The 2018 Annual Outdoor Gathering, at University of Wolverhampton, organised by Peter Blackburn and Robert Poniatowski and his team from Western Midlands group, turned out to be a corker of an event. Shropshire has so much to offer in its World Heritage Sites, stately homes, museums, beautiful villages and many scenic trails resulting in our hosts having plenty to show off. Roberts’s team are preparing event reports from the weekend which will appear on the website shortly which leaves me to concentrate on the Annual General Meeting.
Gay Outdoor Club Groups put on a record 771 events last year and our numbers have stabilised, increased by 2 from last year, at 1512 members. OutDoors magazine circulation is currently 490 per month and will continue to be produce so long as there is an Editor and the magazine is self-financing.
The Trustees main focus at this time is development of the new website. You will have seen news articles on the progress Owen and the testing team have made and we remain on target with respect to budget, website functionality and timing.
With the new website in place, we will be in a position to pick up the marketing project. Online marketing through Google and Facebook will drive people to the website and we should see a corresponding increase in the number of Trial Accounts being created. Once they experience how welcoming Gay Outdoor Club members are, we are confident that many of them will sign up to be members.
Early next year we will also be outlining how we can support groups who want to participate in Pride or similar events in Summer 2019. We will be able to pay registration fees and provide banners and other useful marketing materials. We have asked before without much success but is there anyone out that with a marketing background who could help us with marketing Gay Outdoor Club to increase membership? Please get in touch with me if you have any amount of spare time.
Ned, our Treasurer made a plea for all those eligible to sign up to Gift Aid. We are able to claim £3k each year from HMRC from Gift Aid so this is important for the Club’s finances. Follow this link to permit Gay Outdoor Club to claim Gift Aid: www.goc.org.uk/mygoc/gift-aid. The club will end the year with a strong bank balance after paying for completion of the website redesign, leaving a healthy budget for marketing.
Peter talked about his many hats, these being Secretary, Editor and AOG Coordinator. He asked for a volunteer to take on the role of AOG Coordinator with him this year so he can show them the ropes. The workload of the Editor has been much reduced by Peter streamlining the process and he asked if anyone would volunteer to take this over.
Results of the Votes
(1) The resolution to appoint Jane Ward as the independent accountant was passed unanimously.
(2) All the nominees for the board were elected, all of them having received more than 100 of the 117 votes cast.
Al Evans announced that the 2019 AOG will be held at Swansea University and showed enticing slides of where we will visit next year.
Thanks and Announcements
Thanks to all of those who have given their time for your enjoyment of GOC: Leavers: Jon Stockton (Group Liaison), Nigel Still (Membership Sec)
Joiners: David Heard (Membership Sec)
Thanks to Peter Blackburn and Robert Poniatowski and all of the Event Leaders for a Fab AOG.