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APCUG Reports
July-September 2007

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Social Activities
Gabe Goldberg, Region 2 Advisor

As I visit user groups throughout Region 2, I enjoy their diverse meeting formats and programs. I especially enjoy groups with social components in activities -- gathering for meals before or after meetings, holiday parties, trips and tours, etc. These groups often have a vibrant community spirit not always seen/felt in more "all business" groups. So if your group mostly operates for technical meetings, consider adding social activities. That's a way to bring families into the fold and recruit people who enjoy socializing more than exclusively geek talk. And if your group IS socially oriented -- let your APCUG Regional Advisor know! Tell him/her about your events/activities/programs to share them with your neighbor groups.

Remember that user groups start and evolve as their members/leaders desire -- there's no template, master plan, or one-style-for-all. This leads to the charm and chaos of groups' variability! But it also means that change is possible -- don't be captive to tradition. Especially avoid the "Never do anything for the first time" trap -- i.e., "If we haven't done it before, it's a bad idea." As times change, different offerings appeal to your members and community. Evolve and (maybe) survive; stagnate and (surely) die.