Troop Mid Year Review

In March - just after the midway point of Troop’s first year - we asked members to complete a short anonymous survey letting us know which Troop activities you’ve engaged with and found useful, and what, if anything we could do differently. Around a third of you (29 members) responded to the survey. We thought it would be useful to reflect the results of the survey back to you, with your thoughts on Troop so far, together with some of our ideas as to how we might do things differently / better in future.

Who are you?
There are currently 90 Troop members and the numbers are steadily growing. Back in February (about a month before the survey, so the sample size is slightly smaller) we carried out a rough and ready analysis of Troop application forms and equal opps forms which gave us the following ‘snapshot’ of our members.

•    Gender: Troop members are 63% female, 37% male
•    Age: Ranges from 18 to 59 (he average age is 34)
•    Ethnicity: 69% are White British, 18% Other White, 4% preferred not to answer, 3% are Other, 1% each are Asian or Asian British / White Irish / any other ethnicity
•    Disability: 11% identify themselves as having a disability

Artform Practice (by number)
(We measured this by number not percentages because many members work across more than one area of practice.)

20 Theatre (Writing)           
17 Theatre (Acting)           
17 Non-traditional theatre (devised / site-specific / physical)
13 Producer / event organiser
11 Dance & physical theatre (performing)
9 Live Art / Performance
8 Dance (Choreography)
6 Theatre (Directing)
5 Spoken word
5 Cabaret / Circus / Street Theatre     
5 Puppetry
4 Teaching /workshop leading (Dance)
3 Teaching /workshop leading (Theatre)
1 Set / Lighting Design
1 Improv
1 Storytelling      
Level of Experience
While a handful of you have established professional track records, the majority are either recent graduates or emerging artists. There are a few who have relocated or returned to Cambridge following careers as actors and / or to bring up a family.

Survey Findings

Reasons for Joining
Overwhelmingly the top reason for joining Troop is networking. Other reasons include professional development & support, and opportunities to perform, but these are all far outweighed by votes for networking. This surprised us since from our perspective we’ve found the networking events (socials and free tickets) the most difficult ‘sell’ to members. We are already trying to offer socials on different weekday evenings, but maybe we also need to offer some at weekends, or tied into other events to make sure more people have more opportunities to come?

Takeup & Satisfaction with benefits
Most of you have heard of all the benefits we offer members, so that is one thing we don’t need to worry about.

In terms of take-up (ie. which you’ve used the most), the Facebook Group is top (74%), closely followed by the Opportunities & Event Notifications (71%) followed by Troop News (65%) and 121 Advisory Sessions (62%).
Of those you’ve used, the following were rated useful by more of you - Troop News (96% found useful), Opportunities & Event Notifications (71% found useful) Free tickets to shows (69% found useful).

What are the top three most useful benefits?

1st.  121 Advisory Sessions (6 votes), Socials / Troop News / Views from the ‘Bridge (tied on 3 votes), Residencies / workshops / Arty Farty Party (tied on 2 votes)

2nd. 121 Advisory Sessions (6 votes), Opportunities & event notifications (5 votes), Workshops / Arty Farty Party / Facebook Group (tied on 3 votes), Socials (2 votes), Views from the ‘Bridge (1 vote)

3rd. Views from the ‘Bridge (4 votes), Opportunities & event notifications / Facebook Group / Free tickets (tied on 3 votes), Residencies / Troop News / Socials (tied on 2 votes) (7 people skipped this)

Free Text Comments
We had many and varied comments in the free text boxes, the majority of them complimentary (thankyou!). A few concerns were raised including your lack of availability to attend events as currently scheduled, the range & type of artforms we support, and the volume of information we’ve been sending you by email. We are always interested in hearing your feedback, so do feel free to comment or ask questions at any point. While we can’t be all things to all people, we are discussing the future shape of Cambridge Junction’s artist development work at the moment, so keep an eye out for developments.