Remember the members’ survey we ran earlier this year? Roughly 22% of you responded (thanks very much) – and the results made for some interesting discussions around the 26 board table. Here are some of the themes that came through, and what these mean for the future of 26.
On the whole, there’s much appreciation for 26 – the creativity, the community and the connections our members have enjoyed over the years. As one person put it, ’26 is an extraordinary collection of talented, friendly, generous people… but also, those great projects!’
Wordstock Deconstructed, as an alternative to a one-day Wordstock, seemed to go down well – and we’ll be continuing with this approach to 26 events over the next year. We’ve already run one Wordstock Deconstructed event – Group Therapy for Copywriters earlier this month – and there are more fabulous events in the pipeline.
Where 26 activities happen was a common theme in the feedback. There’s a clear need to find ways to make our projects, events and training more accessible to people outside London – even outside the UK. With only 35% of the members surveyed living in the London area, this came through loud and clear.
So we’re considering how we can make 26 activities more virtual – by offering Skype places on Trade Secrets workshops, for example, or by live-streaming events or starting up a Slack group. Our projects and events are all member-run, so if you have an idea for a project or want to organise a meet-up based where you are, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And then there’s who we are. Of the people who took the survey, 90% had been a 26 member for three or more years and the same number were over the age of 40. So we’re embarking on a membership drive with a particular focus on attracting a younger, more diverse group of members. To survive and thrive, 26 has to be inspiring and welcoming to word-loving people of all types – and we’ll be working in 2018, and beyond, to make sure we are.