Members meeting - 11th January 2023 - 19:30

:loudspeaker: Member Meeting

Date: Wednesday 11th January 2023 19:30
Location: Hackspace Manchester, Wellington House, M40 7FS
Web link: tbc

Hey All, for the start of 2023 we thought it would be good to come together and discuss plans for what we want the Hacman to look like by the end of 2023. It’ll also be a good chance for new members to come along and meet other members.


To add your own points, please reply to this thread. Items posted immediately before the meeting may not be included. Please leave at least 24h when adding an item. Time may run out - usually meetings last 1h30 but can end earlier or later.

Brief Team Updates

  • Board
  • Finance
  • Membership
  • IT
  • Outreach
  • Metalwork
  • Woodwork

Member submitted items

Items raised in this thread can be considered for AOB.

  • Changing open evenings (alloted tour times, rota?)
  • How to get involved around the space.
  • Visual Arts group formation
    • Scope and Responsibilities
  • Update on 3D printer induction progress?
  • Plans and aims for the year ahead.
  • February Hack-the-space day.
  • Tenancy at Wellington House.
  • AOB


Minutes will be written up after the meeting, posted below this thread.

With the desire to form a Visual Arts group, is it worth a brief agenda item to discuss the formation & scope of such a group?

I imagine it might be easier to discuss the topic of how the group will manage/share responsibilities with other existing specialist groups (3d, laser, sewing), as raised in the VA team formation thread, in-person?

Following on from that, I’d be keen to introduce regular (at least quarterly to begin with?) Visual Arts meetings to take stock of the variety of items in the VA area and any largish-impact changes folks might want exploring (reorganisation and physical layout changes?) Assuming everybody’s okay with that of course :slight_smile:

Cheers Rob. I’ve added it to the agenda. It would be really helpful to have some representation from the Laser cutter and 3D printer teams, or people who currently lead these items. @Harvinder_Atwal are you able to encourage these people to attend? I’m not sure who is on those teams.

I can ask around.

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I’m happy to chair this, FYI, and do minutes. I’ve nothing to add to the agenda, though.

Can I request that the ongoing discussion around the snackspace payment system is not included in this meeting? Appreciate that it’s not on the agenda, but if anyone was considering it…

The debate already quite detailed and technical, and most of the membership wouldn’t know the ins and outs to be able to make a decision. Also, we wanna keep the meeting brief :wink:


I mean, you can request it… but it’ll be up to whoever is chairing the meeting.

On another note, you’re welcome to chair and do the minutes. :cowboy_hat_face:

Maybe mention there is a discussion and signpost accordingly. Or even suggest if we want to talk about do it after the meeting, and then interested people can stick around.

Yeah, good idea.

Would it be possible to have an egg timer system or similar for ‘brief updates’? There are a ton of points to discuss and we have people at home who love us etc.

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I’ll chair the meeting and will try and be pretty strict on that.

Discussions can get off topic v. quickly, so I try and keep them results/outcome focussed and encourage actions rather than problem-stating.

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I’d like to mention I’m running board game nights if possible. I know it’s too officially late to get it on the rota, but I don’t want to give a whole update, more, “I’m here, I’m running board game nights.”

Since board game nights are a social thing, an in person meeting is an opportunity to meet people so they know who I am in advance of coming to board games.

I can add that, or we can mention it in AOB no problem.

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@mikeh attached is a PDF of the 3D Printer Maintainers Group, for your meeting minutes.
HackMan 3D Print Maintainers Report 11_01_2023.pdf (529.2 KB)

Thanks Aaron – that’s great.

FYI everyone, I’ll have the minutes with actions done in the next couple of days. That’s not to stop anyone starting now on anything that was discussed.

Felt like a really useful and fairly focused meeting last night, still need to shave it down to 90 minutes but it was a heck of a lot shorter than previous ones i’ve sat in.

Thanks to Mike for chairing and everyone else for the large member turnout.

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MINUTES (part 1):

Present: Ellis Ley, Mark Dale, Peter Roberts, Nathan Blades, MAtin Pickersgill, Rob Jackson, Jack Collins, Aaron Zidchouski, Steve Houston, Kieran Sharma, Frank Hall, Luke Nolan, Richard Westwell, Ben Dooks, Conall McGinty, Foluso Falade, Joe Christian, Tony Goacher, Mike Hindley, Jane Glaysher-White (online: Ellan Pearce…

Brief Team Updates

  • Board/financne/membership

    • Board has launched purchase proposal system. Now if members want anything for the space, they can develop a proposal and raise it to the board or a subgroup/team. If a proposal gets enough support, that team can can be granted the money to do it. This is part of an effort to improve the equipment we have and simultaneously get people engaged in improving the space
    • There is now an orange box near the front tour with crib sheets for open evening tours. We want to make it clear that we’re a community space. Membership is cheap because people pitch in. 250 members should be 250 hands helping out.
    • Looking at our figures for Jun-Nov 2022, we gained around 40 members and numbers are going up steadily. We run at c. £1k profit pcm. This sounds good but electric bill has risen from £300-400 to £500-600 pcm. Also, tenancy ends in 14mo, and rent and service charge are set to increase. This is affordable if membership keeps growing sustainably. But longer-term future might be uncertain.
    • In Sept we had a sound recording company come in to record sounds. This generated £600 income for the space.
  • IT

    • @rjackson is now getting up to speed with our various digital systems. A primary goal for the digital infra team is to improve how information is presented, especially to ease onboarding for new users. This may be based on a “What do you want to do today” type interface.
    • Members volunteered to help the team understand the difficulties new members might have in navigating the various processes (training, inductions, storage, comms channels, etc.)
  • Outreach

    • Newsletters are now regular (every 2 months or more).
    • We get roughly 10 new members pcm.
    • We are getting good engagement for Instagram, but Twitter is being deactivated/mothballed due to lack of interest from members and value as a platform. FB gets v. little engagement. We can x-post from Insta, but otherwise it is not maintained. We will also be turning off the FB messaging feature.
    • Many suggestions were made about boosting outreach further (events like Makerfaires, working with universities, building relationships with other orgs like council, voluntary sector, hosting Skillshares, talking to repair cafes
    • ACTION: @Josephxtian has already spoken with Jane, who works with charities and other community orgs in GM.
  • Metalwork

    • We have a slight availability issue with the workshop’s 2 trainers, so will be looking to boost numbers
    • We will soon be putting in a request for funding for the welding extraction
  • Woodwork

    • We are close to finalising the new layout
    • New dust extractor works v. well. Too well in fact. Needs some work to be fully operational.
    • Several successful purchase proposals have gone through
    • Training going well. We have a large team and manage it all with spreadsheet. IT’s not perfect, but is manageable.
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MINUTES (part 2):
Member submitted items

    • Changing the structure of open evenings (alloted tour times, rota?)
    • Open evenings were previously v. informal. There could be a risk of nobody actually being present to give tours, which could cost us new members and damage our reputation
    • Immediate goal is to formalise it with booked timings. Would be easier for tour givers and tour-havers. Would be less intimidating for curious members and puts in a slight delay between joining and induction/fob pickup
    • ACTIONS:
      • @Josephxtian to look at setting up bookable tours (on Eventbrite?)
      • @mikeh to look at assembling rota of volunteers
  • How to get involved around the space.

    • New member onboarding can still be overwhelming
    • We need to check what info is presented to new members and how user-friendly that is
    • ACTIONS:
      • @rjackson (and digital team) to look at how the system/webpage
      • @mikeh to set up forum post seeking input from recently joined members
  • Visual Arts group formation

    • There has been some interest in formin a visual arts team to have oversight of how the stage area is run
    • Sentiment is that 3D printing and laser groups will continue to maintain their own training and maintenance practices, but work closely with the VA team, which will look after the broader VA space
    • ACTION
      • @rjackson to start team and begin discussions about membership
  • Update on 3D printer induction progress?

    • @AaronZ has provided a comprehensive update here
    • In summary: progress is great, and inductions should soon be taking place.
    • Need admin access to VA Macs from @rossy
  • Plans and aims for the year ahead.

    1. Tidier docs system
    2. Tidier physical space
    3. More user friendly onboarding
    4. More engaged user base
    5. Stronger sense of where we’ll be in 5 years
  • February Hack-the-space day

    • Need to set a date
    • Can people take ownership of items beforehand and ensure items are in place for certain tasks?
  • Tenancy at Wellington House

    • Summary here (tenancy ends April 2024, new lease will be more ££, new premises with more security (of tenancy) would be good.
    • See ongoing thread here for ways YOU can help
    • ACTIONS:
      • @mikeh is speaking with father who has extensive commercial property experience
      • @mikeh also begun search of current market to determine our options
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MINUTES (final part)

  • @peterdroberts is running board game nights. Please contact him if you’d like to be involved.
  • Member storage
    • We have approx 100 storage slots, and nealry 250 members
    • Short term solution would be to use existing shelving to fill shortfall, but would only provide 20 or so smaller slots
    • Longer-term solution means acquiring more shelving and installing it. Thread already started here.


Have I missed anything? Any corrections? Just shout.

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