Well I’d say overall the Drovers event was a success – what a relief! People really enjoyed the quiz and were touchingly chuffed with the biscuits and sweets I handed out as prizes at the end. I discovered that biscuits are much preferred for refreshments over cupcakes!
People were generally happy to fill out the surveys and profile forms but as one Age UK volunteer commented, they really appreciate a little chocolate incentive as a thank you. Holding a fun event that people enjoy gets them on side and means we get to know each other and they want to help you out. Three ladies at the end were super enthusiastic and gave me lots of advice around the best ways to advertise future events – putting posters and small flyers that people can take away at local shops and in the Drovers Centre would be better than the posters I put up in GP surgeries. One lady even took away a copy of the survey and profile form and said she would ask for them to be photo-copied and handed out at Sotheby Mews, a popular Day Centre, attended by a few of the ladies who participated in the quiz. I’ll be visiting there soon to talk more about BuddyHub.
What I’ve learned from the feedback so far
I have a good number of completed surveys and profile forms and should get a few more back from members of the photography and dancing group that I managed to present to about BuddyHub on the fly. A peak at the early survey results are interesting. Although, by virtue of attending an Age UK centre these are people who are reasonably socially active less than a fifth felt they were definitely socially active enough. Only around 10% thought they definitely had as much company as they want or need. 90% wanted to make new friends with around a third of those preferring to make new friends around their own age and the rest not caring about the age of new friends. It’s pleasing that 40% of people felt there was someone to call for help with life’s little problems though that left 60% of people feeling it would be nice to have a friend to call for some help. One lady told me she used to love going on holiday to Spain but that she has no one to go with anymore. I want to find out how many older people also have this problem. It’s pretty clear that I need to simplify my profile forms as some people found them a bit confusing and left bits out. Only about half of people wanted to put anything down around skills and talents. Similarly for hopes, dreams and aspirations though go go the gent who aims to be able to swim a mile when he’s 100!
Almost everyone thought BuddyHub sounded interesting with a couple of people needing to know more. Most people were also willing to have a follow up chat to give further feedback about BuddyHub. Hoorah! The best thing about the event was interacting with the older people who were there as well as meeting a couple of terrifically helpful Age UK volunteers. Every lean start up should be talking to their potential customers as much as possible. Engaging with mine is the best part of this start up journey and the main reason it got started in the first place.