Annual General Meeting 2017
Friday 3 November 2017, 1-2pm, Imperial War Museum
Georgina Brooke, Michael Guthrie, Jessica Suess
Minutes of the last AGM
No objections were raised. Andrew Lewis proposed they be accepted, seconded by Ina Pruegel.
Chair’s Report (Mia)
Knowing my term would end today, I started succession planning last year [https://museumscomputergroup.org.uk/mcg-2016-agm-reports/], though this was interrupted by unexpected medical issues… During the year I built on the work discussed in the 2016 report, and I worked with Alec on comms about the work on the committee during the year as part of my plan to recruit a suitable new Chair and committee members. With Sarah Middle, I devised and ran a survey on ‘challenges and opportunities in museum/heritage technology’, which had over 50 responses (results to be shared soon).
It’s not easy to find a time for Committee meetings that fits around everyone’s family and work commitments. As a committee we experimented with Slack to host committee debates and support people dialling into committee meetings, with limited success.
We had a great programme committee who generously gave their time to review conference proposals. There was an excellent response to the call for papers – we learnt about more interesting projects than we had room to fit in, so perhaps we should encourage more people to post case studies to the discussion list.
The new event brand (from UK Museums on the Web to Museums+Tech) has settled in and given us more flexibility in programming.
The discussion list is thriving – there’s a very occasional blip but survey results showed that it provides real value for the wider community. However, the discussion isn’t easy to find if you don’t already know it exists, so a challenge for incoming committee is to sustainably amplify voices and ideas from the list.
In the last year, we had a discussion about whether unpaid internship ads were allowed on the list and updated discussion list terms to make it clear that ‘Job, paid internship and volunteer post advertisements are permitted’ and that ‘internships offered should meet the Museums Association guidelines for internships’.
Over the past six years the MCG has professionalised events (partly in response to increasing commercialisation of cultural heritage technology events), broadened the diversity of speakers at events, advocated for better support for digital work and workers in museums to funders and government agencies, greatly expanded the reach of expertise in the sector via the discussion list and increased our presence on social media.
Finding free/affordable museum venues is much harder than a few years ago, and catering is more expensive so prices have crept up a little. However, we’ve balanced that with cheap concession tickets and by introducing bursaries for paid volunteer posts to ensure MCG events are accessible to more people. The volunteers get valuable experience while helping us spread the word across the wider sector. We also introduced profit sharing with speakers – it’s hard to predict upfront what costs will be so we can’t pay in advance, but profit sharing is a manageable way of balancing pre-event costs while recognising the work that goes into preparing talks, particularly for freelancers and small orgs.
We’ve had an ethos of continuous improvement that’s meant each event helps makes the next one better. I’d applied the same to the website but it’s also benefited from a proper content and technical review with fresh eyes – particular thanks to Tiana, Georgina on the MCG Committee, and Mike Ellis at thirty8 digital.
The final accounts of the Museums Computer Group as at 31 December 2016 are submitted for the Meeting’s approval.
As per last year, they were produced by Michael Bushell of Lee, Dicketts & Co, Chartered Certified Accountants, Business & Tax Advisers, Kent.
The accounts show a balance of £7390 at the year-end; down from £15,968 in 2015.
The Income and Expenditure account shows that in 2016 the Museums Computer Group had an income of £14,693, an expenditure of £23,066, and a deficit of £8,373.
The main outgoings for the MCG in 2016 were again the events. 2016 saw two events: a spring event in York, and Museums + Tech 2016 at the Wellcome Collection.
Spring event expenditure = £3,400.26
Spring event income = £1,895.00
Museums + Tech 2016 expenditure = £18,308.48
Museums + Tech 2016 income = £12,988.25
The increase in income year on year is more than offset by the rise in conference costs, largely due to the event costs incurred with increasing conference costs, and a decision to not seek sponsorship for the Museums + Tech 2016 event. As a membership organisation, any accumulated funds are best spent for the good of the members and so this deficit is not troubling and was an intentional push. The intention is to maintain this level of funds ongoing, rather than creating a surplus from events.
In 2017 we changed how we manage memberships and purged our old membership files, removing many duplicate memberships and redundant email addresses. This has reduced MCG’s official membership to 489, but this is hopefully a more accurate representation of professionals who actively wish to be part of the community.
For 2017 MCG has 10 corporate members: Imperial War Museums; Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading; National Galleries Scotland; National Museum Wales; Royal Air Force Museum; Science Museum; System Simulation; University of Cambridge Museums; Victoria & Albert Museum; Wellcome Collection.
The MCG’s annual conference was rebranded as Museums+Tech conference and took place at the Wellcome Collection in London on 19 October 2016. It was themed ‘Sharing our stories’ and we had 2 keynotes, 10 presentations, 7 lightning talks.
It was sold out and over 190 people attended.
There was no Spring Event in 2017.
The MCG website https://museumscomputergroup.org.uk had 12,554 sessions by 8,387 users. The total page views were 22,465 (stats over the period 12 October 2016 – 11 October 2017)
The MCG community list (MCG@jiscmail.ac.uk) is still an active discussion and collaboration forum.
- 1729 subscribers, at 12/10/2017 (1633 in 2015/6) – 6% increase
- 1341 posts (1338 in 2015/6) – no change
- 395 people subscribed (388 in 2015/6) – 2% increase
- 123 signed off the list (133 in 2015/6) – 8% increase
(stats over the period 12 October 2016 – 11 October 2017)
Twitter remains the most popular social media platform with 4,127 followers. The platform continues to grow steadily with an average of 40-50 new followers each month.
We have also been using Facebook, predominantly to promote events. Our Facebook page currently sits at a healthy 861 followers – but this is a number we are looking to increase.
Finally, we’ve been using LinkedIn to mostly discuss our events and list discussion topics. LinkedIn offers us an opportunity to engage individuals on a more professional level – as well as share more learning/findings from the discussion list. This is an audience we hope to expand in the coming year.
Three members of the committee are standing down: Mia Ridge (Chair), Martin Bazely and Andrew Lewis. The Chair thanked the outgoing Committee members, Martin and Andrew for their work; and the committee thanked Mia for all of hers.
Dafydd James was the sole nominee for the role of Chair (to replace Mia). Matthew Cock proposed he be elected, and Ross Parry seconded.
In addition 5 new ordinary committee members were accepted:
- Claudia Strange
- Scott Billings
- Elizabeth McCarthy
- Adriana Rouanet
- Theresa Kneppers
MCG Committee 2018
Dafydd James (2017 -2020)
|Ordinary and Seconded Members
Michael Guthrie: to 2018
Sarah Middle: to 2018
Brian Moss: to 2018
Rebecca Atkinson: to 2017
Ina Pruegel: to 2017
Alec Ward: to 2019
Tiana Tasich: to 2019
Georgina Brooke: to 2019
Sarah Cole: to 2019
Claudia Strange: to 2020
Scott Billings: to 2020
Elizabeth McCarthy: to 2020
Theresa Kneppes: to 2020
Adriana Rouanet: to 2020
Katherine Biggs (2016 – 2019)
Jessica Suess (2016 – 2019)
Any Other Business
Change to CIO Status
Mia outlined that the MCG had been continuing to look into the viability of moving to CIO status, and that if this were to happen that the executive members of the committee (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary) would become trustees. Mia asked the AGM if there were any objections to the committee moving forward with the process of taking on CIO status. She proposed the committee be able to do this, and Andrew Lewis seconded. Martin Bazely proposed that the Executive Committee should become trustees if the status is changed to that of CIO; Sarah Middle seconded this.