Society Meetings - your opinion please

User avatar
DRatledge
Member
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Adlington
Contact:

Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by DRatledge » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:15 pm

All,
At least 2 north west societies have changed their format. They have gone to just one formal meeting per month with the other meeting(s) an informal club meeting/chat/workshop. The societies in question have observatories where the informal club meetings take place but I guess Ladybridge would work Ok. I suspect this format would tend to suit the more practical amateur astronomers who would have plenty to discuss but not perhaps armchair astronomers?

So the big question is - would this be a better format for us? What does everyone think?

David

User avatar
rwilkinson
Member
Posts: 1297
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
Location: Bolton
Contact:

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:04 pm

Yes, I think that this would work well.

We've often found that we don't get enough time to chat to one another after the fortnightly Tuesday meetings, so this would give us much more opportunity.
We could still schedule some informal discussion sessions (along the lines of what we tried to fit in after last week's meeting?).
Also we could have more of the "show and tell" evenings, when we invite one or two Members to bring along some gear and explain how they use it - and if we ever get a clear night, we could even try it out on the patio?

It definitely gets my vote. 8-)

cstone
Member
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:07 pm
Location: Bury

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by cstone » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:02 pm

I think it would be good to shake the format up a bit, after all we now have a patio

The proposed plans would get my vote! :geek:
Celestron 11" Telescope
Eq6 Pro Mount
Eq5 Mount
EQ Mod
QHY5 Guide camera
Cannon 1000D SLR Camera

I choose to image with an 11" SCT Celestron in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard......

ladam

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by ladam » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:53 pm

A format that I like for astro society meetings is to split each meeting into 3 sections.
[*]The first section is an update and information on what is happening in the sky at the moment and what to lookout for with any member being given the chance to contribute informally followed by
[*]a break for tea etc giving members the opportunity to find out who people are and get to know each other and chat about what they have just heard,
[*]followed by a formal delivery from guest speakers or members.

I remember this being very successful in the Wolverhampton Society when I was a member. I have a feeling that the meetings were longer - perhaps a bit tight in 1 1/2 hours. Could the meetings start at 7pm?

However I do see the point about the formal monthly meetings with separate informal meetings as long as the society does not split into two parts as David hints at.

imartin

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by imartin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:51 pm

I agree with Ross that "we don't get enough time to chat to one another after or during the fortnightly Tuesday meetings"

Don't get me wrong, i do and have enjoyed the talks and presentations that people have obviously put a lot of time and effort into. Some of the topics I have never considered prior to the talk.

I would like to be able to talk to individuals and tap their knowledge and experience. This is sometimes not possible, not neccesarily because of the format, but because of time constraints.

It would be good to still have the talks and presentations one meeting and the next meeting be more practical, such as show and tell (appreciate there is one planned for the 4th May) and opportunity to look through other peoples scopes.

User avatar
DRatledge
Member
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Adlington
Contact:

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by DRatledge » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:37 am

Ross, Carl, Len, Ian,
Thanks for comments - perhaps a combination of a chat/short talk/monthly events/workshop would work well.
However, we really need some feedback from less active observers who may well have different aspirations. On the other hand the new format might encourage everyone to become active observers!
Dave

User avatar
PMiskiw
Member
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:45 pm
Location: Bolton

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by PMiskiw » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:18 pm

Currently all meetings fulfill a mixture for the skilled and amateur astronomer. If the new format was to be introduced the secondary meeting would I believe make the amateur astronomer feel that it has become more a recluse for the more advanced technical members to enjoy their get togethers.
It would become more a group within a group.
I believe the less technical members would be put off paying £20 to attend only half of the meetings and hence membership would drop.
The current members of this forum are mostly the more advanced astronomers who appear to support this new format but I speak on behalf of the amateur who enjoys listening and asking questions as and when. I cannot see why the current meetings cannot include what is happening in the technical areas by our more learned astronomers than devoting a new format specifically for themseves.

cstone
Member
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:07 pm
Location: Bury

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by cstone » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:54 pm

I would not class myself as being an advanced astronomer. I would class myself as being an amateur.

I would say over the past year the meetings are suited to more arm chair observers and not practical. Plus I would say the presentations over the past year given by guest speakers are running a bit dry!

What Dave is proposing is we allot time during the month to have one session as a workshop, chat amongst ourselves and perhaps being able to observe providing the weather is clear.

And then on the other night’s guest and member presentation

I believe there would be something to suit all and would make the society more appealing for new comers
Celestron 11" Telescope
Eq6 Pro Mount
Eq5 Mount
EQ Mod
QHY5 Guide camera
Cannon 1000D SLR Camera

I choose to image with an 11" SCT Celestron in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard......

User avatar
PMiskiw
Member
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:45 pm
Location: Bolton

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by PMiskiw » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:45 pm

The type proposed by Len is more like what I would prefer. He is right in saying that it could split the society which is what David is alluding to I think.

User avatar
rwilkinson
Member
Posts: 1297
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
Location: Bolton
Contact:

Re: Society Meetings - your opinion please

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:39 am

I don't think that our current format offers enough for our members who want to learn more about the practical aspects of observing and imaging. What is needed is a forum where they can get advice from the more experienced members, and see and practice some of the techniques alongside a "mentor". Our lectures are all very interesting, but it's really frustrating that we don't get enough time to talk with these members during our current meeting format.

Now Len suggests longer meetings, but I'm not sure if this is possible at our current venue? I suppose that we could adjourn to the nearby Beaumont Arms for a drink and a chat after winding up at the Community Centre, but unfortuately this wouldn't really suit me, as I have another activity to go to on Tuesday evenings.

But if we want to maintain the same number of lectures per year and yet have more time to talk among ourselves, maybe we need to reconsider the idea of our "summer break"? Now that we're no longer meeting at an educational establishment, why not have at least one meeting per month through the summer too?

Incidentally, I'm also a member of the Bolton Wireless Club (http://www.boltonwireless.org.uk/), which meets twice a month too (just up the road at the Britannia Hotel), and these meetings also start at 7:30, but usually run until well after 10pm. We now have one formal lecture each month, plus one "activity night", where we look at one practical aspect of the hobby. And during the summer months, we have a few "off-site" activity sessions too. This format seems to work very well, and our membership has grown considerably in the last two years (from a dozen to 73!).

Post Reply