As I write this SOBA is fast approaching 1200 members. Last year marked SOBA’s 10th anniversary and many of us discussed if SOBA was still relevant, particularly with the amazing beer scene in New Zealand.
As a new committee, with some new faces, we spent some time reflecting on this at our planning day in December – along with how things have changed and what’s still to come.
I’m not going to make any sweeping predictions for 2017 (our friends at Beertown.nz did that well!) but I can tell you what we as a committee are this year focused on:
- Continuing to grow our presence in the regions;
- Holding a planning session with our Regional Coordinators in Wellington;
- Continuing to grow our membership, targeting 1500 members by the end of 2017;
- Holding more events (and having committee members at these events);
- Growing Pursuit of Hoppiness (circulation is up to an impressive 15,000) while retaining its ties with SOBA;
- Proactive advocacy in line with our vision (people have an appreciation of, and access to, a diverse range of quality beer)
So yes, SOBA is still relevant and as the beer scene and membership base inevitably change, our goals and priorities have to change with that. Nevertheless, our mission remains the same: Educate, Promote, Advocate.
On that note, thank you for your continued support. The committee and much of SOBA’s activity throughout the year is almost entirely volunteer-based so I really encourage you to get involved and help out where you can. These events cannot succeed without continued support from our amazing volunteers.