Loomio
Fri 26 Apr 2019

A new name and some new imagery in 2020?

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AussieFred Public Seen by 210

I've heard comments that the term "nest" makes our event feel like a group of people who know each other and travel back "home". Making it feel/appear harder to join in and penetrate into the group. We also come across as huge bunch of hippies focused on mushrooms if you look at Facebook. :-)

The other burns have more neutral names (borderland, Nowhere, Mid burn,...) In fact these sound more "start again" which I think is the point of a burn, to find the better version of yourself that remembers what it's like or finds the value in, participation and contribution to something other than self. I believe the right name helps people focus on this.

I've even heard rumour there's another set of burners who have another UK festival as ours is a bit hippy, shouldn't we be making efforts to become more inclusive and welcoming to a broader set of the burn community and beyond? Some basic changes might help here, its all about branding and positioning in the "market"

GM

Graeme McGregor Fri 26 Apr 2019

I think that, seven or eight years in, it's perhaps a bit late to change the name, especially without solid evidence that it puts people off who are not already involved. The expansion of the event in the last few years and the general confidence that we can easily expand membership numbers to 650 in 2020 makes me doubt that claim.

I think the different names reflect the culture and character of each Burn. Burning Seed is about growing something from nothing, which suits the arid, remote environment it is in, and refers to nature, which I think is particularly important. Borderland reflects the cross-border nature of that Burn, which represents Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Nowhere reflects the remote, desert-like setting of that Burn, the emptiness of the place. Mid-Burn comes from the Hebrew word for "desert", which is a bit too literal for my liking ;)

And Burns evoking a sense of "home" is pretty common. People regularly refer to Black Rock City as "home", and I've heard the same at other Burns. But the point is that it can be home to anyone.

For me, especially on our new site (where we intend to be for a while, I believe), Burning Nest is a perfect name. It suggests a home made from scraps and bits and pieces. It suggests family and a sense of comfort and warmth. The event itself is now "nestled" in a valley, tucked away out of site between the trees. And if "Nest" sounds too comfortable and homely for people, then it has the word "Burning" in front of it. :)

If you ask anyone who knows me, I am very much not a hippie. But for me, Nest is pleasantly evocative of nature, home and reclamation, which are all things that a Burn does and should signify to me, especially as we increase our understanding of our environmental impact and take serious steps to minimise it.

I don't know about any other UK Burns, except for Microburn, which involves a lot of the same people as Nest.

Personally, I think that when it comes to inclusion, the most pressing issue to investigate and address relates to racial, cultural and class inclusion, rather than any issue around branding.

That's my two (or twenty) cents.

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AussieFred Fri 26 Apr 2019

good cents and i fully considered the growth we experience with the current name. But as you point out, racial, cultural and class inclusion need to be addressed, and things that fit for you or me many not for others.

imagery could at least be addressed?

GM

Graeme McGregor Fri 26 Apr 2019

Well, I guess we could address the name and imagery in any research we do into obstacles to inclusion. We're never going to find something that appeals equally to everyone, obviously.

I don't especially mind the imagery. The only consistent imagery is the logo, featuring a dragon in an egg. I think that makes sense to me (eggs + nests; dragons + fire; dragons being an English emblem).

I'm interested to hear what others think, though.

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Amandasm Fri 26 Apr 2019

I think the person who made the mushroom image was just trying to go with this year's theme? Last year we had lots of starry sky images to go with the theme.

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Amandasm Fri 26 Apr 2019

I would agree that it's too late to go about changing the name. And I think it's a great thing that each burn is unique and develops its own path. We don't all have to be the same, in fact isn't it better if we're all a bit different, otherwise why go to different regional events at all? Personally I love the name. It's simple and evokes a cosy atmosphere, which suits Nest. I find it surprising that the word "nest" would alienate anybody from coming? I've heard people complain about nearly every Euro regional as being 'too hippy' but perhaps that's just a reflection of the culture here? It's not the USA. The only other regional in the UK, Microburn, is definitely not any less 'hippy' than us (whatever that even means here?) It's a do-ocracy - if you think it's missing anything, bring it!

CD

Charlotte Davis Fri 26 Apr 2019

Agree with everything Graeme has said above. As the person who made the mushroom FB header, I used this image to tie into the “primordial wonderland” theme, of things growing in moss and deep woodland. It has been mentioned that we don’t have much of a unified theme with regards to branding this year, but it’s something I’m going to bear in mind for next year.
Personally I would be sad if the name or the dragon logo changed - I really love it, and I think it’s been around a few years?

ME

Martin Evans Sat 27 Apr 2019

"I've even heard rumour there's another set of burners who have another UK festival as ours is a bit hippy". False rumour. As Graeme says, a lot of MicroBurn attendants (and organisers) come to NEST.
I'm reminded of trying to find a band or company name, where your colleagues/band members come up with loads of objections for every name you submit, but NEVER offer anything themselves. And after the initial launch it doesn't matter, because if it's a success the name becomes the brand. If it's a failure, everyone remembers the name and it's not used for a generation.

XD

xavier dubruille Sat 27 Apr 2019

maybe they re just jealous or always miss the timing and cannot even get a ticket anymore (wouhou sold out!!) I like Nest, especially with the new (and official for longs years) site.
Also if people want to diss a name, they will succeed whatever we do about it, the only event in my mind who s changing name everytime is the swiss burn which to be honest make it really annoying to look for on internet but else what about "creme brulée" the event is named after a dessert, looks like a private joke but is inclusive too.
After the inclusion things is totally different, we have this convo every year, the facr is the event doesn t do any preferential treatment to anyone, every body can come to Nest, the door are ajar after i don t know if it is a communication thing but if anyone whatver color, religion, gender, ... is interested, he will find about us and come, it s true that the average audience is a white person, with a middle class background but because burning man is a middle class white things.
If you think you don t see enough diversity, just talk around about it with other ethnicity, class, .... and let them come but like said in the previous year, the organization have quite a lot in their plate to speak about this not-really-a-problem.
Actually if an affort shoudl be made to include people, we should focus on the neighbours first, convince this rustic english old population that we re nice and even if more colorful and excentric, we re not a bunch of hippies on drugs (at last not outside the site)
NB : the hellfest (metal festival) got a terrible relation with the village it is at first but when the elder realize that 30 year old scandinavian dressed in black leather and spike are gentlemen enough to carry their shopping bags to their car, they loved the event and their love is always actual nowadays.
sorry i m in a rush i can develop some point i said later on

FE

Fran Ellis Sat 27 Apr 2019

Ditto what they ^ said :) Also - we're not a company trying to market ourselves to a broader audience. If our community grows, wonderful - all the more friends with shared values. But there's no reason it has to.

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AussieFred Tue 30 Apr 2019

this part on not marketing our selves I'd have to disagree with.
1. "radical inclusion" is about pushing our community out there to try and help change the perspective of the world. 2. We will have to get bigger in step changes of size to grow due to the costs.

But I think people are at risk of taking a general topic post about branding in the following years quite personally about 2019.

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Siren Wed 1 May 2019

@franellis ... I understand what you're saying, but if we decide to go above 500 next year, we will actually have to direct market to attract a good chunk of new people... this is to keep membership prices where they are.. If we decide to grow next year it has to be a significant uplift in membership purchases as insurance and license will be so much more expensive over our current 500 threshold. So we will need to engage a lot more people. Any help you want to offer with that will be very much appreciated!!

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Siren Wed 1 May 2019

@franellis i understand what you're saying, but actually next year to make it so people can afford to purchase membership, we actually will need to direct market to new folks

FE

Fran Ellis Wed 1 May 2019

For me Fred "radical inclusion" is about welcoming people to our community no matter how they got here or 'who they are' in the default world. And taking steps to ensure the burn is accessible to people from all different walks of life. Totally agree that getting our values out there is fab, but I'm of the opinion that this may not necessitate 'marketing' the event itself to a wider audience, but integrating our community principles into our daily lives and inspiring those around us to do so too.

When it comes to the financial aspects, fair one - hadn't realised that was the plan but can completely understand needing to attract more people to keep the cost low :ok_hand:

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Siren Wed 8 May 2019

@franellis yep if we opt to go above our current license and have a larger event license to include more people that means we will need better more comprehensive insurance and that will be significantly more expensive. so to keep memberships at the same price, we need to extend by a significant number of people. That's why we will need to do more marketing next year.

AG

Adrian Godwin Sat 27 Apr 2019

I'm a newbie. My first Nest was in 2016 and I joined almost by accident - I was supporting an artist. I don't have a hippy background though my age isn't too far off an original hippy. But I found Nest really welcoming and inclusive, and so came the next 2 years on my own. And now I love hippies :).

I'm strongly against rebranding and am much happier with the idea of naming that shows what you are rather than the market you want to reach. I also believe Small is Beautiful and most things get ruined by growing. So by all means grow to meet demand, but don't AIM to grow. The aim should be to preserve what you've got as far as that makes people happy. If there's room for a different sort of UK burn then that's fabulous. More power to them (and anything we can do to help them should be done). Diversity is far more important than numerical growth.

Over the last 10 years I've been involved with a different community organisation which chased growth for economy and reach - the social side quickly broke down because it was trying to be right for too diverse a group. With social community broken; trust, involvement, contribution and, perversely, growth, went too. Would have been far better to split, specialise and above all else preserve the social group rather than maintain growth. If that means the group dies for lack of the original team and another arises, so be it.It's the natural way of things. Preservation of the brand in the face of change is a mistake . A lot of what's wrong with current politics, IMHO : differentiation and branding instead of service.

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Siren Wed 8 May 2019

@adriangodwin that's all really lovely and in a ideal world i agree with you, but as i just detailed to Fran above if we want to live by our inclusion ethos that does mean growth... there are already 70-odd people looking for memberships which aren't forthcoming this year. We have a wonderful mind blowing approx 30% newbies this year (whoop!) and your experience of becoming part of this community is exactly the reason we should be opting to grow.

However in boring practical terms, it's actually not that straightforward. If we opt to go above our current license and have a larger event license to include more people that means we will need better more comprehensive insurance and that will be significantly more expensive. so to keep memberships at the same price, we need to extend by a significant number of people to have enough revenue to pay for the extra costs of license and insurance. Because laws and shit as well as inclusion and accessibility. this is the balance we must maintain. It's not as easy as going, oh let's just have another 50 folks. It just won't work, sadly.

PP

Paul Phare Sat 27 Apr 2019

This is all feeding nicely into the discussions we'll be having at the Nest community meeting on the Sunday. Please come along and contribute to it

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Amandasm Sun 28 Apr 2019

I thought the picnic said it was just for fun, no discussions?

MC

Mands Connolly Sun 28 Apr 2019

Yep, when is the community meeting bit happening? News to me too.

PP

Paul Phare Sun 28 Apr 2019

I mean a community meeting at Nest

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AussieFred Tue 30 Apr 2019

I'll check FB, thanks

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Siren Tue 30 Apr 2019

I'm with @charlottedavis on this one... We've already been talking about a digital overhaul for next year and i think making sure our creative direction is part of that is essential. If there are any graphic designers in our midst would would like to support the creation of an image library, go for it.

I think the dragon in the Nest is lovely, but i do think it could do with a new lick of paint and perhaps some different colouration..? Any offers to help with that, gladly received as i'm not a graphic artist.

We will need to get cracking with all of this fairly sharply after this year's Nest to make sure it's all ship shape before we start the event planning for 2020.

As for the name, Nest is the registered name with BMOrg, so changing it is probably a no go on that front. From my perspective as Comms & Marketing Lead: as we're hopefully going to be upping capacity on membership numbers next year and it will be a BIG increase if we do, and therefore a lot more work to market, the last thing we should do is totally change our brand identity. So, yes, a refresh of all artwork and digital comms is definitely something i would like to see, particularly aligning to the theme as Charlotte has done this year... Total change is not something I would recommend in my capacity as lead in light of the challenging opportunities that we will have going on next year.

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AussieFred Tue 30 Apr 2019

sounds all on point to me.

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AussieFred Tue 30 Apr 2019

Does this mean we already have the theme for next year so we can have the graphics in time?

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Amandasm Wed 1 May 2019

we don't, but perhaps this year we could sort that out early?

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Siren Wed 1 May 2019

I really want us to have creative team between arts, marketing and comms next year, @amandasm if poss? can we put heads together to see how this might work in practice? So we'd have creative direction across everything... <3

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Siren Wed 1 May 2019

PS, @amandasm yes please to early release of theme - i'll need this for marketing. Have already flagged to core team: we need to make decision on membership uplift asap after this years Nest so that i can get marketing started. @mandsconnolly if you're still gonna Cat Wrangle for next year, i def need a marketing team. :)

PP

Paul Phare Wed 1 May 2019

Feel free to add these ideas to the Nest Retrospective Project on Asana

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Siren Wed 1 May 2019

Good shout @pauliophario, will do! :)

CH

Corinne Hitching Thu 2 May 2019

I’m a graphic designer. I’d love to help steer the creative direction that fairly represents our community and it’s principals. I think if we just talk about who we are and the things we believe in we will attack like minded people by proxy rather than directly marketing for a bigger network. If the burn principals fit into something that more people are open to then wonderful 🌈

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Siren Tue 7 May 2019

Agree @corinnehitching and this is exactly the approach i would like to take, but i'm also aware that to have an indirect attraction strategy, rather than direct marketing, we will need to start early on all this activity for next year as it takes longer to penetrate.

And YES PLEASE would very much love you to come on board and work with us on creative direction and bring your graphic talents. I think creating a cross-team working group between Arts, Comms and Marketing to pull a stunning creative direction thread through everything we do would be just bloody lovely. <3

CH

Corinne Hitching Wed 8 May 2019

Cool let's have some team power! I'm pretty used to putting creative workshop together so let's do one after Nest and see where we go weeeee

MC

Mands Connolly Tue 30 Apr 2019

Thanks for all your hard work Siren and Char, you've done an amazing job with just the 2 of you, thank god you realise you need more people next year Siren. I know that you are a superwoman but share the love!;o) Of course as Lead Cat Wrangler I'm always asking people to step up, but this really is a chance for one of you keyboard warriors (ok I know that's pushing it :-P) to have a very visual impact. Whats not to love?!

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AussieFred Tue 30 Apr 2019

This isn't a criticism of work made, more the way we represent ourselves going forward. Please take it as such. The image itself is of quality and to topic.

XD

xavier dubruille Tue 7 May 2019

ok just a suggestion, leave a massive black board in front of the point, (and -optionnal- make a fake loomio poll design) where people can write a theme idea and vote, the winning theme is the theme for next year and is announced during the community event the sunday(i think there is one)

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AussieFred Wed 8 May 2019

Or drop the idea of themes.....

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Siren Wed 8 May 2019

@aussiefred we've only just started doing themes last year. lets give each idea a proper bash first. people are really enjoying the themes and actually they're a really good way to support inclusion and marketing.

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AussieFred Wed 8 May 2019

I did wonder where the "primordial wonderland" came from. Themes are new, I didn't know, I should pay more attention to such things as the years progress.
I'll see you on site :) we can have a chat on it all

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Amandasm Wed 8 May 2019

Actually this is the 3rd year with a theme, first one was Fundamentals of Flight. This year it was open to submissions but since it got started late there weren't very many. Will be better done this year - Loomio could allow more of a vote perhaps?
Anyhoo, nobody is obligated to engage with the theme if they're not into themes. Same as how Burning Man or Afrikaburn have themes - some will engage, some will just do whatever they were gonna do anyways. Those who like having a little challenge for inspiration will engage and others are free to ignore it.

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AussieFred Wed 8 May 2019

Yeah, fundamentals of flight 2017, now you mention it I remember that one :) Good year that one. The first year away from the old site and so we thought we were taking flight. We had the super-sized dragon and the massive site layout