February 7, 2018 • BitF 2018, BitF 2018 News

BitF 2018 Producer Retreat Overview

On Friday Nov 24th the BitF 2018 Producer Team headed to Whistler for a weekend retreat.

Craig – DPW
Elisabeth “Big Tuna” – Operations “Ops”
James “JAMZ!” – Curation
Caleb – Systems
Laura – Volunteer
Mars – Safety
Luisa “Mama Bear” – Info
squishelle – Chair
Phone in: Brodie – Systems

This is an overview of what we discussed.

Our Chairperson, squishelle, led us through the history of Burn in the Forest. Many of our Production team are more recent BitFers and this stroll down memory lane was the perfect kick-off to our retreat!

As our event grows we realise that we need to have a plan in place so we are clear what the main goals are for this event, where our strengths lie and where we have room to improve. We need to recognise our opportunities and any external factors that could jeopardize our event. Our CURATION PRODUCER, JAMZ!, led us through this discussion. This resulted in a further group discussion about our growth plan.

– Aiming for 1500 (from 1200) participants in 2018 on the condition that our site space remains the same as the previous years
– We need to make sure that volunteerism/participation grows at the same rate if we want to continue with this growth in 2019
– Our goal, if we do get sufficient growth in volunteerism/participation in 2018 will be to add an extra day in 2019 while maintaining a capacity of 1500 people

Our OPS PRODUCER, Big Tuna, led a discussion on best practices for when we’re all on site. This will be very beneficial on the event days when we’re at our busiest times so that we can reduce any chance of misunderstanding and conflict.
– We created a guide to cover topics such as:
1. Decision Making
2. Radio Protocol
3. Use of Gators
4. Guidelines for Gate
– This guide is meant to be a living document and a reference for anyone who assumes a producer role on site during Burn in the Forest.
– How we conduct ourselves affects the safety of the event, and how the production team is perceived by community members.
– We also discussed Problem Solving on site and when to engage
– Which Producers are to engage in which scenarios

Fire has been a hot topic (pardon the pun) over the past few years given that we keep encountering yearly provincial fire bans. Our INFO PRODUCER, Mama Bear, led us through a discussion about our motivation for having an effigy burn and whether there were other options to satisfy our participants’ desire for fire.
– Provincial fire bans in BC create a yearly dilemma for the Production Team when it comes to whether or not to burn the effigy
– We had an in-depth discussion about the Effigy Burn and whether the focus of this event is, or should be, on the BURN or the FOREST
– We discussed the size and materials used for the effigy and whether creating stricter guidelines could reduce the risk from the Effigy Burn yet still allow for it to continue
– We discussed the need for a NO BURN PLAN for any effigy submission
– We discussed the decision making process that happens on-site, who is involved or should be involved in the final decision
– We discussed whether the Effigy Burn adheres to the 10 Principles of Burning Man

Our SYSTEMS CO-PRODUCER, Caleb, took us through a discussion on the best steps for making decisions as a team. Often this isn’t an issue but when a more controversial topic comes up we need to have clear processes on who makes the final decision and how.

Our SAFETY PRODUCER, Mars, had the responses to the Leadership form that we sent out compiled. We reviewed each one to discuss the best ‘fit’ and assigned follow ups for each of them.

Staying on top of the items that need to be done before the new year starts is easy to forget. Our VOLUNTEER PRODUCER, Laura, made sure we were on track for any important dates and projects.

This year we’re using a new online project management system called Basecamp. It’s a pretty kick-ass tool and our SYSTEMS CO-PRODUCER, Caleb, reviewed it with us all to make sure we weren’t going in blind.

Other items we reviewed were our Milestones, the Org Chart and updates from each producer relating to their pod. We also did some brainstorming around general improvements for production.

If you have any questions or input please email [email protected]

Cheers from your BitF 2018 Producers!

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