Future Direction

Update on BPG’s future direction and venue    posted: 12/19/2017
A big thank you to everyone who participated in the online planning/growth survey. Your responses were instrumental in helping to crystalize both the current and future needs/wants of the group at large. The continued success of Berkshire Photo Gathering depends on various factors and a periodic review, with adaptation as needed, addresses these dynamic factors. In keeping with our mission, the ultimate goal of the BPG remains to continue to be able to offer an interesting, supportive and welcoming program for photographers of all levels.

We have finished analyzing the results and, along with reviewing what our current facility offers, efficiency of events, and the future desires of the group, have the following update to offer:

First off, to address a concern expressed in the responses- We will not be changing the core structure of our meeting format. The current structure has made the gathering what it is today and why it is enjoyed by so many. The survey confirmed that our non-competitive environment in which we share our work, ideas, knowledge, as well as network with other photographers, is meaningful and desired. We heard this and our goal is to improve upon what we do well and expand on what was most commonly highlighted in your feedback.

We identified that if we are to remain viable and welcoming as a group, we need to address our growing attendance, as well as improve program flow and the overall quality of meeting space. Moving to a different venue will allow us to address these concerns by offering more comfortable seating, better line of sight to the visual display, and clearer audio. A larger space will allow us to move about freely for print viewing and have room for supporting display/audio equipment. It will also allow us to offer round table discussions, workshops, and seminars in the future.

We considered several possible new sites and have decided upon Berkshire South Regional Community Center (http://berkshiresouth.org/) located at: 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington. We hope that you will agree that this change is a positive one and, not only allows us a comfortable and welcoming space to meet, but allows the possibility of the expansion of offerings as requested. Also, this community-minded facility is more centrally located and addresses other concerns such as handicap access and adequate parking.

We will continue to meet on the third Sunday of each month (with a few exceptions) however, please note that the time will change to 2:00-4:00p.m. in order to operate within the facilities open hours. The 2018 calendar has been posted to http://berkshirephotogathering.com/our-schedule. Note that we will not be meeting in May and December of 2018.

This change in venue, however, does come at a nominal cost and, because of this we will begin to charge a fee of $5.00/per regular meeting. This fee will be collected at the door, however, you also have the option of obtaining a discounted membership card which will also make check-in more efficient. The discounted membership card is offered at $40.00 (a $50.00 value) and will cover your attendance at ten (10) meetings. Membership cards will be available to be purchased at all meetings. You can purchase them in advance using the link within the Member Area of our web site. (https://berkshirephotogathering.com/member-area) Cards purchased in advance will be available at the door for pickup.

At this time, we also feel the need to ask for volunteers to help facilitate the monthly meetings to help improve the flow and efficiency and are asking for a few people to commit to help with these tasks at meetings.

Please contact me with any questions you might have regarding these positions and/or if you feel that you would be a good candidate to help with the any of the above positions.

Current needs:

  • Facility/Event Coordinator – Oversees that the event facilities are set up and comfortable (moving table & chairs as needed etc.) for meetings. Coordinate the setup and breakdown of the event space /equipment. Adjust lighting and temperature as needed.
  • Image Projection Coordinator – Accepts thumb drives, organizes and adds entries into Adobe Lightroom and display the projection of images at meetings.
  • Attendance/Membership Coordinator – Validates membership/logs attendance, & collects fees at meetings/events.

Future Needs:

  • A/V Coordinator – Set up & runs the public-address system, audio/video recording equipment, records the meeting as needed for electronic dissemination.
  • Workshop/Special Events – Work to define, schedule, coordinate & facilitate presenters for workshops and special events.

Lastly, the Membership Area of our website has been updated with the following additional resources:

  • An image entry form to submit your images in advance of a meeting.
  • An opt-in Member Directory
  • A Favorite Website Link Exchange
  • The ability to order Member cards and check balances.

If you contributed to the Guide Book project then you already have an account. If not, it is free to join at https://berkshirephotogathering.com/become-a-member.

As the group’s founder and facilitator, I appreciate all that you have contributed to make the Berkshire Photo Gathering all that it is and all that it will be. I’m excited to be refining our gatherings to make them as enjoyable as possible. My best to you for a wonderful holiday season ~ I look forward to seeing you in the New Year!