FATG Website

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FATG Website

Post by Framerpicture » Mon 10 Nov, 2008 8:47 pm

Any one know how the FATG are getting on with their proposed new website?

I was reading the message from the Master of the guild in the 2007 accounts and it states "The new
website is expected to be up and running during the first half of 2008."

I decided to leave the FATG last year as I wasn't really happy with what it offered for the money and didn't understand why it would cost £50k to build a web site ( admitedly they said it was to be "the best website in the world!").

I always thought I could rejoin if it proved to be as good as they said it was going to be but it looks like I'll have to wait a bit longer!

Any one know what next years subs are? They only have 2008 rates on their current website.

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Re: FATG Website

Post by birdman » Mon 10 Nov, 2008 9:56 pm

The new Guild website is about to be tested by Branch Masters and Members of the Court. It has been a long time in the making because it was not just the website that was being designed but also the back office functions. Shown below is an example of the new home page. From what I've seen of it, it is a big improvement over the current site. It can be updated by Guild staff, and members can also upload details of their own business to the site as well. For Guild members, if you contact your Branch Master he/she should be able to provide more detail and they may ask for help in "critiqueing" or "snagging" the site before providing feedback to the Guild Office.
Front page new Guild Website
Front page new Guild Website
New Guild Website.jpg (20.14 KiB) Viewed 2025 times
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Re: FATG Website

Post by Roboframer » Mon 10 Nov, 2008 11:03 pm

birdman wrote:The new Guild website is about to be tested by Branch Masters and Members of the Court.
These titles sound so pompous - I get visions of men in robes and funny hats banging on large oak doors with a gilded sheep's head on a pole ...... or summut.

I'm a framer - include that word in the title of 'The Guild' and I'll consider joining. 'Fine art' is a small percent of what I, and probably most of us here sell.

Their website, as it stands right now - sucks - and they allow educators, under their name, to demonstrate and publish methods that will harm artwork. (Silicone for medals - superglue for wedding rings - just off the top of my head)

................................. and relax!

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Re: FATG Website

Post by WelshFramer » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 10:09 am

OK, that's this month's fulmination.
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Re: FATG Website

Post by Framerpicture » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 11:16 am

birdman wrote: From what I've seen of it, it is a big improvement over the current site.
So I would hope with the sort of budget they had!

Any idea what next year's subscription is ??

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Re: FATG Website

Post by Bagpuss » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 11:57 am

I can't pass comment on the FATG web site but in fairness to the Guild , IT projects however big / small have a tendancy to over-run somewhat don't they ? If you log onto the D&J Simons website in the mouldings section it says "Please bear in mind that this web site is a mirror copy of our existing 2003 New Moulding Catalogue and the new SPRING 2004 SUPPLEMENT" How often have you seen this, you go to a suppliers web-site and see a tired looking web page that just hasn't been kept up to date, it's a bit of a turn-off isn't it ?
I can only hope that the new website has been designed so that it can be updated easily to keep it fresh looking. :)

I'm sensing a bit of negativity about Ye Olde Fine Art Trade Guild .... I joined the London branch of the Guild last year and I can't recommend it enough. I have been framing 'on the side' for the last 15 years and as someone who is about to setup in business I've found going to the Guild Meetings every couple of months a real joy. I don't come into contact with many Picture Framers on a daily basis so it's nice to meet people in the flesh and swap tips, it's pretty good for networking as well . :clap: It may sound a bit elitist but it's nothing of the sort, all picture framers are welcome all with varying levels of experience. I also took the "Commended Framer" exam last year and I always point to my Certificate when new customers visit for the first time, it reassures them if nothing else. :lol: If you are just going to pay your subs every year and not get involved in any of the meetings then it probably is a waste of time but you'd certainly get your money's worth if you do get involved . :P

all this typing has exhausted me, going for a lie down now ....
My real name is Adam Laver aka "Adam The Picture Framer", just in case you were unsure ; )

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Re: FATG Website

Post by birdman » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 12:00 pm

The Guild site says it's £226.30 (incl vat) at 2008 rates. That's what I've just paid to renew for 2008/2009. Rates for 2009 have not been set yet as far as I am aware. If you think of it as £4.35 a week, it's not too bad.

I'm also a member of a couple of other professional associations and the costs are comparable, especially with the benefits available. For me to change my signage, business cards, website, etc would be much more expensive if I decided not to renew, but that always remains an option of course.

The benefit of the new website will not be seen until it's in operation but I'm willing to provide my support. Of course as a Branch Master (funny hats, handshakes and rolled up trouser legs) I would say that, so you have to take what I and others say at face value and make your own mind up.

I hope you decide to renew because we need a strong organisation to fight on our behalf. It can only be strong with a vibrant membership and of course the Guild will have to demonstrate that they do listen to members and try to provide the support requested.

Here endeth the lesson.
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Re: FATG Website

Post by Merlin » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 7:21 pm

birdman wrote:I hope you decide to renew because we need a strong organisation to fight on our behalf. It can only be strong with a vibrant membership and of course the Guild will have to demonstrate that they do listen to members and try to provide the support requested.
I totally agree and I would rejoin if only they would listen.
At the risk of repeating past posts. In the far SW of Cornwall there are listed some 81 retail picture framers in the Yellow Pages. In the whole of Cornwall the Guild list only 8 members. 6 of whom are retail framers. Only 1 (yes ONE) GCF.

I became a member in 1999 and GCF - The First in Cornwall in 2000. In 2003 I was asked if I would like to become a GCF examiner. In 2006 the Guild attempted to hold a meeting in Plymouth. A large capture area from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and possibly Somerset. It was cancelled due to lack of interest. Two of us had travelled nearly 80 miles each way to attend. The Guild did not inform us that it had been cancelled, yet I was one of the instigators that harangued Rosie for a meeting in the South West.

I have tried to get Rosie and the then IT guru involved in this forum. They refuse. An act which I believe is very blinkered and they are losing/have lost the potential of a lot of new members because of that.

I have tried 'from the inside' to remind the Guild that there are a lot of small independent picture framers out there who need help and advice. It all fell on deaf ears because I am not a corporate 'big name'.

The Guild also need to look at other 'trade' publications to see where they are going wrong with ABT. I smiled when an ex Court Officer called it the 'A Black Tie' magazine because if was full of pictures of dinners and awards. Yet how true. I can compare because I have pages that I removed from the earlier ABT's. A self made Bible if you want full of 'come in handy information'.

I hope the new long awaited Web site works for them. Time will tell.

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Re: FATG Website

Post by birdman » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 8:04 pm

This is my personal view and is probably stating the blindingly obvious but here goes.

In Cornwall there are 9 Guild Member and 4 GCFs
In Devon 28 members and 13 GCFs
In Somerset 16 members and 10 GCFs
(GCFs of course may not necessarily be members).

There is considerable potential for a vibrant branch covering those three counties, and that is even before considering all the other framers who are not yet members.

What it takes is someone in that area to start a Branch, and it has to come from local members. The Guild office cannot realistically organise things from London (as has been demonstrated). They can help and will do so if asked but the organisation and will has to come from local framers.

In Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland we stand at about 28 members each. We have occasional attendees from Southern Ireland at our meetings and vice versa. A couple of us are visiting Scotland in the new year to attend a branch meeting.

In Northern Ireland we may not get full attendance but at my last meeting we catered for 17 people attending. It was something like 20 attending the meeting before. There have been meetings where only 3 turned up. But the meetings only happen because we keep in touch and ring around beforehand to encourage attendance. The Guild office is also very good at sending out email reminders and invitations to branch events in a supporting role but the driving force is the local branch.

In my view the major benefit of the Guild is the local branches and the networking, talks, demonstrations and guest speakers. It’s worth being a member just for that. But you don't get something for nothing and it takes hard work by someone local. :head:

Here endeth the second lesson.

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Re: FATG Website

Post by Merlin » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 8:29 pm

birdman wrote: In Cornwall there are 9 Guild Member and 4 GCFs
(GCFs of course may not necessarily be members).

What it takes is someone in that area to start a Branch, and it has to come from local members. The Guild office cannot realistically organise things from London (as has been demonstrated).
Yes Rolf, my figures came from the Guild web site. So I am counted as one of Cornwall's GCF's even though I am no longer a member and cannot use my GCF logo because it bears the FATG emblem. We have been down that road before, so I will end that there.

Still 9 Guild Members in the whole of Cornwall, where there must be 1000+ framers. Not a good percentage is it.
I did mention this to the Membership Secretary and was basically told to get off my ar*e and get out there and canvas, phone around to get members. Excuse me !!! Who pays for the diesel and phone bills?
Having said that, I did phone round the local area - some 30 framers and mentioned the FATG. Stunned silence on the other end of the telephone to "Never heard of them" to "They are a waste of space".

I also belong to the FSB and the Guild of Master Craftsmen plus a Motoring Rescue Organisation. Not once have they told me to go and canvas for members. In fact some of their record keeping must be as good as the Guilds because I get telephone calls from them asking if I want to become a member. Not once has the FATG done that.

These are old threads and issues being dragged up here. When the FATG recognise the small retail framer and opens itself to help and advise then I may reconsider my membership status. Until then £226.30 will be put to better use.

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Re: FATG Website

Post by [email protected] » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 9:15 pm

im not going to drag up my whining about the FATG again. but im one of their ex members in cornwall this year.

The FATG dont represent the small business framer at all, neither do they offer much for the new framer other than some fairly decent publications which you get a small discount on if you are a member.

For the same money each year you get better representation from the FSB and have enough left over to pay for the hosting and maintenence of your own web site, and take your missus out for dinner, without the aggro of a black tie ;)

personally I dont think such an organisation is really necessary or very relevant to the average high street picture framing business any more, to echo some comments in another post about trade fairs if its information, news, trends and advice you want about framing, there are the Grumble and the Framers Forum, and these resources are free.

The only way the fatg could keep members, which is a different ball game than getting new members is to offfer something in return for the grossly inflated membership cost which people could use to take their business forward year on year, not just when they are new, keen, and need someone elses logo because they have not built their own "brand" locally yet. (the Cornish example is a good one, as most of those listed who are not actually framed picture factories, bar two, are comparatively new in the business anyway). Only two of the people listed as members were members when I first joined. Where have all the rest of us gone. Been there, got the t-shirt.

As John points out there are plus 1000 framers in this county alone. So the vast majority, more than 99 percent seem to NOT want to be in the FATG, or dont need to be, or cant be bothered with the fatg.

Strangly even more of them seem NOT to have joined this forum either.

Perhaps then most picture framers prefer to work in isolation, and its only us bunch of interweb weirdies who actually talk to each other. :shock:

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Re: FATG Website

Post by birdman » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 9:53 pm

Yes I recognise that we are going round in circles, repeating old arguments, but they are new for members of the forum who haven't been around the block already.

The FSB, of which I am also a member, has over 200,000 members and at our local meetings we are continually asked to encourage further membership. The bonus for the FSB is that being a large organisation they can employ membership marketeers unlike the smaller FATG. If there are another 1000 framers out there then the Guild does need to get the message out and sell the benefits. There are crossovers and some of the benefits offered by the Guild are also offered by the FSB and the Master Craftsmen for all I know. The Guild are currently working with the FSB to try and get the Performing Rights Society to stop chasing small businesses who have the radio on in the workshop for a licence fee, because they are playing music that customers can hear. (sorry I digress).

Membership of the Masonic, the Round Table, the British Legion and similar membership organisations is all encouraged by members and networking and someone does have to get off of the ar*e, even if it is only by mentioning the subject over a pint and proposing someone for membership. With more of us texting, emailing, skyping, foruming, actually meeting together is becoming very rare and maybe framers are a curiously isolationist crowd but at least Guild meetings give us the opportunity to meet like minded people with diverse and individual opinions. I acknowledge so do forums like this but it lacks the personal touch.

On the other hand we can always meet up at the Spring Fair each year. :D
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Re: FATG Website

Post by [email protected] » Tue 11 Nov, 2008 10:28 pm

What the FATG ought to do in that case is advertise on this forum, and other forums.

If you are new in framing you dont know many other people in the business, so nobody is going to recommend their particular organisation.

Memberships of other business organisations (FSB etc) are rarely with people who are all in the same business in competition with each other.
I understand members being protective of their own organisation, but its not the duty of members to promote an organisation necessarily. Specially when the benefits that you have which help your business might help your competitor to castch up with you, you would just be flattening the local playing field. Fine, I know many members have been recommended by people a hundred or two hundred miles away, family members in the same business, or on a training course (specially if the FATG recommends the course to people), but I never heard a company rep recommond joining the FATG, even though their company might well be corporate members.

For example google for "professional picture framers organsation" and the people who claim to represent the picture framing industry (FATG) dont even come up on the first page, so how are prospective new members finding the FATG?

We are doing a better job of advertising them by discussing them here than they are doing themselves.

You google "picture framers UK" and I'm no2 on page 1. Sometimes No1. Now thats odd, you would at least expect it to be a directory of picture framers in the UK, or the UK's body claiming to represent the framing trade......

So if I can do that, on a zero budget, in a half-arse way, with a DIY website, in me spare time, wtf have the FATG been spending all your money on? A web designer who hasn't heard of SEO? or black tie dinners and junkets for paid staff to the USA? They certainly have not been promoting the organisation for picture framers on the single largest information search engine on the planet. Google's the first place everyone looks these days.

do the FATG offer an affiliate/referral scheme for clickthroughs on their links, or referalls for joinups?
No. Why not?

but an example: Allposters do, and they pay me the GBP eqiv of $100 by cheque every other month or so. And i dont have to give them the price of a new Metzler back tyre every year. I just have a link on my web site.

sorry but the FATG are completely and utterly always two years behind the times, I think they like the little bit of extra money they get from framers, but can you show me some examples of how and where the average customer who is likely to walk into most of our shops will have ever heard of the FATG except on a logo in a members shop?

And thats why with one or two very rare exceptions, they do not participate in this forum. Which I see as odd, for the organisation that claims to represent "the industry".

They are just sitting back letting members prromote the organisation, or try to, and taking the money, thank you very much.

IF there ws something in it for me, I would re-join. But I cant see whats in it for my business.

Perhaps a member could tell me what I'm missing this year ?

markw

Re: FATG Website

Post by markw » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 10:09 am

What's happened to the best website in the world? Are they hand crafting each letter - ensuring that the media is of conservation quality?

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Re: FATG Website

Post by Jonny2morsos » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 10:40 am

By the time we see it will it be museum quality?

John.

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Re: FATG Website

Post by Dermot » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 10:51 am

It has to be a joke…..50k for a website………if it is true someone has totally lost the plot….and should not be in charge of that project….

Someone please tell me that the 50k figure is a joke………please…..

markw

Re: FATG Website

Post by markw » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 10:52 am

Jonny2morsos wrote:By the time we see it will it be museum quality?

John.
What do you mean? images of the past - but very well preserved.

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Re: FATG Website

Post by Peter the framer » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 11:56 am

I called on their stand at the Spring Fair.
Must admit that when I said my interest was framing the impression I got was that they are a bit snooty.
However, the seminars, which I think they organised were useful.
I didn't join and have no plans to - £67 joining fee !!

markw

Re: FATG Website

Post by markw » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 12:19 pm

Peter the framer wrote:I called on their stand at the Spring Fair.
Must admit that when I said my interest was framing the impression I got was that they are a bit snooty.
However, the seminars, which I think they organised were useful.
I didn't join and have no plans to - £67 joining fee !!
Whadayamean £67 - add annual membership and your not going to get much change out of £300 - part of that amount goes to pay for the "new" website.

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Re: FATG Website

Post by WelshFramer » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 1:30 pm

Reading this prompted me to look at the FATG website. I assume what I see isn't the new, improved site.

The list of Members of the Court was interesting, not the least for its small number of framers. Still, some of the members do have a skill at website design. The one I particularly liked was that of Roy Rowlands - http://www.hedgehog-art.co.uk/ - decorative though not, to me, very informative.
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