On Friday night I was out having a good time with 19 people. No, I wasn’t hitting the dance floor or sampling local real ales - I was leading a Funding network event hosted by the PTC Trust. The location - easy to find, tricky to actually spot in the dark - was arranged by local brass stalwart Connie, who plays for two local bands as well as working for the aforementioned Trust. The Trust spoiled us with their great coffee as well as their training space!
This network meeting was just the latest in a string of events where kind host bands and I encourage other brass bands to meet together to discuss, and learn about, different funding sources and the best way to access them. I cover both the usual and not-so-usual, and have collected some great feedback along the way. My favourites from Friday were”really good presentation with good liaison between presenter and attendees - lots of interaction” (of course I’d like that one!) and the very simple ” Really very useful, worth the registration fee for BBE!”
The thing I love most about these meetings, 9 of which have so far been attended by 132 people from 95 different bands and brass organisations, is the buzz. I get people together, we bring cake, we learn stuff and we talk, share ideas, discuss, plan.
From each meeting, I learn things to pass on to others, from my favourite easy trick of having business cards printed up with your Secretary’s details for all players to keep in their blazer pockets, to hearing about the Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund
Not to mention Gemma’s muffin recipe!
The point is, we really do have a lot of expertise and experience within our bands, and if we get together and talk more often about subjects like funding, then we can keep our enthusiasm bubbling and our knowledge growing.
I have two definite network meetings planned; one hosted by the Yorkshire and Humberside Brass Band association in North Yorkshire on the afternoon 22nd February, and one on March the 21st hosted by Pemberton Old Wigan Bands (email firstname.lastname@example.org for details). There are also another 4 in planning, but I have room for more! Just get in touch and we’ll get them arranged.
See you at a network meeting near you soon!