A summary of the Conference outcomes is given below.
Photographs from the conference are shown on the ‘News’ page and the Conference Programme is shown on the ‘Programme’ page
Members’ conclusions on JPN forward planning
In discussions about JPN’s long-term plans, by the end of the second day of the conference we had we focussed on a list of nine areas of priority. In the summing up session we asked two questions:
• What can JPN practically and realistically do on these subjects?
• What can JPN do directly and what can it facilitate for members to do?
The responses to these questions should steer the formation of a detailed, costed, timetabled plan. Some – although not all – of the elements of the plan might be eligible for funding and the Working Group will examine possibilities for trust and public funding applications as well as earned income.
In summary the members’ conclusions were as follows for each item:
1. Information, communication, sharing through a forum
The website should be public-facing but also provide a private members facility.
We should enhance the public-facing side, and similarly develop the JPN Facebook. Members should be able to provide content on gigs etc. Basic contact information on members should be available on the public-facing section.
The members’ section should have a forum so that members can communicate with one another. Content for this should be predominantly contributed by members. A contact database should be created – members should be responsible for adding and updating all of their own information.
We should ensure that we are not duplicating other directories/info sources.
2. JPN events – annual, regional, subject-matter
There was unanimous agreement on the value of sharing ideas and making contacts via this network – and on holding an annual JPN event which should encompass non-members as well as JPN members. It should be peripatetic and could be linked to festivals/special events and we should seek invitations from various potential hosts. It could also be linked with regional network organisations and their events.
JPN could also hold smaller scale regional or sub-regional events aimed specifically at working to help develop regional networks (supporting those that exist but also helping to start and nurture new networks in regions where they don’t currently exist). It would be important to think of ’staircasing’ – helping promoters to move up the levels of scale and network engagement.
3. International relations, contacts, exchanges
JPN should be the conduit for contacts (and developing projects) with national agencies in other countries. As a first point of contact JPN could then spread information and contacts to its members so that they could more easily be in contact with their opposite numbers elsewhere and connect with or join international projects. JPN could also be the key producer for international exchange/collaboration projects and the central fundraiser to match funding from overseas partners.
JPN could also develop projects to showcase our bands to overseas promoters. This could be in conjunction with existing opportunities or through new initiatives.
There was a unanimous mandate for JPN to act as an advocate/voice (although not the sole advocate/voice) for jazz in wider cultural and social spheres.
5. Liaison and collaboration with Education sector(s)
It was agreed that JPN should not try to organise education projects itself but should rather develop links and dialogue between promoters and educators and share ideas and information between them – operating at all levels of education work.
Educators (in the broadest sense, especially including youth jazz organisations) should be encouraged to join JPN.
JPN could possibly run joint ‘discovery’ events for educators and promoters.
6. Touring – on different scales
Touring was a high priority for members but JPN action would need to be on varying levels.
JPN could provide a platform for members to choose and organise tours between themselves – in some ways similar to the Rural Touring Forum structure and operation. This could work especially well for smaller-scale bands and promoters.
There was also a need for a higher profile, mid-scale touring network which JPN could co-ordinate or facilitate.
JPN will need to create its own structures and methods for any touring programmes that it was to support or operate. The conference had heard some examples of touring programmes and there were also schemes that had operated in the past that might provide useful examples.
Members also suggested that JPN might provide some advice and guidance information for organisers on issues such as green touring or touring artists from abroad (e.g.tax, work permits etc).
Members agreed that there might be a need amongst promoters for the acquisition of shared equipment and instruments to help them present a fuller range of bands in better conditions.
7. Collaborations, co-commissioning, shared projects
JPN could provide a forum for members to co-commission or share artistic projects.
JPN could also act as an occasional commissioner on behalf of its members – especially if a commissioned project could be toured.
8. Audience Development
JPN could help members’ understanding of actual and potential audiences through commissioning consistent research – and engaging members in surveying and contributing to overall research – and by publicising and updating existing research.
JPN could present case studies of jazz organisations or projects which had significantly developed/broadened their audiences – and present examples from the UK and abroad of inspirational and innovative programming that had built new audiences.
Members would benefit from regular expert advice and assistance on marketing, PR and communication with audiences and potential audiences – via methods of all kinds but including the effective use of various social media networks.
9. Musicians – promoters dialogue
Members were interested in finding ways to work with musicians to improve mutual understanding, working situations and best practise. Other organisations provided examples of how to run sessions or programmes on this theme and JPN could look to them to find ways to create dialogue between members and musicians.
The issue of providing CPD and training for promoters was touched upon. Although it was not seen as a stand-alone priority, it was clear that the network and the planning priorities above would in effect provide developmental support for members as promoters. It was noted that Birmingham City University ran a course on promoter development.
Members were encouraged to contribute their evaluation, comments and suggestions for JPN plans online after the conference. JPN should work on expanding the range of membership benefits. Members were also asked to contribute ideas on this.