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APCUG Reports
April-June 2005

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Las Vegas PC User Group
Making A User Group Great by Donna Sword, President

I hope this New Year will be absolutely the most positive, rewarding, and creative for you. There is so much going on that, as I get older, time seems to compress and each year flies. So, in looking back, I was wondering just what makes a user group work and stay viable in a community.

My list (in order of importance) for a strong user group structure:

So, knowing these bullet items make a good user group, I think our steady 350 members and sometimes 400 members show that there is a need in the community for a computer user group, even with all the other user groups in the Las Vegas Valley. There is room and a need for all.

I really believe fun is there in every meeting or you would not hear the laughter and the willingness of everyone to ask or answer a question. Computers are a foreign language and sometimes just having a place to go to ask the question about a new program or new security update saves everyone some time and anguish. I, for one, have been spared a great deal of pain about various new programs or patches because someone has been there before me.

Vendor and community support are what they are. When our members remember to say thank you and vendors realize the added value they get in providing User Group Support, then everything works well. The Association of Personal Computer User Groups provides the vendor support and the education tools needed for local user groups. Many User Groups around the nation are finding they are surviving very

well without the vendor support of door prizes and speakers. By buying our vendor’s products and doing reviews of software and hardware, we provide a service to the vendors as well as to our community.

Take a look at our Bytes newsletter. All the user groups in the Las Vegas area are listed and we encourage you to attend the open groups as well as LVPCUG. Some of the user groups in the valley are only open to homeowners in that community. Buy a home in that community and you, too, can join that user group.

Over the past year, our user group has provided the expertise for the Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show’s “How to Buy a Computer” and “Beginning Computer in Spanish” workshops in cooperation with the North Las Vegas Library “So You Want to Build a Web Site” seminar with the Sun City Summerlin Computer Club and 10 How-To Workshops where the public can bring their computers and we help them fix the problems. We have recycled ink cartridges, toner cartridges, cell phones and equipment. We had a booth at the swap meet and provided both phone and in-house support for our members.

Al things considered, our small group has been very active and provided a number of community programs. Of all the things accomplished this past year, I personally think our cooperation with the other user groups is the most significant. Thank you, everyone.