18/10/2007 : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes No. 1
18 October 2007 : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes No. 1
The Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes
18th October 2007, Hospitality Marquee 5.45pm


Those Present:-
Sara Bradley – Supporter Liaison Officer
James Richards – Business Development/Marketing Executive
Adrian Hopper – Media Manager
Ali King – Webmaster
Ian Blackmore – Lottery & Promotions Manager
Ron Budden – Director
Rich Rendall – GWSC
Tony Streetin – GWSC
Fiona Grant – GWSC
Rod Hallett – VP’s
Sharon Swain – DSA
Cyril Pomeroy – Supporter Representative
Paul Morgan – Supporter Representative
Martin McConachie – Supporter Representative
Kim Vickers – Supporter Representative
Pete Brooks – Supporter Representative
Nigel Inggs – Supporter Representative
Dave Lilly – Supporter Representative

Apologies:
Steve Watts – GWSC

1) Welcome and Introductions

2) Election of Partnership Chairperson

Three nominations were received prior to the meeting for the position of Chairman. Dave Lilly – Seconded by Cyril Pomeroy, Martin McConachie – Seconded by Pete Brooks and Rich Rendall – Seconded by Tony Streetin. Sara stated that she would appreciate if the three that were nominated didn’t vote for themselves she also stated that members of Staff/Director wouldn’t be voting. A secret ballot then took place. Voting slips were collected, counted and verified and it was announced that Rich Rendall would be the Partnership Chairman for the coming year.

3) Match day Programme

All present agreed that there had been a huge improvement of the Match day programme, however there were still errors creeping through. Adrian stated that he was aware of the mistakes that had been mentioned, however these had been rectified. Adrian went onto say that he now had two proof readers who were doing an excellent job, but on some occasions mistakes had slipped the net which is unavoidable. Tony Streetin who sells programmes for the Club said that sales were lower than previous seasons and that he felt that this was the case due to supporters not knowing about the improvements. Tony also stated that he felt the Club needed to give supporters an incentive to buy the programme, for instance a voucher for the Club Shop. Adrian said that this had been done as the club was offering supporters the chance to win a family holiday to LA which was a competition run in conjunction with Thomas Cook. It was stated that perhaps not all supporters knew about the competition and that it may be worth the Club advertising this through posters placed around the Stadium and on the programme huts. Adrian explained that the Safety Stewards had handed out A5 flyers to everyone going through the Turnstiles; however he would look into producing some A4 and A3 posters to advertise the competition. Rod Hallett said that he thought the problem of falling sales was due to people falling out of love with Football and that supporters couldn’t afford everything. Dave Lilly went onto say that whatever had been said, the programme had vastly improved, however it takes only 30 seconds to lose a customer and that due to the reputation of the programmes previously he felt this was to blame.

The Club was asked by all present if they would consider selling the programme at a cheaper price (one off) and advertise the fact in order to encourage more supporters to buy the programme. Adrian said that he would take this suggestion to the Executive Committee.

Action: Adrian Hopper to take the suggestion of a one off price reduction of the Match Day Programme to the Executive Committee.

Action: Adrian to produce A4 and A3 posters advertising the LABeckons Competition.

Action: The Club to look into another incentive for people to purchase the programme.


4) Website

Content & PTV

Dave Lilly stated that although the content of the Website had improved there were still major issues regarding PTV. He also said that he found it frustrating when there was a Glovers World audio Interview put up with no written article to accompany this. Adrian said that the Club were just as frustrated with PTV and that they had sent numerous e-mails and letters explaining the difficulties both the Club and Supporters were having. However the responses back from PTV always stated that this was not their problem. Adrian also went onto tell the group that when he wants to upload interviews after a match it takes up to 10-15 minutes and sometimes longer for the article to upload. It was suggested that it might be worth inviting a representative from PTV down to one of the Fans Partnership meetings to get some feed back from them. Dave Lilly asked if the Club had details of the supporters who have subscribed to Glovers World because he felt that the Club should be telling the supporters that the problems they are experiencing are down to PTV and that the Club is trying to rectify the problem. Sara felt that this was a good idea and said she would be able to produce a marketing list of subscribers through the CRM system and send a newsletter to them once she had received the data from PTV.

Action: Sara to look into obtaining the PTV Glovers World data, to send an e-mail explaining what is going on at PTV.

Action: The Club to ask a Representative from PTV to attend the next Fans Partnership Meeting.

b) Adverts

Adrian expressed his frustration regarding the adverts on PTV especially when they stick an advert in the middle of an article. However Adrian had sent a letter to PTV on behalf of John Fry regarding this and was told by PTV that this was unavoidable.

5) Categorised Matches

It was felt that some supporters were still unhappy with the categorised matches that the Club had implemented. However the Club felt that they had to continue with the categorised matches to cope with the increase in costs. It was stated that the Club had given supporters the chance to purchase a Season Ticket at the early bird price and had also given them the chance to budget their finances with an installment plan and by doing this they would not be effected by the categorised matches. However those present still thought that this was unfair and felt that the Club would make more money through increased attendances if supporters were charged the standard match day prices for these games. If was stated that the Club would take these views back to the Executive Committee for discussion and look into this for next season.

a) Mini Season Tickets

Dave Lilly suggested that the Club should give supporters the chance to purchase a 4 game mini season ticket which included a categorised match at the normal match day price. James Richards stated that this was something the Club was looking into.

6) Selection process for the Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership

Sara stated that she had been criticized regarding the selection of the Supporter Representatives for The Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership. Initially she wanted the Supporters to be able to choose who they wanted to represent them, however due to time and the fact that she is the only one within the club that deals with the Fans Partnership she had to look at other ways. After discussions with colleagues and a couple of supporters it was decided that the Executive Committee would choose the representatives as they would be working alongside the Partnership.

Sara then went onto say that she has taken the criticism on board and would be looking to devise a way in time for next season that not only saves time on her part but gives all supporters the opportunity to vote for their chosen representative.

If was felt by all present that they would welcome a public vote amongst supporters next season if Sara was able to devise a fair system.

Action: Sara Bradley to look into devising a fair system which will give all supporters the chance to vote for Supporters Representatives next season.

Adrian Hopper left the meeting at 7.00pm.

7) Club Communication & 8) Advertising

Dave Lilly said that when e-mails and letters are sent into the club, on occasions these are not responded to. He felt that it was common courtesy to reply when supporters had taken the time and effort to write into the Club. Sara apologised to Dave and said that she would send an e-mail to everyone in the Club asking them to respond to e-mails and letters stressing the importance of customer service. In regards to advertising it was felt by the group that the advert on the back of the Western Gazette was too small and included on occasions too much information. It was also felt that the design of the advert was unimaginative. James Richards said that he would look into that and would speak to Sue Parsons who supplied the text for the advert.

James then went onto say that the Board on the corner of Western Avenue will be displaying both the first team home games and the reserve games within the next two weeks. He also said that the Apex Board is now located in the Quedam advertising the next home game at Huish Park. Pete Brooks asked James if it was true that the board was advertising the Carlisle game with a 3.00 kick off. James said that the board had advertised the wrong kick off time, however when it was brought to his attention the time was changed to 1.00pm. James then told the group that he had been discussing advertising with the Quedam Centre Manager David Mills and it was agreed that the Club could use an advertising board opposite New Look to advertise forthcoming fixtures and events at Huish Park. Dave Lilly asked if it would be possible to liaise with Tesco and see if a board could be put up outside the store as it was one of the busiest stores in Yeovil. James said that he felt that was a good idea and he would contact Tesco’s to see if that was possible. Rich Rendell and Fiona Grant said that they would be willing to advertise events and matches on the Intranet at Westland’s. Paul Morgan asked if the club would be spreading the word of Yeovil Town further a field to the likes of Taunton/Bridgewater etc. James said that this was ongoing and that initially he was concentrating on Yeovil and will then be looking at promoting the Club further a field. The general consensus at the meeting was that the club needed to advertise a lot more than they were at the present time.

John Fry Entered the meeting at 7.10pm

9) Tea Bars /Bars

Nigel Inggs felt that the speed of the Tea Bars could be improved and as a Business Improvement Officer he would be happy to advise the club on how to improve this and cut down on the amount of waste being produced. John Fry said he would be more than happy to sit down and discuss this with Nigel and asked Sara to arrange a suitable date and time for both parties to meet. John then went onto say that unfortunately the Tea Bars were one of those areas within the Club that was restricted because of the original plans of the Building. Until we improve the Stadium we have to look at ways to make it more efficient. Dave Lilly then went onto ask if it was possible to open the bars upstairs at halftime to anybody over 18 in order to get a drink, he also asked if it was possible to open up the Alec Stock Lounge at about 5.15 on a match day for supporters to use. Not only would the club cut the cost of running 3 bars it would also mean that the ordinary supporters could have a drink somewhere other than the marquee. John went onto say that although it was a good idea, however the club would lose money due to the fact that the VP’s pay to use the bar before the match, at half time and after the match. Although Rod Hallett didn’t object to Dave’s suggestion he felt that some of the Vice Presidents would as they pay for the use of the bar. John Fry then went onto say that the Club were doing all they could to lift the covenants on the site and that in an ideal world he would like to see all supporters enjoying the bar facilities at Huish Park. Cyril Pomeroy stated that he felt that the club were losing a lot of money by not having the speed bar in the Marquee, he also stated that he felt there needed to be a queuing system implemented and another till available in order to improve service.

Action: Sara to arrange a meeting between Nigel Inggs and John Fry to discuss improvements to the Tea Bars.

Action: Sara to ask Clive about implementing a queuing system in the Marquee and purchasing another till in order to improve service.

10) Huish Park Experience/Entertainment

It was felt by all present that the Club needed to provide entertainment outside the stadium before kick off and during half time in order to improve the match day experience. Dave Lilly suggested that the club should have a Jazz or Brass Band outside at around 14.30 entertaining the supporters before they go into the ground. He added that when people are happy and have a smile on their face they tend to spend more money. James Richards added that he had spoken to John Fry today regarding this and that wherever you go you get an experience of some kind. You have probably seen on some of our advertising materials that we have the Huish Park Experience as we are trying to make that a better experience than people have perhaps experienced in the past. People come here, watch 90 minutes and then go home we need do be doing more. We are looking into running a season long competition and we are in negotiations at the moment. Sara informed the group that she had spoken to Dave Linney regarding entertainment at half time. He had told Sara that he was looking into having a mini football competition on the pitch with the younger group of the YTFC Football Development Programme. Because the Ground staff are quite rightly protective of the Pitch at Huish Park it makes it difficult to put on entertainment at half time especially if it involves the penalty area. Sara then went onto say that the 5 minutes of Fame created little interest as only two people came forward. The Club are looking into having Entertainment at half time and would welcome any feed back from supporters.

Action: Executive Committee to discuss Pre Match and Half Time Entertainment

John Fry left the meeting at 7.30pm

11) How to attract more Home and Away Fans

It was felt that this had been discussed during previous items, with Advertising being the key to attracting more home and away fans. However it was felt that the Club could put up a banner stating that Away fans were welcome in the Marquee (For certain games only) as there was always confusion as to when they were allowed in.

Ali King left the meeting at 7.40pm

12) AOB

A) Firework Night – 5th November

Sara told the group that the annual Firework night would be taking place at Huish Park on 5th November. Sara asked the group if anyone would be interested in helping out on the evening in return for tickets to the event. If anyone is interested in helping out on the evening please contact Sara Bradley on 01935 423662

B) The Football League Awards

Sara told the group that the Club were entering the Football League Awards in the following categories:-

Family Club of the Year
Best Fan
Best Match Day Programme (includes section regarding improvement)

C) The Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership Presentation

James Richards informed the group that Sara had been asked by the Football League to do a presentation about the Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership to other Football League Clubs at West Bromwich Albion F.C. sometime in November.

D) LA Beckons Competition

Sara informed the group that there had been some confusion regarding the LABeckons competition and that some supporters thought that it was a Football League initiative.

In fact the idea came from the Media Department at the Club. However the Club do realise that this needs to be advertised more throughout the Stadium. (See Item 3)

E) Staff vs. Supporters Match

Dave Lilly stated that he was planning to hold the Staff vs. Supporters match after the High Holborn Cup sometime during May 2008. However he stressed the need for the Club to advertise this more than they had in previous seasons.

F) 10% Discount Night in the Club Shop

Sara was asked by Dave Linney to inform the group that he would be holding a 10% discount night in the Club shop during December. This evening would be opening to ALL supporters and players would be on hand to sign autographs etc. It is hoped that these will run on a regular basis if successful.

Meeting Closed: 7.55pm
Next Meeting: 22nd November 2007 at 5.45pm



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