Equity Feed

Would you Google Hangout to Network?

Stage Managers and Production Creatives, Event Professionals

GooglePlay Hangout
 
 
Google Play hosted this Hangout (above) with Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Google+ is ideal if you want to host events with an online dialogue and interact with fans its a great starting point solution. This particular event was to promote Spielberg’s upcoming film, Lincoln. Five lucky people got to actually ask questions and chat with Gordon-Levitt and Spielberg. Three used their personal computers, while two others joined from Times Square–where the Hangout was also broadcast.
 
With key industry conferences, events and networking opportunities being in major cities it is inevitable that new initiatives start here too. As an event organiser and stagemanager,  I understand the attraction of holding events in hi profile venues. As an audience developer, livestream producer and excluded audience member I also understand the frustration experienced by those who don't live so close to these prestigious hubs or would like to attend events that they aren't actually working on.
 
In October last year I was invited to create an online audience experience for the Nordic Nations's annual conference Arts and Audiences  being held in Reykjavik, Iceland by the host organisations Audiences Norway and the DCAI (Danish Centre for the Arts and Interculture. For Arts and Audiences we used many social technologies in the final event delivery, but Google Hangout holds the engagement potential I think can make attending ‘in the cloud’ worth while. 
 
Both organisations had worked with me previously as they are partner members of the Audiences Europe Network where I have been a digital audience adviser and content producer since 2011.
They wanted to engage both audiences as entities in their own right. One attending at the venue and one not able to attend the venue in person but wanted to take part. To be there or not to be there, that is the question.  
 
ArtsAA googlehangout
We held meetings prior to the event for the blogging and social media team. This is hangout (left) was attended by the bloggers.
 
Each blogger was representing one of the Nordic countries so a face to face meeting was not an option. 
 
We ran a Google Hangout as a mutual digital meeting space, "live lounge"
 
We also discussed running participatory discussions, talks and workshops using it as a digital breakout space.
 
 
Future Equity events
 
So what is this all about? I want to attend the Free 2015 Stage Management Training events via Google Hangout. I am hoping to convince Equity to actively run their Google+ profile (EquityUK's Google+ profile) and run a hangout in parallel to each event taking place in Guild House. Google's Hangout facility can host up to 10 connections at a time. With one connection used by the venue to host and one for the guest speaker we had an audience capacity of 8 connections. I say connection because one computer connection can be watched by a room of people or by a lone viewer.
 
Who else would be interested attending via an 'in the cloud' Green Room?
 
EQUITY: Free Stage Management Training
 
Equity is running a series of Equity/ SMA Brunch sessions, their free* programme of professional development for stage management members. The first event is today - Monday 16th February and I would like to have been there, Equity Organiser Paul Fleming is scheduled to be telling us all we need to know about the Sub Rep Agreement (the Pink Book and accompanying contract) and answering questions. It would have been great to have been able to attend online, but also to have met other members not able to travel to London in the hangout "digital green room". Integrating this aside technology would be no problem for multi-tasking stage managers attending the event 'on the ground'.
 
Future Events
Mon 2nd March - Tax, NI, Pensions and Welfare Benefits - Alan Lean, Equity
Mon 13th April - Accounting and Book Keeping
Mon 18th May - Touch Tours and Access - Lucinda Harvey, SOLT/UK Theatre
Mon 1st June – UK Theatre/ BECTU Get-in and Get-out Guidelines
Jul - None scheduled
Aug - None scheduled
Mon 7th September - West-End and Commercial Theatre Agreement, Equity
Mon 12th October - Risk Assessments, Touring and Site Specific - with ABTT
Mon 9th November - Employment Law (Worker vs Employee), Equity
Mon 7th Dec - TBC
 
Each session is held between 13:00 and 15:00 at Guild House, Equity, London WC2H 9EG. The training, which has been popular and widely appreciated by members, aims to inform, bring you up to date and help you in your professional lives, whilst offering a sharing experience and networking opportunities for new entrants and experienced pros alike.
 
As sessions are confirmed and more information is available Equity's SM committee will update the News page on the Stage Management Section of the Equity website - http://bit.ly/EquitySMnews
 
* Sessions are free to Equity and SMA members, £10 for non-members. All sessions are jointly run by Equity and the SMA. To book please email: admin@stagemanagementassociation.co.uk and tell us which session(s) you would like to book for.
 
Equity’s Stage Management Constitutional Register keeps Stagemanagers informed. If you want to be on this register or would like to read more about the register then please follow this link 

Happy New Year... a PCM digital welcome to 2015.

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I was wondering how folks were starting thier year.

I have recently moved out of my home of 15yrs after a 2 yr battle with neighbours in a nightmare neighbourhood. So I'm even more in digital limbo than ever. I continue to champion an Equity conciousness amonst fellow arts parctitioners.

I've followed with interest in 2014 the formation of a new association "Artists’ Union England" a new trade union for professional visual and applied artists. And I've continued converstaions about UK trade unions' adoption of online platforms with Simon Parry at Infobo who are developing cloud based platforms with other trade unions.

Simon has carried out research about unions and online presence since 2012 and currently Equity sits at... number 5 out of 45 who activily maintain a twitter account. Read the article here

Our website authority also features in Simon's research listing us coinsidentally also at number 5 having risen from 8th in 2013. Read the article here

Work wise I'm continuing my audience producer role with Audiences Europe Network and building social technology toolkits with performers and practitioners. My 2014 high light was a fully realised "Digital Audience Experience" enquiry with Arts and Audiences in Reykjavik, Iceland.

I'm in planning and prep mode until March. What about you?


Standing Together - 2013 Equity Elections

All stop, All change... Equity is changing.

400px-voteGood thing or Bad thing? I think its a good thing as long I know how I/we can get our voice heard. The online engagement and development of an Online Branch is underway and will become more important in the years to come. Good or bad the change is happening. I'd like to be able to coninue championing independent artists and production creatives both on and off line.

So if you have a vote please use it and vote for me. Use or filter #voteCJ to follow the chatter on Twitter. Over the next few weeks I'll be offering further information about the changes and an insight in to Equity and the new committee structure. 

Old Structure and New Structure Representation

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New Structure

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Are you an Equity Member or do you know members? Eitherway please sign up and follow my Equity 2013 Elections Standing Together campaign. Please visit my Standing Together Campaign page

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Strategy & Policy for the year ahead - ARC 2012

On May 19, 20, 21 around 200 Equity members gathered in Birmingham to debate, discuss and vote on the motions submitted from across the association which will shape the next 12 month of Equity's policy making, campaigning and industry contract negotiations. It was also a valuable opportunity for members representing their Branches and committees to meet each other to talk shop and drink beer!

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From the arrival at Birmingham New Street Station I was 'on the ground' making media... as I do, when I can. I can't help it. Why? I'm compelled to share. No one can be every where and remote audience engagement is a fascination of mine. This event was special. One, its a direct way I can contribute to the industry closest to my heart and two, it's an opportunity to scrutinise social media adoption and application amongst its workers and practitioners.

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As the ARC (Annual Representatives Conference) is not a public event certain confidentiality's must be respected. This meant that as I was intending to blog I wasn't permitted to photograph representatives without explicit permission. I never like posed photos there for no pics with people. The Stage reported on the main debate on the agenda which will redefine the democratic structure of the union.

IMG_1737Did this mean no social media? Not in the least, Equity selectively tweeted, posted to Facebook and the hashtag #ARC2012 was initiated, monitored and engaged enabling interested tweeters to follow the main activity of the conference. The beauty of twitter is it's function as a back channel, being able to connect with fellow representatives and those unable to attend and exchange pleasantries. 

Having watched the twitter activity over the last few years it was heartening to see a mark increase of chatter before and during the conference. The interest in social media, especially twitter has increased too. The concern how ever was the development of skills with a fear of personal networks mixng with professional and fan base connection was high.

Although the FEU (Federation of Entertainment Unions) do provide web training the entry level and resulting real skills Equity members need is that of entry level, absolute beginners with access to the hardware not to mention the connectivity being voiced as the hurdles to engagement.

But it wasn't all work (read Equity's ARC reflection and motion results), there was an opportunity to play. This year the after dinner entertainment was a charity casino night in aid of ICAF (International Committee for Artists' Freedom) I did take a few pics here. It was great fun and for a great cause.


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Equity have posted a short article "Equity's conference backs change" gives an overview of the serious business that was carried out over the 3 day conference. The Stage have reported on the structure change too. "Equity restructure plans gain conference go-ahead"

For me I wanted to blog to attempt to give an impression of the event itself from 'on the ground'.

 


From the inside out. My EquityUK journey begins.

I'm heading to the ARC in Birmingham as an observer this weekend.

A quick intro to the ARC (Annual Representative Conference)?

VoteEquityUK'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.

Continue reading "From the inside out. My EquityUK journey begins." »


Livescribe - old media meet new technology

"Don't add technology to way you do things. Change the way you do things when you know what technology can do" A quote I use throughout my presentations and workshops. Its part of what I refer to as foundation thinking. Thanks go to Marcus Romer, artistic director of Pilot Theatre for this line of genius.

Way back in 2007 at the launch of the newly negotiated Equity ITC contract agreement at Hampstead Theatre I had conversation that ignited my social media journey and restructured by business. It's Marcus's fault that I joined Facebook! The conversation and consequent collaboration took me in to Second Life and entwined my life irrevocably with this social media phenomenon.

I upgrade my technology when I discover features or learn of functions my current tool set or equipment can't provide. This has driven my mobile phone upgrades and it has now inspired my upgrade from paper note book to Live Scribe.

http://www.livescribe.com - cool little pen thing for those that take notes.

I can still write notes and draft blog posts. Now I can transfer the text to my computer, archive and search my notebooks. With the MyScribe app I can covert my written notes in to editable text.


Equity@Edinburgh 2009: Your voice, Your chance

Equity@EdinburghEquity is in Edinburgh from Aug 24 - 29...The Facebook group

The most important session for practitioners to influence their sector is on 27/08/09 Working in Independent Theatre – the Essentials - 1400-1600 Free (ticketed) at Festival Theatre, 13-19 Nicholson Street (venue 244).


Sadly it will be the least well attended. Social Media has no visibility in the ITC (Independent Theatre Council) contract or the Fringe contract at present I would like to see that change.

For example
  • Enabling audiences to share and promote our productions with targeted material.
  • Payments for Live Streamed performances.
  • Guidelines to protect copyright using more flexible CC creative commons licenses
  • Guidelines for online conduct within social media for company members

Please find time to fit this one in your diary. You do not have to be an equity member or working or ever worked on an ITC contract. Come and share your concerns, experiences and needs for a theatre contract for digital age.

I will be there.
Caron

Equity@Edinburgh - pt 1

During the second week of 2008’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival two members of Equity staff, Louise Grainger and Matt Clarke plus two Equity members, Peter Warnock and Me, Caron Lyon championed the trade union running workshops and a daily drop-in centre under the Equity@Edinburgh banner. We also saw around 30 shows and talked to performers and production staff during our week.

My primary purpose for me being selected by the Equity Independent Theatre Arts Committee was to deliver a workshop “Social Media, Networking and making the web work for you”. Peter delivered the Voice workshops "Make your voice heard" and due to popular demand a second voice workshop was added.There was also "Speed Networking", "How to get ahead in acting", "Movement for actors", "How to get ahead as a theatre director" and "Equity - What's it all about?" More than 150 people took part in the workshops and many made use of the free advice available in the drop in zone.

It has been my ambition since withdrawing from full time stagemanagement and becoming a web designer to be in a position to pass on the astonishing findings of Social Media development over the past few years and help creatives make the web work for them in an industry where money is so tight. My approach to Web 2.0 and Social Media enables solo practitioners and small companies to develop rich dynamic, easy to maintain and control web presences at little financial cost.

My workshop lasted 2 hrs at The Roman Eagle Lodge and was attended by around 25 delegates. The session content was divided in to 3 sections recapping as the workshop progressed. I covered a lot of ground introducing them to many new sites and services. The aim of all the presentations I have done over the past few months is to ignite creative thinking around how these services and sites can be used to Get Noticed, Get Connected, and Get Work.

Two services featured as practical demonstrations with the audience using their mobile phones to experience social media in action. I like a bit of hands-on stuff.

SpinVox, a voice to text service enabling voice to text updates for Blogs, Social Networks, memos to email and mass voice to text message distribution called Blasting. Try it they provide a nifty demo. Call this number 0845 040 6699 follow the instructions, leave a short voice message and in a short time, normally less that a minute it pops up as in inbound text message. Brilliant. Signing up for the service is easy too, and…. FREE. Hurrah.

The other live demo was with Swarm, a private mass texting platform for team communication, little trickier to explain but potentially very powerful for company communication and audience engagement. Check it out.

Take a look at the workshops structure. Here is the Slide Show embedded from Slideshare an on line archive of slideshow presentation.

Through out my time in Edinburgh I used QIK to stream video content to the web ready for embedding in to my blog posts on my return. I demoed this to the delegates too. Here they are!


Yawn! Beware it's contagious.

After my last post "The most boring blog post ever" it was in preparation for this. The boring things in life are often the most essential. Water is probably the most obvious. We add flavour, fruit juice, cordial,  add milk, mash a flimsy paper bag with leaves in to it, heat it up or add ice to cool it down. Its the h2o that our bodies need. Without it we overheat, dry up, wither and die.

So in essence boring things are often quite important for our fundamental well being!

On Saturday when the mail landed on my door mat there it was, the summer edition of the Equity Journal. For many Equity Members it's instant recycling fodder and this one contained a double whammy, an envelop containing the voting papers and candidate statements for the Equity Council and President. (You may now Yawn!)

CouncilElectionsGraphic Every two years Equity members elect the Equity Council — the governing body of the union. Candidates for the Equity Council standing in this election are active members of Equity keen to give that little bit more. They are the voice of members in the union and they make crucial decisions about what the union does — for example the contracts Equity agrees with employers and the campaigns that run on behalf of members are discussed by the Council before any action is taken.

I confess that in previous years (I've been an equity member since 1995) I have not voted. I did vote in the last round of elections. I just found it all too confusing and with so much to read through I'd get to the end thinking "I don't know who any of these people are, why should I care who sits on the council". Admitting that bureaucracy bores the pants of us is no shameful thing but in Equity I am starting to feel the mood changing.

Equity is in great shape - working for better pay in the West End, negotiating payments for the use of members work on new media platforms and campaigning for better funding from the Government. Their confronting of the Arts Council was inspired.

With more candidates than ever standing for the Equity Council, your vote is even more important. Perhaps it is a sign of how much Equity has been doing in recent years that so many members want to get involved in steering the union's future.

There is a 25 per cent increased in the number of members standing for election to the Equity Council in 2008 compared with two years ago and an unprecedented 50 members standing for just 17 seats.

The funky wave of interactive Social Media specially Facebook is giving active Equity members new voices. Equity now has a Facebook profile, the West End fair Pay campaign has a Facebook group, The Bristol and West area branch has entered the Social Web arena and members in Hants and Dorset who don't have thier own area branch have begun a campaign to get one using a Facebook group to raise awareness and gather supporters. Council Election candidate Esther Ruth Ellis has created a Facebook group to gather her supporters around her.

If you have a vote. Consider using it. Your selection will make a difference. This time more than ever.


The most boring blog post ever.

Is PR the art of making boring subjects interesting or at least creating the illusion they are?

I guess some subjects are easier to promote than others.

Or

Is the art of PR about finding audiences and presenting information to the people who will be interested in the information being PRed? Is that even a word? Well its a concept and you know what I'm getting at.

The trade union for the entertainment industry, Equity is gearing up for Council Elections. The American presidential campaign is nothing compared to this.

Is this the most boring blog post ever? Its going to get worse!