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# LOPSA Chapter Handbook: Organizing and Running a LOPSA Chapter
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**Intended audience**: now and future LOPSA chapter organizers and volunteers.
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**Editor**: [Aleksey Tsalolikhin](mailto:atsaloli@lopsa.org), Member of the LOPSA board of directors and organizer of the LOPSA L.A. chapter
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**Purpose**: To document a workable pattern for starting and running a LOPSA chapter in order to make it easier for LOPSA members to start and operate thriving LOPSA chapters that add value to the local LOPSA membership and to their community.
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Feedback and merge requests welcome!

## Establishing your chapter

### Membership requirements

Memberhip requirements (minimum number LOPSA members
needed to form a chapter) are detailed in 
[Article 3.1 Regular Chapters](http://governance.lopsa.org/LOPSA_Policies/Locals_program#Regular_Chapter)
of [LOPSA Locals program](http://governance.lopsa.org/LOPSA_Policies/Locals_program).

### Name

For new groups, we recommend the pattern "LOPSA" + place name, e.g.:
- LOPSA Columbus
- LOPSA East Tennesse
- LOPSA L.A.

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Existing groups meeting membership requirements are of course welcome
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to register as LOPSA chapters under existing names, e.g.:
- Ottawa Valley Sage
- Seattle Area System Administrators Guild (SASAG)

### Application process

The application process is detailed in http://governance.lopsa.org/LOPSA_Policies/Locals_program#Regular_Chapter_Application

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Email [board@lopsa.org](mailto:board@lopsa.org) to apply.
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Email [Aleksey Tsalolikhin](mailto:atsaloli@lopsa.org) if you need any help with your application.

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### Web site
You can set up a web presence through a meetup/event service, such as meetup.com or eventbrite.com, as have:
- LOPSA LA https://www.meetup.com/lopsala/
- LOPSA Columbus http://lopsacbus.org/

Or you can make your own web site, as have:
- Ottawa Valley Sage [https://ovsage.org/](https://ovsage.org/)
- East Tennessee chapter [http://lopsaetenn.org](http://web.lopsaetenn.org)
- Seattle Area System Administrators Guild (SASAG) [https://sasag.org](https://sasag.org)

### Finding venues

There are often companies willing to host local meetups in exchange
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for an opportunity to solicit job application, to promote their services
or for goodwill.
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We have also had chapter organizer employers host meetups in this fashion.
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We have also had chapters find meeting space at a community college (through a
student affiliate organization) and at a university (where the chapter leaders
were employed).

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LOPSA L.A. also does occasional "social" dinner meetups at local restaurants.
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### Finding speakers

Network with your local community to find speakers.



## Running a meetup

### Before the meetup
- Schedule the meetup on your website
- Announce the meetup on your web site
- Announce the meetup through social media
- Email [LOPSA Community Manager](rluedecke@lopsa.org) to add your event to the events list on www.LOPSA.org and to list it in the next LOPSAGram.
- Organize sufficient food and drinks for the attendees (it's nice to have a corporate
sponsor for that -- sometimes the host provides it but not always).

## During your meetup

- Have adequate signage so attendees can easily find you.
- Greet attendees, and introduce them to each other as needed (to make sure no one is left standing alone in a corner).
- Allow the first half an hour for socializing over food/drinks.
- Make sure the speaker is doing OK and no technical issues (can project OK if presenting).

- Half an hour after the scheduled start time, end the social time and start the presentation section of the meetup (i.e., invite people to be seated)
- Introduce the parent organization, LOPSA.org
- Announce the LOPSA mentorship program -- LOPSA members can sign up as a protege or mentor at [mentor.lopsa.org](https://mentor.lopsa.org)
- Ask who in the room is a LOPSA member and thank them for their membership.
- Tell the rest how they can [join](https://lopsa.org/Join-or-Renew)
- Thank the host and let them speak for a couple of minutes if they want - make sure they get a nice acknowledgement from the group.
- Ask who is looking for work?
- Ask who is hiring?
- Ask for any community announcements?
- Ask for help running the meetup
- Call for speakers
- Take a picture of your meetup and send it to [LOPSA Community Manager](rluedecke@lopsa.org) for the next LOPSAGram.
- Introduce the speaker and turn the floor over to them.
- After the presentation, make sure the speaker gets a nice round of applause.
- Thank the speaker for presenting
- Get everybody out of the room on time so the host can close up shop.