This time last year I penned a brief summary for the year that was 2019, one that I found it hard to whittle down the achievements and impact that Mr Perfect had.
Now here we are again. 2020 was truly on another planet for many reasons, the obvious being the “C-word”.
Despite humanity’s earth-shaking events, Mr Perfect rallied and came out the other side a little wise, a little stronger, a little more confident and delivering a tonne more value those that needed us.
As the effects of COVID were thrust upon us in March 2020, we had to cancel many of our BBQs and put them on hold for the foreseeable. However, with some quick and creative thinking we reacted and used the force of the internet for good:
- Online BBQs - for several weeks during the pandemic I fired up my BBQ, chucked on some snags and then opened up Zoom to juggle cooking up a storm and chatting and connecting with our Community from all over Australia.
- TRH: The Reconnection Hour - our weekly livestream show on Facebook turned up a notch and we invited more guests to chat with me and impart their experiences and wisdom on all things connection.
- Socials - we took a step back to look at what we were actually delivering across our social media channels and decided to re-draw our strategy to engage the community in a meaningful and valuable way, something that paid huge dividends in connecting thousands of men across the country.
Although due to COVID we did not expand our footprint of geographical locations hugely (we now run 35+ BBQs across the country), we did increase our impact, our average BBQ attendance growing wildly beyond our expectations and a hotbed of activity occurring in Perth that has gone from 1 to 6 BBQs in lightening quick time! Mr Perfect BBQ Hosts are some of the greatest humans you will ever meet and have flown the flag locally for their community, at all times remaining selfless.
Not only did Mr Perfect bring on its first female Board Member, that within one meeting had us all blown away, we engaged several other talented volunteers and contractors to help with specialised tasks. In addition our structure changed and we introduced Lead BBQ Hosts in each State to take care of their “patch” and ensure we can still run super lean (currently still for the price of a half-decent new car each year!).
Never have we been more certain that whatever gets thrown at us, we can be prepared for, so we can safely and effectively operate. Our guidelines, policies, procedures and more have been scrutinised, tested and adapted frequently to manage our risk to its maximum.
Footy Is Back!
As many will know, the origins of Mr Perfect are rooted in football (soccer), it all starting from an informal kick-around back in January 2016. In late 2020 we returned full-circle and added “Mentally Healthy Footy Meetups” again to complement our BBQ Meetups.
Not only did OnePath / Zurich renew their sponsorship with Mr Perfect for the third year running, but we also formed an alliance with the incredibly apt public barbecue manufacturers Christie Barbecues. They are leaders in their field but importantly still have a grassroots ethos that speaks to our brand and intent. Outside of this our relentless community support came thick and fast from “The Hurlers” (more than a soccer team) and MRP FC (our brother organisation, a one of a kind soccer club).
More Than A BBQ
The humble public BBQ will always be our hub and the main connector of men, however, we knew in the midst of 2020 that we had become “more than a BBQ”. We now have a comprehensive Men’s Health Directory on our website, along with our already popular SANE Forums and ever active Blog page with superb resources and thought pieces from experts, professionals and lived-experience.
When Sunday afternoon comes round, my phone is usually alive with activity. Although weekends are strictly family time for me (phone goes to “Flight Mode” most of the time), I sneak a look at the notifications, comments, photos and of course stories from the BBQs running that day. It has never been more apparent that the craving for connection is intense (be that to self, nature, family, friends and more), and many are realising how simply we can achieve this, for the good of our long-term health.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, mind and soul to everyone that supported Mr Perfect in 2020. We are hopeful, and dare I say bullish, that despite the world’s chaos externally, we can take responsibility into our own hands to support, connect and create community for all men in Australia. Come and join us in 2021, you are always welcome.
Have a good one,
Founder | CEO