My role in the gallery was to sit in the gallery, talk to people and answer any enquires. Also I was asked to organise other volunteers into a rota.
Sitting in on the gallery was fairly easy because when someone came in I found it easy to talk about photography but also to talk about the gallery because I am a member of it and so I know most of the facts.
However, organising volunteers was a little more difficult because I had to get the list of those interested in volunteering, there was about 45 of the near 300 members. However, only a small number got back to me. So I then was able to send a message to all volunteers from the gallery’s email and onto the Facebook group. The main difficulty I found was keeping all the email’s private so I had to put the emails in BCC and type my own email into the send box. Another issue was the mailing list needs to be updated so it took me around 10 attempts to actually send the email and even after that I got a lot of postmaster delivery fail messages. Again, I got a very small response, but I know it will take time to build up a rota.
I was very nervous sending out the second message because I wanted to get a better response but also I wanted to make it clear it doesn’t have to be a complete commitment, one Saturday a month would be great. After I sent the email I was helping my mum at Sainsbury’s and somebody tapped me on the back and took me aside for a second. He was a member of the gallery and he knew I was nervous about sending the message and he told me how well it was written, then it was concise but got the point across in a polite and friendly manner. I was very happy when he said this to me because it was exactly what I wanted! I always get nervous when it comes to writing things and to hear feedback like that makes me feel less nervous when it comes to writing.
In the future I hope to be more involved in the gallery, I am vice chair person of the board that has been created to progress the gallery. At the moment we are looking to improve the promotion of the gallery on social media but also through word of mouth. We are also hoping to organising more exhibitions and courses.
From this I have learnt:
- I enjoy having small chats with people who walk into the gallery.
- That I have improved in my writing ability.
- 1 Day: Total emailing
- 4 Days: At the gallery