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Hobbits Hole SE London Roleplaying Club - Committee Meeting - Notes and Actions - April 2021

Date & Time: 7th April 2021 @19:00
Meeting: Committee Meeting
Venue: Virtual via Zoom

Chair: Carol Cunningham
Note taker: Marco Curran

  1. Chairperson: Carol Cunningham *CC
  2. Treasurer: Jerrie Sharp *JS
  3. Membership Officer: Hannah Philpot *HP
  4. Online Presence Officer: Mark Cunningham *MJC
  5. Secretary: Marco Curran *MC
  • None
Authorised as a true and correct record of meeting by:
Carol Cunningham
11th April 2021 21:32

A1    Welcome from the Chairperson

The Chair opened the meeting at 19:11 and welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Hobbits Hole SE London Roleplaying Club Committee. Everyone was thanked for their attendance and their efforts towards supporting the club in advance of this meeting.

A2    Minutes

This is the initial meeting and therefore there are no previous agendas or minutes taken.

A3    Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer has secured a Community bank account via Lloyds that has been opened in the club name. The bank has provided Personal and Public liability insurance as well as PayPal business account for free and contactless payments for a very nominal fee for two years.

The bank account cannot exceed holding £2,500.00 which would ensure that there is never a large surplus of revenue and will instead be used to improve the club.

The bank account requires three signatories which the Chairperson and the Membership Officer have taken this responsibility.

The Treasurer has been able to secure a £200.00 Community Grant to go towards any gaming equipment required and a further £120.00 has been raised via donations.

The Next Six Months

Agreement for membership/subscriptions. This would be dependent on the venue and their pricing and the aspiration is that the money will only be used to support the upkeep of the club. Any social gatherings outside of the usual table top gaming rotations would only be covered by those who are going to attend said extra events.

The Committee will continue to search for more Community Grants and the Secretary will canvass members to share any knowledge of other revenue streams for potential financial aid.

The Treasurer would like to create a quarterly newsletter that would contain updates from all key Committee Members plus any other Club information (i.e. games, etc). The Committee has agreed that the first week of July 2021 would be a good date to create the newsletter.

The Secretary has agreed to create an agenda point for the next meeting to remind those who are creating updates for the club and the Online Presence Officer (OPO) agreed to set up an area on the website where these can be stored.

Action 1:

Secretary to share the Just Giving page and to request members to contact the Treasurer if they know any potential funding avenues (The applications to request said grants will be completed by the Treasurer)

Action 2:

Secretary to add an agenda point to remind members to create short updates for quarterly newsletter

Action 3:

OPO to create a section on the club website for quarterly newsletters

A4    Online Presence Officer's Report

The OPO gave a full update on activity online. A full explanation was given of the requirements needed to ensure that our online visibility remained high. The OPO was highly complimented on their dedication. Additions such as a blog area, Club calendar showing key dates, a Trello board for Committee Member tasks and more.

The Committee have agreed to send out emails via their personal email addresses for the time being to be more cost effective however, any emails sent out to club members will be done by using the formal committee email addresses.

The Next Six Months

The OPO would like to continuously evolve the club’s presence online by utilising a number of online tools to maintain the club as one of the top search criteria across a number of platforms. This would require an increase in footfall to key sites and for members to add reviews wherever possible. These links will be shared by the OPO via Discord and the Secretary agreed to share this request with the members when the minutes are sent to the club.

The OPO has also agreed to help the Treasurer with the addition of a PayPal button on the club website once this is all in place.

Action 4:

The Secretary to share links to review pages with Club Members.

A5    Membership Officer Report

Members Update

The Membership Officer (MO) explained that currently, there was little to report other than a view that current members are engaging with the progress that is being made.

The Next Six Months

The MO feels that social media is beneficial for recruiting possible new members, however, would also like to create initiatives to encourage more people to become members such as:
  • Trial days for people new or ex/returning members to join a game
  • Bring a Friend Day to encourage new interests
  • Advertising in local papers
  • Draw in local media interest for the club at the new venue
  • Leaflet drops in areas of high interest (i.e. boardgaming caf├ęs, Games Workshop, etc)
Creation of a Suggestion Box to allow club members to contact the Committee anonymously to stay ahead of potential issues.

Everyone in the club; Committee and members can offer their support to the MO to help bring exposure to our club.

The OPO suggested running gaming events to promote the club such as having a table at Dragonsmeet and the Committee have agreed to revisit this idea closer to the date.

When funds are available, there will be a budget set aside to help with Membership Recruitment and the MO has agreed to forecast the potential costing of recruiting new members.

Action 5:

The MO to provide the Treasurer with a range of costings to fund the Club promotion/recruitment.

A6    Secretary Report

No correspondences from the members to the Committee has been given

Committee has agreed with the Secretary that emails from the Committee should be kept to a minimum and that only essential information would be sent to everyone.

The Secretary has also highlighted that there is no reason for the club to retain and publish extensive personal information on all members (i.e. home addresses). The Committee have agreed that the only personal information that would be shared amongst members is: Full name, email address, and possibly a contact number. Only Committee members will have access to member’s more detailed personal information (full postcode) but only with the member’s consent.

The Committee are in agreement that the minutes will possibly be archived in the members only area of the club website at a future date.

A7    Club Name Change

Due to the exodus of some former members to form a new club, the members who have stayed have decided by majority vote to retain the club name. In light of this new club forming and still continuing to own a domain name with the original club name, it has become difficult for the current club to retain its own identity.

The easiest solution would be to change the club name however, with all of the determination and hard work of the OPO (i.e. Search Engine Optimisation, reviews, etc) as well as the Treasury Officer creating a community bank account, it will be a struggle to change the club name however, within a year or two, it could be possible to then change the club name with another club member majority vote.

A8    Returning to In Person Gaming

Possible venues: The committee members have reached out to an estimated 30 venues and due to the expense of all venues, the Committee has currently narrowed it down to two venues. The forecast of the pricing so far is £3.00 per week per member and £35.00 per week for the venue. The Committee has taken into consideration of location, size of the room/hall, date and times the hall/room is available, parking, facility and exclusivity. These two options will be presented to all members to vote on by Friday, 16th April 2021 at 8pm. This will give plenty of time for everyone to prepare for a return to in person gaming.

It has been agreed by the Committee that Health professionals within the club would inform the rest of the club members when it was safe to return to in person gaming based on government guidelines. Currently, in person gaming will be allowed by the national guidelines as the first week of July 2021. Safety measures will be kept in place (i.e. sanitising stations, mixing tables will be at a minimum, etc).

Online Gaming – Many members have been playing rotations online and this has been a success and those who wish to continue gaming online can do so; especially for those who would like to continue to be a club member but cannot attend in person. It has been agreed that most members seem to enjoy online gaming (in general) to be on a Friday which will continue to be the option until it becomes a raised topic with the club members.

A9    Any Other Business

Gaining Exposure - The Treasurer has informed the Committee that their gaming blog on the club’s website regarding female representation in the Role Playing Games (RPG) niche has been noticed by Dungeons & Dragons Beyond (D&D Beyond) who will be publishing it later in 2021 and the Treasurer has agreed to give D&D Beyond our club’s contact details to include in their article to help promote the club.

Online Presence – The Chairperson has pointed out that if people consent, that games that are running could record their sessions whether it be in person or online and we then could agree on having a YouTube or Twitch channel. This has become quite popular with The Nerdist and Viva La Dirt, etc and it would possibly help promote our club. If any club member is interested in this idea, please contact the Online Presence Officer (OPO).

Outdated Club Website – The Committee members have noticed that our club website has outdated information on there that includes data from the former club. It was agreed by the Committee that the OPO and Secretary would review and update the website’s “About Us” information where necessary.

Photos of former club members - These are still on the club website and need to be replaced with new photos which will be made possible with the return of in person gaming.

The Return of In Person Gaming – With this starting on the first week of July 2021, the Treasurer will be asking to take photos of people playing, etc and this will replace the photos the club currently is using. The Committee may contact “Dragons Keep” and request that photos that include current Hobbits Hole members to be removed as they did not ask our consent to use it on their new club’s website.

Committee Photos - The OPO has asked all Committee members if they would consent to their photos being placed next to their club roles and it was agreed amongst the Committee that this is an option however, if they are not comfortable, that they can use an avatar in a photo’s stead.

Formerly Known as “The Manic Trophy” – It was agreed by the Committee that the tradition of having an annual competition should continue – the name to be decided later and for the current “Manic Trophy” to be returned to one of the Dragon Keep’s members, Tony “Dude” Brotherton.

A10    Date and Time of the next Committee Meeting

Currently the Committee will be meeting once every month up until the first week of July 2021.

After the first week of July 2021, the Committee will be having meetings every quarter.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 12th May 2021 at 19:00


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