cannot be achieved due to different the different regions we live in.
    We undertook a Membership Survey in 2017 and one of the main outcomes of that was improvement for engagement which is an ongoing thing that will take time to do (Rome wasn’t built in a day). Our constitution was rewritten that year which included the ability to provide powers for GAGB friends and give them formal rights within our association. This was something I advocated quite heavily for its subsequent inclusion as the official GAGB Friends launch Team leader However the GAGB engagement has significantly improved during my tenure which I am proud to say I helped contribute towards.

    I have personally spent my last 2 years on the committee actively encouraging engagement and making sure as many members feel heard as possible
    As for publicity in most cases the media comes to us first with requests and the GAGB help find the appropriate person to take the lead on it.
    I’m personally a huge advocate for improving engagement, which is why we now have GAGB friends. I would continue to improve engagement if re-elected I would like to expand the friends initiative and improve upon the work achieved thus far.

    If I could change anything in the immediate term it would be to improve our reach by extending our introduction to geocaching events and our outreach with our membership and other organisations such as scouting. I would greatly improve and extend existing support and further encourage more people to become involved and aware of the GAGB as outlined in my manifesto
    Last edited by geocaching womble; 10th November 2019 at 11:25 AM.
    Opencaching UK reviewer and Committee member 2010-2017
    GAGB Committee 2017-?

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    I have also heard many people ask - "What's the point of the GAGB?"

    For me it's a central point of contact but in order to make this work we need to spread the word. Absolutely key is the introduction of new members at regional meets. More of these need to be organised and the existing committee have worked hard during the last few years to make this happen. Happy to help with these wherever possible and great if we could get leaflets printed and dummy caches made for display etc (a standard event pack).

    I feel that the website needs a good makeover too. At present a potential new cacher is faced with a website with no clear path of where to look.

    As an example:

    "What is Geocaching" tells you about Geocaching itself but "Getting Started" is hidden under "Help" ! Then when you go to "Getting Started" it opes with "Geocaching can be played on a variety of listing sites" and "The GAGB does not affiliate itself with, or promote, any of these major listing sites over the other".

    How does this encourage new members? I suspect most lose interest at this point.

    Yes - we should mention the other sites (maybe just in passing) but surely we should major on the main one as that is where most new people will start.
    Currently it details all three with no associated UK statistics and even seems to dismiss GC.com stating "Many of these features are exclusive to Premium Members". In reality most NEW cachers do NOT need these features - the GC site is specifically designed that way.

    A decision is also needed on the forum. I recognise the difference subject matter wise between a forum and social media but do other people and do they have the time to check multiple forums? I suspect not and forum usage suggests the same.

    Things like events, websites and forums need to be assessed from the end user point of view. The GAGB need to give a single coherent message across all channels and the website needs to be easy to use from all who may navigate there (new members, existing members looking for specific help, landowners etc).

  4. #4

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    As I said in my manifesto, I would like the GAGB to become more widely known amongst cachers, for them to know and understand what we do and how we can help them, and encourage a growth in membership – the larger the membership, the stronger the organisation can become. Over the last few years we have arranged a number of "Roving Events" around the country and are continually trying to expand our reach, to get the GAGB name out there.

    It is important that we help in the introduction of non-cachers to the game and I have been involved in meeting groups like the Families Group in Telford, where we were able to chat and explain all about geocaching to potential cachers and their children. We demonstrated different types of caches, explained how geocaching works and the basic guidelines, showed them how to use the geocaching website and app, and helped them set this up on their phones. We should take any opportunity to meet up with other groups in the community where we can spread the word and help newbies and potential newbies.

    I would also like to see our name more closely aligned with the annual UK Mega through providing more help and greater sponsorship; GAGB is the national organisation for geocaching, has been around for only a few years less than geocaching itself, and yet it has hidden its light under a bushel for too many years in the past and that needs to change.
    GAGB Member since 2009
    UK Mega West Mids Committee - Treasurer 2011 - 2013
    GAGB Committee - Treasurer 2016 -

  5. #5

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    I am proud of what I, along with my colleagues, have done to improve/change the GAGB. However, there is still a long way to go. It is important to have someone on the next committee who has previous experience AND a positive, long-term vision. Someone who can ensure continuity, but also facilitate change. I believe I am that candidate.

    As my manifesto argues, we need to improve the visibility of the GAGB. The launch of regular, roving GAGB events was at the heart of my manifesto in 2015. I am pleased that we have organised almost 15 since then - I organised the most recent one. However, we need to make more of an effort in the coming year - they should be more frequent, and better distributed across Great Britain. The roving events are a key way for the GAGB to become more visible. GAGB Friends should now be able to organise these events, not just committee members.

    In terms of inclusivity, I would like to see the further development of the GAGB Friends programme. Members should not need to “apply” - a very off-putting, uninviting term! We should make it easier to join - I would like to see the creation of a closed Facebook Group, like the general chat one we already have, in which willing members would request to join, and all discussion would remain hidden from non-Friends. We could also have a designated GAGB representative in each country of the UK to make cachers in all areas feel included and represented. GAGB needs to become more open.

    I believe that the GAGB should support Mega events and their organising committees to a greater extent. For example (but not limited to) the formal offer of sponsorship.

    I want the GAGB to focus even more on furthering geocaching, as a game, in the UK. This could be achieved by organising more introduction to geocaching events, negotiating new landowner agreements, and providing support for new geocachers.

    There is always scope for improvement when it comes to communications - I want to run a small campaign to encourage people to subscribe to our newsletter and Seeker. This month, I have already had one person say to me that they “only hear from the GAGB at election time”. Well, that’s because they’re not subscribed to anything - as soon as I told them about the monthly newsletter, they asked to be subscribed! We need to make sure people are aware that we DO provide regular communication. Our social media strategy is evidently working as post reach and engagement have increased this year, but we need to go even further. I would like to see a wide range of frequent posts on social media. Seeker should continue to include regular features - something people can look forward to each issue, like ‘travel diaries’, ’in conversation with…’ and ‘newbie tips’ - all three of which I introduced, as Editor, this year.

    I would love to be part of the 2019/20 committee to help enact these improvements, and continue to play a part in developing the GAGB.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saza36 View Post
    A decision is also needed on the forum. I recognise the difference subject matter wise between a forum and social media but do other people and do they have the time to check multiple forums? I suspect not and forum usage suggests the same.

    Great point... as you can probably see, these elections is the first time I have used and posted in the forums. Similarly I have only once or twice used the GC official forums too...
    While I am sure there are lots of useful information within... I like many others now turn to social media and ask Qs there... replies tend to be instant from the community and start conversations with a wider audience.

    Moving GAGB posts and resources to social media streams, or GAGB contributing to posts I think would benefit the community much more...

  7. #7

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    As I have said in my other answers and my manifesto, social media is the way forward for publicity and interaction. People go to Twitter and Facebook - Geocaching UK, North West Caching, GeM etc to get their Geocaching advice and information. Forums are not something that people are used to using in 2019 / 2020.

    I felt like this when I joined the committee last year, but felt that I would see how the GAGB worked and what it needed to record/document before I suggested a switch from forums.

    The migration to social media from forums is going to be a challenge as the GAGB has a significant amount of information stored in the forums, hence I did not push it as a newbie.

    For me the biggest success to increase the visibility of the GAGB was the roving events. I've personally run one, I attended 2 more and this gets the GAGB out to the community. We must do more and run them all over the country. Again, this is a challenge as we don't have representatives in all areas but I'm sure the growing GAGB friends can help in this respect.

    One final comment would be that as an "outsider" coming in, the GAGB needs to ensure that the all committee members are professional, focused and are able to stick to the agenda in committee meetings. I run multinational, online meetings every day and unlike my work-life, where agendas are strictly controlled and the attendees know when and what to do, it is quite frustrating to have people jumping in when it is not their turn.

    Currently the meetings work via Discord which works well as a chat / text system. I'm sure this helps Graham record the minutes but could we move to voice? It would be a lot quicker to discuss the same topics. I appreciate it would be a challenge for the minutes but I feel the meetings would get more done.

  8. #8

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    Some points in reply to the above:

    GAGB has to have a forum as a record of what has been discussed because it is impossible to refer back to things easily in Facebook or Messenger. It isn't expected that members would use it anymore to discuss things, ask questions etc, although they are welcome to do so if they wish, as social media has moved on and as Matt says they will get answers more quickly on Facebook/Twitter etc. However I do think the Committee should use it more as it would save a lot of the discussion that can occur in meetings, making them drag on.

    I think the matter of moving the online meetings from Discord to voice is for the new Committee to decide. Personally I couldn't do it as I don't have a microphone, I also think not having a written record for the Secretary to refer to when writing up the minutes would make their job very difficult and could lead to some things being left out, unless there is someone on the Committee who can use shorthand.

    I agree that Committee members all need to stick to the Agenda and not keep trying to bring up things that have been tabled for further on in the meeting.
    GAGB Member since 2009
    UK Mega West Mids Committee - Treasurer 2011 - 2013
    GAGB Committee - Treasurer 2016 -

  9. #9

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    I put a website question into the GAGB- Friends Facebook group (tagging 3 members of committe) on 3rd Nov ....... and haven't even had an acknowledgment of my question yet.

    Maybe I should post it in the forum - where at least it won't disappear down the page!
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    I would like to continue the work I have already started in the introduction to newcomers. I had an appeal out for any old GPS units if anyone would like to donate them to enable us to run such events more easily. I believe we can make this on a much bigger and better scale by encouraging people to come along to events with better advertisement on other social media pages.

  11. #11

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    Apologies Maple Leaf. I had an operation a few days before and have been out of action for 10 days. It has now been resolved.

    GAGB Chairperson
    2015/2020
    GAGB Committee member since March 2014
    UK Mega Event Vice Chairman 2013 (West Midlands)

  12. #12

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    I think an updated website would be great and I could help with this using my photography. I would also like to perhaps run a few more events or networking meets, integrating and including more of the community where possible. More presence on social media such as twitter, facebook and instagram also. I feel a slight design switch around or update may be helpful with the newsletter/magazine as well.

  13. #13

    Join Date
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    North Staffordshire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griff Grof View Post
    As my manifesto argues, we need to improve the visibility of the GAGB. The launch of regular, roving GAGB events was at the heart of my manifesto in 2015. I am pleased that we have organised almost 15 since then - I organised the most recent one. However, we need to make more of an effort in the coming year - they should be more frequent, and better distributed across Great Britain. The roving events are a key way for the GAGB to become more visible. GAGB Friends should now be able to organise these events, not just committee members.
    Friends organising these would be an excellent way forward. With a set number of committee members the events may be restricted to certain areas only because of where committee members can viably travel to to run the events - if friends are also able to take on this that would mean the GAGB could cover the whole of Britain far easier.

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