One of the aims of our 5 year plan was to develop offering the membership useful information and facilities to deliver our key aim; sharing ideas and knowledge. In 2019 the PMF committee wanted to find out who our membership were and what they would like their PMF to be. We decided the best way to go about gathering this data would be to conduct an initial survey to our membership.
At the time, we were still using our former website which had certain limitations in its functions; the first of which was the inability to have a ‘login’ area. This resulted in our ‘membership’ of around 600 people having little more functionality than a simple mailing list.
Since the closure of this initial survey, we, with the generous help and support of eStage, have launched our new website. This has vastly more content and, finally, a login area to allow our members to have a profile, access to members’ only content and videos, and to be able to comment on discussion boards, share documentation, job vacancies and skills.
Because of personal data issues, we were unable to transfer our existing ‘membership’ to the new website but have actively encouraged everyone to sign up to the new website and thus become a formal member. At present we have registered 370 members, so it is worth noting that the data in this survey now no longer accurately reflects the current membership. Also, the results only reflect those who chose to take part in the survey, which was not the entire membership. The outcomes are still interesting to hear and we would like to share the results with you.
Here is a summary of the results of the first part of the survey:
- The majority of respondents were in the 25-54 age range.
- 70% identified as male and 27% female
- Employment status was 71% full time and 28% freelance
- The majority of the respondents were London based but with representation from all regions and nations of the UK; as well as members in the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong.
- Although the vast majority of the respondents identified their job title as Production Manager and Technical Manager, it was interesting to see other job roles finding the work the PMF are doing as useful. These include: Head of Operations, Director, Chief LX
- The respondents felt that, of the areas the PMF offered, they used the Facebook page and the Job Adverts the most, and LinkedIn and Twitter the least.
- The respondents were least aware of the Regulations and Guidance, LinkedIn page, Training Recommendations and the Private Facebook Group.
- The respondents would like the Support Hub and Suppliers Directory and Training Recommendations to be the areas that are developed
We also asked for general comments on how our members would like us to improve these areas of the PMF. The consensus was:
- Wider from being theatre
- Become less London-centric
- Have better representation of senior Production Managers in the industry
- Make it more well known outside of London
- Greater diversity
And comments about our old website:
- More content
- List things by topic
Comments on forums:
- More forums outside of London
- More notice in advance of forums
- Member led discussion not just panel based
In light of these results, the committee have made the following observations and commitments moving forward:
- Diversification within Technical and Production roles is something that needs to be addressed
- We need to explore why data is mainly produced by people in full time roles
- We need to actively encourage more regional membership, as the participants in the survey were mainly based in London
- The majority of our members use the titles Production Manager and Technical Manager, so we should continue to be inclusive of both groups
- LinkedIn was a new addition to our social media in 2019 and has grown since the survey with over 50 new followers, in mid 2020 we now have 366 followers
What more can the PMF do?
- Widen the events section, updating the language to be ‘live events’ rather than just theatre
- Marketing: expand outside of London – try and gain new followers and industry interaction in the regions
- Directly target Production and Technical Managers at flagship buildings, organisations and on productions, and recruit them to our ranks
- Explore the diversity of Production and Technical management – a possible Forum with Stage Sight?
- More meetings and socials to be held outside of London – encouragement of PM/TMs to host their own events with support of the PMF, to help grow local communities
- Forums to be less formal – an option to have member led discussions or round tables as well as the guest panel format
- Development of the new website has taken into account a lot of feedback from this survey and has enabled us to create the new discussion boards, the training and regulations hubs, the Skills Sharing and In Conversation videos and work is starting to develop the Support Hub and Suppliers Directory. But as always we need assistance from you – the members to signpost the committee on information that should be shared
- Find a way to distinguish PMF event attendees from laymen with the use of merchandise