Strategic Planning Meeting Notes

  • Posted on: 24 September 2010
  • By: sean

Here are the notes from our Strategic Planning Meeting from Sep 21, 2010. I'm posting them up here for league members and other interested individuals to read and comment on. You'll also find these on the Facebook group as a discussion topic.

Sean

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There were five sections that included broadening league membership and diversity, communicating to members in more useful ways, offering more features, tightening our social scene, and expanding leadership.

Under the broadening membership section, we talked about how members have joined because their friends have joined and how we can leverage this for recruiting more friends of friends, like with a discount or other incentive. We talked about the common demographic in our core group of dedicated members - 26 year old Caucasians in the high-tech industry. We talked about minors (under 18) and if that was a legal liability that we were willing to take on. We talked about cost as a prohibitive factor that may be keeping new members out, Ben pointed out that other leagues charge more and offer less (and many people don't get their money's worth anyway). The thing that really stuck was setting up some guerrilla marketing games in the weeks before the season starts - highly public, high traffic areas with literature to hand off to people as they show interest. This may tap into people who never heard about us before.

In communications, our members might be tuning out of email as a general trend and using social networks instead. We've made some progress there this year already. We ought to start collecting phone numbers and using those (responsibly) to send texts and calls as needed. Not a lot of surprises here.

In new features and shtick, we talked about creating more opportunities for games in irregular times, like week night meetups or otherwise. We talked about managing our music playlists better to make sure the music isn't stale, maybe managing this electronically. We may have a day that is a stand alone tourney, like a mid-term. We talked about producing trading cards for the league, which is major effort but might have major payoff throughout the year - the cards are cool, they are showcase pieces, they are personal, they will end up on fridges and coffee tables and scrap books and all that stuff.

In encourgaging more socializing, we agreed to make more effort to get our league members out to the pub after games. We've shifted to a later time on Sunday and that might help in itself. We also talked about a local pub that could "sponsor" us with discounts to sweeten the pub attraction. We talked about polling members on schedule changes to go off weekends and on to week nights next year.

Under leadership, we talked about committee-style leadership where more people share more responsibility. Working in a team is more rewarding for everyone, and lightens the load too. We chewed the idea of future non-profit status, like I mentioned at the end of last season, with a mission that is broader than just for square games - though this is a lot of work. We talked about money and how many enrollments we needed to collect to have that new life. BUT the amazing thing from this section is that lots of folks volunteered to pick up some of the work we set out in this meeting and make it all happen, and that means a lot for our current season.

Here is what we PLANNED to do:

Dana, Christian, Sean, Ben: Agreed to each run one of our guerrilla marketing game sessions. Dana would do one immediately (maybe Friday afternoon). I would run one within two weeks. Ben in three weeks. Christian in four or so. Locations, dates and volunteers still remaining to be planned - and soon. Can you all throw some dates out?

Christian: Agreed to head up the trading card movement, research prices, set production schedule, and work with us on the best way to
deliver. (Maybe there should only be a few of the very "valuable" cards in circulation, encourage real trading of cards).

Sean: Continue the Facebook and mailing list promotion as usual for the year, with new contacts from Jess for press. Post an abridged and sanitized version of this message for the public on on Squarefour.org and Facebook.

Sean: Pack and stack the four square supply box for street games in the next month and stock with promotional materials for handing out. Also, produce a sandwich board with sweet visuals so pedestrians can read about us from a distance if they don't want to engage with us right then.

Sean: Or anyone? Reach out to a pub for a local sponsorship, see what turns up. I have a great relationship with The Field's owner from my work at CCTV, I think he could offer us something if we commit to bringing him a lot of beer drinkers for the next four months. If any of you have other local contacts, talk with me first so we can reach out strategically.

Jess: Seemed excited to take on the role of "social chair". She is away for the next month but committed to playing the socializing cheerleader in this season, and recruiting some friends to join to get some extra weight.