By Victoria Button Ideas Festival Co-Director 2016
Contents 01 The Aims of the Ideas Festival: Community, education, and innovation.
02 Overview of the Festival infographic.
03 Meeting the Aims: Bringing the community together - an all inclusive festival.
04 Meeting the Aims: Innovation - showcasing the latest ideas.
05 Meeting the Aims: Educational value.
06 Highlights of the Festival.
07 Growth of the Festival - 2012 - 2016.
08 Moving forward to 2017 recommendations.
The Ideas Festival is built upon three aims: Community, to bring the community together for an all inclusive Festival. Education, provide education for all, on a wide variety of subjects. Innovation, showcase the latest innovative ideas on a variety of subjects.
The Ideas Festival provided a variety of events which fulfilled these aims in the below categories: heritage, science, technology, food, arts, urbanism, wellbeing and family events. Held annually in Autumn, Chelmsford’s Ideas Festival averagely runs for two weeks and incorporates the half term and the popular public holidays: Halloween, Diwali and Guy Fawkes Night. The Ideas Festival is organised by a Festival Director. Main funders are Chelmsford City Council and Anglia Ruskin University. Sponsorship was obtained in 2016 from – name silver sponsors. TheDirector works closely with the Ideas Hub Manager and Community Engagement Staff at Anglia Ruskin University. In 2016 further support was provided by the City Council Events Team. The Ideas Festival has been outward looking from its origins in 2012 to date. This is demonstrated by the close links existing with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and Academy of Urbanism. Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, commended the 2016 programme and informed us that he remained ‘proud of the RSA’s involvement in the Chelmsford Ideas Festival’.
02 Overview - Ideas Festival 2016
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* 24% £3 000 Somme 100 24% £3 000 Marconi Mural 24% £3 280 general event costs 13% £1 600 Rainworks art project 13% £1 600 Public Launch Costs 2% £200 Your City Speakers *figures are estimated and rounded up/down.
03 Meeting the Aims: Bringing the community together - an all inclusive festival
An amazing 91% of people said that the event they went to, brought people together. We received funding from, The Big Lottery Fund Celebrate Grant, which focused on getting people together to celebrate their community. This grant enabled us to programme the Discover Movement and Music Public launch of the festival. We had performances from Dance 21 and MenCap dance as well as an over 55 choir and dance group specifically brought together for the festival with pre-festival workshops. This event brought together over 10 community groups and showcased talent across Chelmsford!
Quotes from evaluation survey
“The talks and events on offer were fab! So many brilliant things!” “Really enjoyed it. Laid-back, creative atmosphere and the chance to experience something different to the usual drinking, eating and shopping that Chelmsford offers.”
“It enriched the onset of autumn for me. I also met old friends and lots of interesting people.” “My children look forward to the Ideas Festival every year, there is always something new and interesting to do.”
‘It’s a great all age event ..everyone in our Above: Talosi Photography, Chelmsford City Mencap and Dance 21 (downsyndrone dance group) performing at the Public Launch of the Festival.
Above: Quotes from Survey Monkey, see Appendix. Below: percentages from SurveyMonkey questionnaire.
* figures from Survey Monkey Evaluation of 154 people - see Appendix
04 Meeting the Aims: Innovation - Showcasing the latest ideas
92% of people said that innovation to the event they went to was either: good, great or amazing. (17% - good - 32% great - 43% amazing).
The inclusion of Anglia Ruskin University brought a variety of innnovative talks to the festival. The most successful: ‘The Imposter Phenomenon’, a womens study event, ‘How to do things with Words’ a talk on mental health and Choreograms dance performance and workshop. Other highly innovative events: Signals Media Arts Centre, animation workshop, E2V’s talk on their Copernicus Programme, Chilling Tales a historical ghost talk and walk, Shhhh! There’s a Disco going down, a disco in the central library, for families.
Photos Left to Right: Choregrams dance, Choregrams programme, Signals Media Arts workshops, Raspberry Pi workshop, Visioning the City in 2050 - Market Square, , The Big Paint workshop - Market Square. Photos by Victoria Button.
Quotes from evaluation survey
“The walk was informative, invigorating and exciting.”- Chilling Tales attendee “Good brochure with information. Well organised events. The events I attended were very diverse experiences. The Somme event was moving and memorable.” - Somme 100 attendee
“Festival was an excellent opportunity to find out about all sorts of things.” “I spent a very enjoyable hour building and programming a burglar alarm. It has fired my enthusiasm to come up with my own projects.” Raspberry Pi workshop attendee
“Of the events that I attended I enjoyed the E2V presentation the most - it was really thought provoking.”
05 Meeting The Aims: Educational value
The festival aimed to delivery high quality events with an education thread running through them all. 94% of people rated the Education Value at amazing, great or good! It was important to reach new audiences and therefore categories merged to create events which approached subjects in new innovative ways. An example of this is ‘Rooted Art’ which brought the history of Marconi alive to YMCA young carers (children who are carers for their parents) through Art workshops. This project was specifically funded through Essex County Council Small Cultural Grants Scheme. Below some examples of merged subjects: • Somme 100 Film - combined Heritage with Arts • Rain Activated Art - combined Urbanism (Your City) with Arts • The Tree in the City - combined Wellbeing with Urbanism (Your City) • Spooky Stop-Frame Animation Workshop - combined Arts with Technology with Kids
Quotes from evaluation survey
“Myself and my 5 year old very much enjoyed... We left wanting to experiment further in both fields.”
“I went along with my 12 year old son. We both found it so interesting and can’t wait to see what you will do next year as we’d like to do more” “Very good events lots of interesting speakers and will really help me with my course” “I enjoyed the presentations and the whole experience was an eye opener. Seeing things outside the box that can be adapted in the place we live in to improve quality of life was brilliant. The hosts were very helpful and accommodating!”
Photos Left to Right: Visioning the City in 2050 - Victoria Button, Mask Making Workshop for the Little Monsters Parade - Talosi Photography.
06 Highlights of the Festival The Battle of the Somme A screening of the Battle of the Somme 100 Film - live footage of the Battle of the Somme screened in Chelmsford Cathedral to the Cambridge Concert Orchestra live performance of Laura Rossi’s score. The event was funded through Chelmsford City Council and Chelmsford’s Civic Society. 406* people attended, it had a massive impact on these people and was the highlight of the festival. *320 general public, 52 orchestra and 34 other = 406
Quotes from evaluation survey “It was truly humbling to watch the footage of the Somme, whilst listening to the orchestra playing the specially composed soundtrack. I really was transported back in time, it was extremely moving. I am so glad my children came along, to see the film. I think they were the youngest there at 10 and 13 yrs of age, they both said what a good experience it was and how it brought WW1 to life for them.”
“Excellent presentation of a very moving film... My wife and two children attended with me.”
“Great to view film & listen to the wonderful orchestra playing the score” “A moving and evocative experience, combining music, history and insight.” “Toby (senior curator at Imperial War Museum) and I have consistently talked about your Chelmsford Screening as being one of the best. It was very moving, engaging and had such a great atmosphere which was a combination of the venue, audience, orchestra, delivery and planning for the whole event.” - Laura Rossi - Composer of the music Score. “It was really splendid to see the cathedral packed to capacity to witness this stunning film. Of course it was Laura’s compelling music that made the film so real.” - Councillor John Aldridge - Chairman of Essex County Council
Highlights of the Festival: Little Monsters Parade
“The Parade was a chance for the community of young families to get together and have fun! It was amazing to see how the children really enjoyed this event... They love dressing up and it’s all about learning...”
“More of the same please!”
Volunteer Support and Contribution There were 12 Volunteers who together put in 1 120 hours, not just during the festival but in the run up to the festival. Volunteers were integral to the success of the Ideas Festival and a celebration and certificates were given out to Volunteers post Festival. The branding of the Festival through the T-Shirts, helped audience members know who to ask for guidance from and made the festival an identifiable. Three main categories of Voluntary work: Social Media - James Carter and Elizabeth Nestor put in many hours creating Facebook Adverts and content for our social media presence. Planning events - We had a few enthusiastic volunteers who got involved with the planning of events. From creating powerpoints to planning the content with advice from the directors. Event Set Up - Volunteers helped host events, welcome guests, and set up the spaces accordingly.
James Carter - Volunteer Case Study James came to Volunteer at the Festival through the Ideas Hub. He was trained on how to use Facebook to publicize events by a professional social media marketer. He developed a lot of social and interpersonal skills, and contributed greatly through his committment, knowledge and friendly attitude. “I thoroughly enjoyed this chance to learn more about Chelmsford, it’s history and it’s culture, especially some I also appreciated local industries, historians and groups sharing their time and resources to create these educational opportunities. The skills I gained in communicating with the public, organising events myself and social media marketing are invaluable and will certainly be useful for my future. The marketing expert who introduced me to social media marketing was kind, informative and deeply knowledgeable about the subject and in an increasingly online world, her advice is more relevant than ever.” - James Carter, Ideas Festival Volunteer 2016.
Kieron Lee - Volunteer Case Study Kieron was extremely helpful throughout the entire festival. As a practical individual with knowledge of sound engineering. He often helped set up events, including the sound system for speakers and put a lot of effort into the smooth running of events. Kieron also lead two events: The Disco in the Library and a Gig in the Ale House. As Kieron was unemployed, volunteering at the festival increased his self-esteem and helped him develop skills such us: communication, team work and confidence. “The Festival gave me a chance to perform my music which is my passion, I liked helping the festival run it gave me something positive and fun to focus on” - Kieron Lee Ideas Festival Volunteer 2016.
07 Growth of the Ideas Festival 2014 - 2016 Budgets and what we spend money on... £18 000
Key Changes to Note - Funding Considering the lack of surety the Ideas Festival had in March 2016, it has been the second strongest funded festival yet. This is due to a strong commitment to grant fundraising, £8 400 was fundraised by Directors. This extra budget allowed considerable expenditure towards events, which has been at its highest ever, £12 500, in comparison to 2014 with an overall budget of £27 290 and an events expenditure of, £4 700. This clearly reflects in the feedback and the growth of participants in the festival. The lack of early funding, resulted in a rushed event registration and programming, this meant that there were too many events to market them all successfully. It also meant that the Co-directors were poorly paid in comparison to previous years and the normal fee for the size of this festival. To successfully continue the growth of the festival, funding for a director must be confirmed as soon as possible and a interview process must take place. I suggest a fee of £20 000 over a eight month contract, and for a funding target of £50 000 - with fundraising for specific events, to commence immediately by the steering group.
Strategic Fundraising for Quality Events Applying for Grants worked very well in 2016, and this method should be continued in 2017. The positives of this kind of fundraising: • It safeholds money for the purpose of the Grant - e.g. a Grant for Art workshops - has to be used for Art Workshops. • It means that event planning and budgets are being created way in advance. • It will allow real quality events to be organised and allows the festival team to bring in experts. • Money being spent on festival projects will increase the quality of the festival over time. • Opens doors to working with new audiences, diverse groups and minorities. However Directors were paid very poorly as their fundraised money from Grants paid for events rather than their fees. Which is why funding should be sought to cover the fee of the director as soon as possible. Funding needs to be sort to cover a Directors fee as well as event quality and marketing. Private Sponsorship should still be sort. However Steering Group members should lead this.
ÂŁ23 000 ÂŁ13 500
2016 Number of participants from 2012 - 2016.
Number of events 2012 - 2016 120
Number of events The number of events increased dramatically. Events increased due to the Grants, which generated over 20 events. It is also due to the Co- Directors and the Steering Group organising events themselves, as well as the co-directors encouraging all previous community organistions to input events. There were 35 community led events, hopefully leading to future links
Number of Participants Due to exhibitions and performances the number of particiapnts shot up to above 2 000. Events were organised in third party locations: The Ale House, Acanteen etc. reaching new larger audiences.
08 Moving Forward - Ideas Festival 2017 and onwards Below we can see the comparison of different categories performance in terms of overall satisfaction. All categories did extremely well but food and family events were the best performers.
96% Good Great or Amazing 4% Okay or Poor
92% Good Great or Amazing 8% Okay or Poor
95% Good Great or Amazing 5% Okay or Poor
92% Good Great or Amazing 8% Okay or Poor
94% Good, Great or Amazing 6% Okay or Poor
90% Good, Great or Amazing 10% Okay or Poor
88% Good, Great or Amazing 12% Okay or Poor
Push the Food and Kids Categories in 2017 The Food and Kids Categories were relatively small with: 6 Food events and 9 Kids and Family events. As these categories were easy to fully book, they should be explored further to fulfill the needs of the community and grow these audiences, who by attending these events will become aware of the festivals and other categories and events. Cut back on the Your City Events, there were 17 Your City Events, which were difficult to book, great gains were made by including some of the university students, however a more focused approach like the 8th of November - World Town Planning Day - where events were grouped together under one roof on the same day would work better as they are is easier to publicise. *Data from a survey of approximately 400 attendees of the festival. See Apendix
Starting Points for 2017 (some of the most popular events) Kids events: Little Monsters Parade Very popular event with very good feedback. There is so much scope for development with this project. 1. Involve schools, to increase the audience. Each school could create a float or puppet for the parade. 2. Look to other parades for ideas and inspiration. 3. The parade is a perfect public launch, it can be followed by: music; childrens activities; dance or any kind of public performance.
Food events: Food events were the most successful this year. This is an area which can be expanded upon. There are a growing number of trends around our eating and dinning habits which could have events: Gluten Free: The Pollster YouGov report stated: â€œ60% of adults had bought Gluten Free Productsâ€?. Vegan and Vegetarian: 542, 000 Vegans in the UK and 3 million Vegetarians. The Brew Your Own Coffee Workshop hosted by Coffee Officina and held at ACANTEEN was extremely successful. Events where food producers are available to reach new audiences and where we can explore in more depth the foods that we can consume should be encouraged.
Women Studies After the successful, The Imposter Phenomenon talk by Dr Theresa Simpkin. There was an overwhelming demand by participants of this talk on feedback forms for more women studies events. Women studies could be explored further next year alongside another category, for example Heritage and Women Studies - the Essex Girl throughout the years... We should also encourage events on equality and events specifically for minorities.
Quality rather than Quantity Aim to establish 2 to 3 headline events which engage a large number of participants rather than many small/medium events, this is cost effective. A measure of success should be the quality of events rather than the quantity. This will hopefully make fundraising easier, with headline events that specific funding can be sort for, and also make marketing easier. Smaller and medium events should still be part of the programme. A â€˜From the Community For the Communityâ€™ section where events showcase what our community has to offer. These events will benefit from the headline events large audiences.
Budget Projection 2017 Outline of projected costs: Overall cost £50 000
Where the money could come from:
Ideas on where it can come from
Actions to be taken
Core funding to be sort from Big Lottery Fund as part of a £15 000 grant for the Ideas Hub. As in all previous years the support of Chelmsford City Council has been essential for funding the Directors fee. Private sponsorship can also go towards the staff costs. As well as money rasied through brochure entries and events.
Apply for Big Lottery Grant - Award for all for Ideas Hub with money set aside for the Ideas Festival. Confirm ongoing support from Chelmsford City Council. Work towards a system of payment and for events and brochure entries for 2017 Contact Sponsors.
Support has come from Anglia Ruskin University . InKind support from Chelmsford City Council and ARU was invaluable in 2016.
Contact ARU - confirm support. In-Kind
Arts Council Grant for Little Monsters Parade (LMP). Heritage Lottery Fund, an ideas must be developed first for the grant. Other grants and Private sponsorship.
and/or Cash. •
Contact CCC - confirm in-kind support.
Contact Essex Community Foundation.
Contact Arts Council discuss LMP scope.
Heritage Lottery Funding stream look at and develop an idea.
Continue to search for Private sponsorship.
New sources of income
Brochure Fee: Payment for inclusion in the Ideas Festival Brochure. A small nominal fee of £5.00 per entry would have raised between £300 - £500. Charities could be exempt. Ticketing events: This can be trailed in 2017, a small fee to attend events: £5.00 - £7.00 to ensure people attend events, after booking a space. The booking system of 2016 did not work entirely, with people dropping out after booking a free space. • People booked places and didn’t turn up. Paying a fee is more of a commitment. • £5.00 for an event which attracts 50 people is £250. This money can be split between venue and the Ideas Festival. creating money for an assistant to the director or other costs. • Pay what you can afford system. Giving people the chance to give more, or if not affluent, pay nothing or very little.
Key points for 2017 To ensure quality and commitment from festival partners • Have small fee for inclusion in the brochure. There can be tiers to the fees depending on if the organisation is charging for their events, if they are a sponsor or if they are a charity etc. • Have a selection process, this can be as strict or as relaxed as the Director sees fit. • Put in place Service Level Agreements which explain levels of support the festival team can provide and what the organisation can expect. Including PLI and risk assessments.
Clear Hierarchy Structure for 2017 A clear structure is essential for effective decision making for a Festival on the present scale. This needs to be in place for the appointment of a Festival Director. Steering Group Role: • Approves the Festival brief. Determines policy and strategy for delivery of the Ideas Festival. Reviews progress. Subcommittee - Fundraising • Raise funds through: Grant Applications; Private Sponsorship and lobbying for support from Local Government. • To look for and aim to continue strong In-Kind Support for the future festivals. Director Ideas Festival: • Leadership and management of the Ideas Festival; from concepts, to programming and marketing, and evaluation. • Co-ordination with key stakeholders. • Reporting to the Chair of the Steering Group Subcommittee • Oversight of the budget, programme and marketing; with executive authority for day to day decisions Chair of the Steering Group Role: • Ensures the Festival Director follows the lines laid down by the Steering Group and all legal requirements. • Responsible, with the Director, for Insurances and Risk Assessments. • Together with the Secretary and Treasurer, forms the Subcommittee Group. Secretary Steering Group: • Is flexible and can make most if not all Steering Group Meetings and Subcommittee meetings and takes minutes in these meetings and circulates them with Actions for Steering Committee members, director, and any other relevant peoples. Treasurer Steering Group: • Keeps track of Ideas Festival budget. • Helps the Director with budget management and has an understanding of fundraisng through sponsorship and through grant applications. Is key to applying for Grants. Assistant to Director Ideas Festival Marketing: Will work with the Director to create marketing materials and strageties which increase reach and audience of the festival. Assistant to Director Ideas Festival General: Will work with the Director to help organise complex projects with large audiences. Will work on admin of the festival with the director. Volunteers: Help with promotional activities and set up of events as well as collecting evaluation data etc.
See Below Outlined New Structure
Festival Contact Details Edith Miller Ideas Hub Manager Malcolm Noble Chair of Steering Group