Figured it was time to sit down and type out some more VIIF lessons learned... one of them was the need for a consolidated vision of what the festival was going to be!
In 2003 when we first started, we had a vision - it was "Let's pull together some groups, put on a festival and hope that we don't explode by the end!"
At that time, I had already looked at some other festivals (including having participated in a few) and decided that in addition to show casing local/regional/international groups, we wanted to offer a workshop to most participants and have some type of improv jam involving members from all groups. We had Randy Dixon run the workshop and our jams were great!
The thing is, when you are pulling together a bunch of volunteers to produce a festival, having to explain the vision (including budget, media strategy, etc.) over and over again is tedious... in addition to potentially forgetting to communicate some key piece of information.
For VIIF 2003, we kept that risk under control by having weekly team meetings from pretty much the start of having decided to run the festival! In hindsight, we didn't have to meet that often... but at the time we were all excited about the festival's potential, so meeting regularly wasn't a big deal.
At the end of VIIF 2003, I gathered feedback from our guests and volunteers, put on my thinking cap and decided that the next one needed a formal vision document - think of it as one-stop shopping for everything you want to know about that year's festival - team contacts/roles, vision statement, budget, media strategy, guests, etc.
Now, the examples I am providing probably seem pretty complex/large... but that comes from my Day Job background. Bottom line is that you need to pull together something that works for you and your team!
Here are the vision documents from VIIF 2004 - VIIF 2010...