SCC2013 - What's the true cost of free?
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SCC2013 - What's the true cost of free?

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Presentation from "What's the true cost of free?" at the 2013 Science Communication Conference organised by the British Science Association - slides by Savita Custead, Jamie Gallagher and Debbie Syrop

Presentation from "What's the true cost of free?" at the 2013 Science Communication Conference organised by the British Science Association - slides by Savita Custead, Jamie Gallagher and Debbie Syrop

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SCC2013 - What's the true cost of free? SCC2013 - What's the true cost of free? Presentation Transcript

  • What’s the true cost of free?Savita Custead Debbie Syrop Jamie Gallagher
  • Story of a free festivalSavita CusteadDirector, Bristol Natural History Consortiumsavita@bnhc.org.uk
  • -Science festival based on biological sciences/environment/ natural sciences- Produced by BNHC partners through 10 year partnership (rather than boardof individuals)- Outdoor, free, drop in, city centre- 25,000 – 30,000 visitors- celebrating our 10thyear!- Bristol “Tourism Event of the Year 2011-2012”
  • Wider Context-One of small number ofscience festivals that arecompletely free- Last free festival in Bristolrun by a charity- Only festival in Bristol witha primary school programme
  • Benefits- Confirmed income / noreliance on box office- Transparency with funders- Marketing messages- Marketing support- Competition with otherattractions + events- Less admin functions
  • Tricky Bits- Lost opportunity forincome?- gifts / benefits for sponsors- Using “alternativemarketing”- Data capture- Perception of value?
  • What’s the true cost of free?Debbie Syropwww.sciencemadesimple.co.uk
  • WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?o High drop out rateo Lack of support from schoolo Disruptive audienceso Low perceived value
  • SOME SUGGESTIONSo Nominal chargingo Payment in kind e.g. feedbacko Special offers or discountso Build closer relationships
  • What’s the true cost of free?Jamie Gallagher@jamiebgall
  • Experience Vs ExploitationThe path to paid communicationHow do free events impact on presenters andfacilitators involved?How does voluntary working effect full timecommunicators?
  • Who am I?
  • My experience
  • Gaining Experience•Build skills•CV experience•Networking•Flexible hours•Choice of events•Flexibility•Little support•Hard work•Net loss of money•Career development?•Lack of respect•Two tiersThe Good The Bad
  • Fighting your corner•Compete against free workers•When do you have “enough” experience•The guilt trip•Volunteers- the easy route•Lack of respect to the industry?•The friend’s wedding
  • What’s the true cost of free?Savita Custead Debbie Syrop Jamie Gallagher