Starting a Club

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    Topic: Starting a Club Read 158 Times
  • John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Participant
    Posts: 24
    Photography Clubs
    on: October 30, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve just relocated to North East, Maryland from the Phoenix area.  In Phoenix there were lots of camera clubs.  The nearest ones I can find here are well over an hour’s drive.  So I think I’ll start one.  I’m looking for advice.

    What’s a good way to attract members?  Facebook vs. Google Groups vs. Meetup?  Activity ideas, how to schedule outings, etc.

    JSS

    Robert Peterson
    Robert Peterson
    Participant
    Posts: 8
    Re: Starting a Club
    Reply #1 on: October 30, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Some ideas from someone who has never been a club leader:

    • Could you start out as a branch of an existing club? Doing so would significantly reduce the effort required to get started, and provide immediate program and business support.
    • Look around for local colleges whose art department might offer photo courses. Even without ’em college bulletin boards might be a good place for a flyer.
    • Also check with local high schools for photography courses or student photo clubs.
    • Attend some of those “nearby” meetings to (1) ask the club leaders how they got started and how they promote the club, and (2) to see if any of the attendees might also be driving to the meetings from your area. Buy the club leaders a cup of coffee so you can talk about the managing the club’s business, i.e., the Web site software, bookkeeping, roster, etc.
    • Locate and browse other clubs’ Web sites for program, outing, and class ideas. Discussing these possibilities at your early meetings will help involve those early attendees, as well as set a general direction that is likely to hold attendees’ interest. Here’s a link to my local club, active since 1984 : Plano Photography Club.
    • There are organizations of photo clubs. Here’s a link to my “local” (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma & Texas) organization of camera clubs: Gulf States Camera Club Council. The Maryland Photography Alliance seems to be a similar organization in your area. The Alliance might provide valuable resources to help get you started.

    Good luck!

    -Bob

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Participant
    Posts: 24
    Re: Starting a Club
    Reply #2 on: October 30, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    I’ve done some of these things.  We do have a community college – I was going to check out their program.

    I attended a club in PA a couple of times about 1.5 hour drive one way.  They did a cool thing – you submit 5 picture each month, the organizer displays then anonymously and the group critiques.  That was actually fun.

    Maryland Photography Alliance – bingo!  I did Google for clubs, but didn’t find that resource?  In fact, from MD Photo Alliance, I found a club in Hartford County that is rather close.  They have over 700 members.  What’s more surprising is that Meetup got me to the club in PA, but didn’t tell me about the Hartford county club.

    This has been really useful.  Thanks so much!

    JSS

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 133
    Re: Starting a Club
    Reply #3 on: November 2, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Was once the organizer and am now a (retired) member of the Victoria Photography Meetup Group. One nice feature of Meetup.com is that it’s a very open template that you can customize to your own purposes.

    Mike.

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