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Drachmyre

Starting a LEGO club (LUG)

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Hey, was considering starting a local lego club and was looking for info on how others may have gone about it. If there is another place here it's discussed drop a link and I can end up in the right place.

How do people usually go about it? Is there a larger organization in the US and then you become a chapter? What kinds of things do the clubs do at meetings? What kind of age rage do you shoot for if you want to keep adults?

We are in a community of about 60 thousand. Would this be big enough to draw from?

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Hey its nice idea about club. For getting information about club you have to visit some clubs and meet members and gather information such a way.. Best wishes.

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I have been working on expanding our club in to the local area following our expo two weeks ago. Our expo really got people keen to join in and be a part of what we are doing.

Advertising via Facebook, poster in shops, the local paper and on TV really got us moving and people keen to be part of our club. I am just trying to chase all these people up to get some meetings happening to grow the club. If you have any questions please let me know.

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We don't have much in the Lego shop area, besides Walmart and Kmart. I think I'll put up some flyer and maybe try to advertise at the library when they do some Lego things. I don't think we have the size of town for an expo, but might be able to put something together at the mentioned library.

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Hi everyone,

I've been thinking about starting a Lego User Group LUG up in my local area for a few years now but I haven't had the time until now.

Together with a local toy shop owner who has got the ball rolling. We're having a general get together every month starting in August which is a good start I guess.

But, I'd just like to know how some other LUGS operate and/or got started? What they do? How long they go for? How did they promote themselves? Etc any info would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers Brendan

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When I rebooted VicLUG we started out with monthly meet ups at a local casual restaurant where we brought small MOCs and talked LEGO. Eventually we put together a small display for our local library. We filled a glass cabinet in the lobby with MOCs and some small signs that gave info on the display and contacts.

We had a summer BBQ and started doing some drafts and eventually put together a van load of people to travel to our nearest convention. We now do four or five public displays/events a year including a local model train show where the one train guy gets to put out a train and the rest of us bring city (and rural) MOCs to fill on the space.

The main thing is to meet regularly and keep it fun. I highly recommend drafts of random sets on sale either on S@H or your local toy store. None of us is into SpongeBob but we had a blast drafting a deeply discounted Ms Puffs boating school one time.

Post-Christmas is a good time to do a Dirty Brickster gift exchange and any time is good to play with timed builds/races to build poly bag sets or quick building challenges. You can even do challenges with draft sets. Before you start to sort everyone piles the parts from the set they brought, you grab a kitchen timer and give everyone three, five or ten minutes to build something on a theme chosen randomly. A few beers and some silly builds isa lot of fun.

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Thanks Paul B and tedbeard, lots of usefully things there for us to try and lots of things I've never thought of. Looks like we'll just start small with a get together and show off a few mocs etc. Considering we (Australia) are the BBQ capital I''d say a few of these might be on the cards.

What sort of numbers are you getting at your meetings? We are in the country with a low population so our numbers will be down i'm thinking.

Thanks again

Brendan

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I will try to break our numbers down as best I can:

The city of Victoria, British Columbia, has a total metropolitan area of about 350,000 people. So not very large to begin with. Four of our members live outside that area and for three of those members travel to meetings is more than 2 hours of time.

We have something like 18-20 "members" on the books and when we had our most recent BBQ with a distribution of free LEGO we had virtually everyone show up.

There are app 8-12 "long-term" members, 2-3 "new" members, and the balance are what I would call "satellite" members who pay dues and show up occasionally due to focused interest (ie: mindstorms) and/or real life conflicts.

When we do displays we are usually looking at a core group of 4-6 long-term members who provide the bulk of any given display.

We like to think of ourselves as "the little LUG that could". You would be surprised what you can achieve with a core of 4-6 people with LEGO creations and sets to display. Also do not forget that people can make valuable contributions by creating and running a website, volunteering to supervise displays, and participating in the club generally. Just because they may not build a lot does not mean they should feel unwelcome.

Edited by tedbeard

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That's a great breakdown on numbers tedbeard thank you. I doubt we'll be getting anywhere near those members you have because our population in town is around 3000 yep that's right only 3000. Our region has around 35,000 but this a broad area covering many 100's of kilometers. But as you have members who travel some distance you never know we may have some too. If we can just find 3 or 4 AFOL's and a few kids we should be right to make a start.

Thanks again for your input.

Brendan

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I’ve searched this forum but haven’t found the answer to this question, maybe it’s out there, but I can’t find it. So, recently I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a local LUG. I’m two hours away from the nearest LUG today and I’m very interested in connecting with others in my area that have the same interest in these amazing little multicolored bricks.

Okay, with that being said, I’m very curious as to what others do at their LUG meetings and events. I’m looking for advice on how to begin this group and hope you all can provide me with some insights. If I do finally manage to get some interest and get a group meeting, how does one get Officially recognized as a LUG?

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You might want to reach out to that two-hour away LUG and see what their experience has been. Perhaps creating a satellite LUG to them could be a good starting point. I do understand your problem though as I'm about 90 minutes away from mine (KCLUG). I joined them on Facebook a month or two ago. I haven't yet had an opportunity to attend any of their meetings, but they're friendly, open and seem to be thriving.

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2 hours isn't bad, im a 1 hour flight or a 3 hour boat ride + 7 hour drive from my nearest LUG. Get involved with the two hour one before you start one, get advice, see how they did it Etc

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I too have been wondering about this, I live close to Louisville, but the closest Lug I have found is Indylug, and that is close to 3 hours away....

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Creating a LUG is not much different than creating any kind of social recreation club. You need to get a group of interested people together. You'll have to market the idea to drum up interest and membership. Decide on how to structure the club. You can have formal bylaws/rules on how the club is run or you run it informally. Who is going to do what in the club? Does the club need money to run? Do you want to have membership fees and./or other ways to raise money. Where to hold meetings? Physical location or virtual meetings. What kind of activities and events you want to do or get involved in?

I think for The Lego Group to recognize your LUG and provide support, you need to have an online presence like a club website, a minimum of number of members and a minimum number of events that your LUG participate in annually.

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Hi

i have read often about LUGs but never heard about their benefits. I mean beside joining others FOLs. I there some support from Lego and if yes, what kind of?

Dino

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Hi. I have no idea, but I'm in exactly the same demographic as you, Gatekeeper. Same age, nearly same location (Maybe - I'll PM you the details) and same goals vs. same problems. I'm a couple hours away from a good, established LUG. I know I should reach out the them first, but...I'd like to keep it local, yeah?

There ought to be a guide to this. And there probably is, what with all the "institutional knowledge" of people out there and existing LUGs and whatnot.

I feel like I used to read threads like this all the time on LUGnet before it died (Essentially. No offense if you still use it often - I don't.)

A quick round up of links:

http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=81926 - Another 2013 thread. Not that handy.

http://www.bricksetf...o-i-start-a-lug - 2011 off brickset. Somewhat useful. Goes into the LUGBulk program - which may or may not exist any longer. (I've heard both, both from apocryphal sources not-necessarily-to-be-trusted)

http://www.brothers-...starting-a-lug/ - 2009 off The Brothers Brick - Panel approach - pretty good to see some real opinions on the process. Lots of good resources and tips - great advice on how to keep a meeting going, no matter what.

Anyhow - I agree with Dr. Spock - it's just like getting any group together. Pick one to start out: a)A Mission/Goal Vision or B)Some interested people. Then, with what you have on hand, try to find the other. For me, I would pick A - even though a LUG could be "Hey, alls y'all that loves LEGO, meet up!" it is really a better idea to say - "We're a group that does shows." or "We just want to do colaborative builds" or "Brick Wars. Seriously." or "parts drafts" or "No Kids/Kids Always" whatever. That way, you can recruit similar minded folk. But I know some who have just thrown the net wide and taken all comers - both could work, but since you'll be starting it and shouldering the burden for making it work - pick what you want to do, I say.

It helps if you can find a regular location and time and be willing to suffer through a few sessions of waiting - rec centers, Libraries, bookstores (if they still exist in your town), toystores or even churches that would give the space. Some LUGS thrive on home meetings, but from other groups I've done - a public space gives an air of legitimacy and safety. Find yourself a spot, throw out a "call for interest" on whatever it is you want to do...and see who bites. If it's not so many, or the differences in interest are large, maybe then open it up to others.

The short of it is: go out there and be ready to adapt. I've given a talk the last couple years at a local "con" on brick-based gaming. The first year - Nobody. The second year - everybody wanted to hear about Minecraft when I was all "Mechaton/Mobile Frame Zero!" This year...yeah, Creepers have shown up in my talk..but then it's back to the brick!

If I weren't actively trying to move from FL to MN, I'd be working to start a LUG down here now...

Edited by WaysofSorting

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Out of interest if anyone knows a quick answer, do the members of a LUG have to be local to each other? While I can imagine most are I wondered if there were any internet or cross country LUGs.

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Ah did you tell them about the blood in blood out rule!? *huh* Sorry I mean brick in brick out. :laugh:

Edited by Rook

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What's the blood in blood out rule? Maybe at least one LUG member should know first aid and CPR in case emergencies happen at your LUG events.

Out of interest if anyone knows a quick answer, do the members of a LUG have to be local to each other? While I can imagine most are I wondered if there were any internet or cross country LUGs.

I believe the South Korean LUG has 20,000+ members throughout the country.

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There are some LUGs that are primarily internet-based and only get together (if at all) at conventions or large displays. To find out more I suggest you have a gander at the BrickWiki list of LUGs.

Mostly it depends what you are trying to accomplish with your group. Fellowship and fun are more likely if you can sit down with a fellow AFOL and actually talk face to face and show each other things you have built or are working on. Drafts, dirty brickster gift exchanges, silly challenges like build-in-a-bag all require people to actually meet up.

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