Well that didn’t go to Plan…

By chance I picked up a book over the summer titled ‘Black Box Thinking’ by Matthew Syed (currently on buy 1 get 1 half price at Waterstones). Black Box Thinking gave me some new perspectives and ways of reflecting when things go wrong, how to ask why they went wrong and what can be improved on. Most importantly thou it helped emphasise why it’s important to admit that things went wrong in the first place. By freely admitting what went wrong you are able to start the process of finding out why, and crucially, reduce the chances of it happening in the future.

Events over the past week have already provided me with a good cause to exercise these.

Let’s set the stage. Last week was fresher’s week at Anglia Ruskin and on Friday it was the fresher’s fair. As a committee member of the ARU Fashion Society I was part of the team that planned the society’s materials for the fresher’s fair and the organisation of the taster event.

What happened?

At the fair:

  • We ran out of leaflets within 3 hours,
  • We ran out of signup sheets and resorted to the back of the sheets,
  • Our signup sheets were too cramped which meant that the writing was cramped, thus difficult to type up after,
  • Few people signed up as members (OK, this one is fair enough. At the fair it’s important to interest people in the society and convince them to attend the taster event),

I also didn’t get a chance to look around and collect free pens to last me throughout the year (minor gripe).

A Lot of things did go right however, we generated interest in the society and had 143 names on our mailing list. We met new people who are interested in fashion and connected with some of the other ARU societies and are looking forward to cooperating on future events.

At the taster event, the catwalk and dance performance we hosted did go as planned and we were able to recruit volunteers from the fair to take part, however there were only a handful of attendees.

At the taster event there were two main points we identified that could have been improved on:

  1. Don’t have the taster event on a Saturday. Next time we’ll conduct our own market research for the ideal time for the taster event rather than relying on second hand information.
  2. Introduce a presentation between the dance performance and catwalk. Of the handful of attendees all left within half an hour of arriving as we had the show reoccurring while waiting for more to arrive before we started the presentation. For those who had arrived at the start the wait was too long, and had we started the presentation earlier we could have informed them about the society before they decided to leave.

Despite this setup we are still committed to delivering activities and events throughout the year, moral may be dented by the lack of attendees and few signups for membership, but we still have time to recover.

Watch out for my next post where I’ll be linking the activities from fresher’s to the employability skills from my previous post.