I'm heading to the ARC in Birmingham as an observer this weekend.
A quick intro to the ARC (Annual Representative Conference)?
EquityUK's ARC takes place every year, usually in the Spring. It is normally held in London for two years running and then in a different part of the country (the members choose), This year Birmingham plays host. It is the opportunity for the Council and Representatives from the committees and branches to come together to propose and debate policy, and move forward the work of the union. Decisions that are passed at the ARC with a two thirds majority are binding on the union and become policy. Representatives are elected and the conference usually lasts for 2 days with the agenda being broken down into debates on Recorded Media, Live Performance, Union Structure, Equality, Health and Safety, Communications and Membership Services. Members who are not involved in a committee or branch but would like to attend the ARC can come as an Observer.
You may know I sit on the Independent Theatre Committee so why am I attending as an observer? Official representatives have voting rights and for several years I have attended in this capacity on several occasions. I have one official duty this year and that is to host a fringe session taking an up close and personal look at the much derided Equity website. Love it or loathe it, it's ours. It's not so bad it needs a little community participation but I have to admit it's not straight forward. I hope I can encourage a few represenatives to give the site, especialy the membes area a second glance.
I was asked by Louise Grainger to send a biog and a bit of blurb to give context to my session. I expect that there wil be Equity Facebook and @EquityUK Twitter activity. For me this weekend is about talking to active members. The only way I know I'm engaging with fellow members is to post and chat in the forum where access is via a password. Hope you will enter a dialogue with me. Post your thoughts. Activate the "Watch this thread" box and get notifications as they are posted.
If you aren't an Equity member you can follow the tweets and Facebook posts. If you are a member you will need your Equity membership number and your password to get the inside insight.
So... this is me and this is what I'll be doing Sunday lunch time 12.30. As it's a biog for the programme its in the 3rd person. Thought I'd share it here too.
Caron worked as a stagemanager before retraining at a web designer in 2003. In 2006, As she realised she was not a designer social media emerged and slowly the realisation hit that being a stagemanager was harder to escape than she first thought! Caron is an event specialist with an unhealthy knowledge of social media! From creating social networks for Arts Council England’s Amb:IT:ion program and Pilot Theatre's Shift Happens conferences, live streaming interactive coverage for Architects Journal and Audiences Europe to Twitter 'conversation curation' (digital show calling) audience engagement and event support are the common theme. As a consultant Caron provides the knowledge and training organisations or individuals need to make media, connect and talk across the web in real time.
In 2010 Caron, along with video blogger and brand advocate Phil Campbell joined forces as collaborators and set up FibreCamp an HD community web studio and 'on the ground' real time event team. Caron is an elected member of Equity's Independent Theatre Arts Committee and has been an SMA (Stage Management Association) board member and chair of Equity's StageManagement committee.
Caron has two signature events she runs, MediaCampNottingham and Technology on Trial.
She is here at the the Equity ARC to put the Equity website on trial. In this session we will look at the site from the outside in and gain some insight in to:
* How we can make this site work for us as Equity members
* Master its foibles to share and promote our committee and branch activities
* Optimise our profiles to stay better informed of Equity's activities
* How we can share Equity's news feed with others
* What is coming soon to make things better.
The ARC 2012 Fringe Programme
Saturday 19 May 18.00 - Miss Representation (film screening)
Main conference area
The documentary Miss Representation explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence. Film to be followed by a discussion led by Equity's Women's Committee.
Sunday 20 May 12.30 (2 session running)
A members' guide to the web site (bring your lunch)
The Westminster Room
Equity member and social media expert Caron Jane Lyon gives a member-to-member guide to the Equity web site.
Building better branches
Main conference area
Workshop, designed for Equity by the GFTU (General Federation of Trade Unions), giving branch secretaries, committee members and activists the tools to reach out to new members, find new activists and build and win local campaigns. Hosted by Equity's Live Performance Department.
Sunday Evening - 18.15
The Hancock Suite.
Open space sessions