Foundations for a Successful Chapter

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Run it as a benevolent dictatorship for a few months. Don't attempt to reach consensus on things like meeting times and locations. Ask for input, consider pressing needs (meeting locations near public transport, maybe you need to cater for people without cars or with cars, or with kids or with disabilities). And then make a decision. And announce it. And unless there's widespread dissent, which if you do a bit of asking, there shouldn't be, stick with it.

A particularly important decision is meeting times. Make it regular and have a schedule, so that people can plan around it. People can also organise social events at other times! Remind them of this, but if the aim is to get a group of regulars, you need to let them plan.

One or two people will be unable to make your meeting time. Invite them to organise alternative meetings, or organise social events or something. Most likely they will not, but if they do - great! If you have a set meeting time, people will be able to plan around it in a year's time, if you move it every month to cater for someone else, then noone can plan it into next year's schedule.

Have two or three meetings. Check that a core group is beginning to form - people who turn up to every meeting. This is a good sign. If you don't have this, you need to get it. Advertise more.