How is the BJC organised?

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Who runs the BJC?[edit]

The British Juggling Convention is run by jugglers, for jugglers.

Each year's BJC is run by a new team. They usually form their own limited company, run the BJC in their own town and have their own fresh ideas about what a BJC should be like.

There is not an overseeing organisation that co-ordinates events from year to year. People disagree about whether there should be one or not - the committee page gives an overview of the ongoing debate.

There are some individuals who have helped with the BJC for several years, simply because each team in turn has asked them to. Mini Mansell and Lorri Reese informally help things from year to year by chairing the business meeting. Mini was involved in every BJC between 1998 and 2012 in some way. Jane Randall, Deirdre Toher and Emily Winch have also worked with several different teams.

Usually a BJC team is 100% unpaid. A core team of one or two people will do most of the work over a year or so, building a wider team who will often have individual responsibilities such as producing the public show. A larger team is needed the day before to do all the site setup. During the event, a BJC relies on the jugglers that attend the event volunteering to help out with pass checking, housekeeping, running workshops and generally making the BJC what it is.

Most BJCs make a small profit, but this will usually be far less than the cost of paying even one of the main organisers minimum wage for their work.

So who decides where the BJC goes each year then?[edit]

Each year, one or more teams decide that they would like to run a BJC the year after. They then stand up at the Business Meeting, which happens at every BJC, and explain their proposal to everyone there. After they have answered any questions that the attendees have, it's put to a vote. The winning team go away and run the next year's BJC (or the year after that).

Anyone who's at the BJC when the meeting happens can come and vote.

This means that a new team of completely unknown people could stand up and propose to have the BJC in Ibiza, charter a plane and fly everyone there; if enough people at the previous BJC voted for it, then we would all be going to Ibiza.

In fact, even if nobody voted for the Ibiza team, nothing would stop them having a big party called BJC in Ibiza; but they wouldn't have a very good guarantee that anyone would show up.

At the 2010 Business Meeting no group volunteered to run BJC 2011 or had a proposal ready, so several groups went away to investigate the possibility of running a BJC in their town and a month later an on-line vote was held after an on-line discussion on the merits of the different proposals on the forum.

Can I stand up at a business meeting with my proposal?[edit]

Yes, please do! There are some things you can do to make people more likely to vote for you:

  • If you have a site in mind and have a provisional agreement with the owners,
  • If you have a solid team who can stand up with you,
  • If you've been involved with previous BJCs. Even if you haven't done this before, you can always volunteer now!
  • If you've organised a successful one-day convention before,
  • If you've been able to chat with lots of people during the convention and convince them that your plan is a really great idea.
  • If you're the only team to stand up and offer to run the next BJC.

Read Do you have what it takes? to get an idea of whether a BJC is a commitment that you can realistically take on.

Why is the BJC always so far away from my town? Can we have a nearer BJC please?[edit]

It's far away from your town because nobody who lives near you has made a proposal. If you'd like to see a nearer BJC, why not see if you can build a team of people from your local juggling club, and make your own proposal!