Starting an InDesign® User Group
So you want to start an InDesign (IDUG) User Group chapter?
We welcome the growth of InDesign User Groups around the world.
Our mission is to support chapters in metropolitan areas that correspond with our business and marketing expectations. These include being large enough to support a healthy design community, having a complementary diversity of job functions, and which already shows a certain amount of Adobe product interest.
Here are some guidelines for what new and potential reps can do to get started with an InDesign User Group chapter.
Coordinate an organizational meeting or conference call.
- Invite other users to join in an organizational meeting to determine interest, needs, and how structured the group needs to be initially.
- Survey all attending the first organizational meeting to discover where the user group focus would serve the most people.
- Ask some of the attendees to serve on an organizational committee and/or as charter officers.
- Notify potential members via local computer dealers, corporate IT departments, schools, friends, co-workers, local newspapers. Point them to the InDesign User Group website (http://www.indesignusergroup.com) and encourage them to enter their contact information and become members of the User Group. (They can become members without joining any chapter, or they can join any existing chapter, to become more familiar with IDUG and with the site.
- Bring sign-up sheets and information with you into schools, conferences, wherever interested people may congregate, and collect their names and email addresses to be added to the database as potential members.
When and if you're ready, the new chapter will be created in the system and become live on the main website. Training videos are available to chapter leaders to orient them to the site and walk through the basic tasks of creating and managing meetings.
Stage Your First Meeting
- Confirm the meeting place and the meeting date (4-6 weeks ahead).
- Decide the meeting topic/agenda. Create the event on the InDesign User Group website. (Creation of the event will also generate a customizable e-mail invitation.)
- The webmaster will approve and send the email invitation to all who have registered as members (or potential members) of the chapter.
- Gather any prizes or collateral you may wish to give away at the meeting. Adobe furnishes one software product per meeting (up to six per year); these products are distributed mostly via electronic software delivery.
- A reminder message is automatically sent out to all those members who have not registered, a week before the event. (You can monitor the progress of registration for the event.)
- Print out registration sheets for sign-in (or, if you have internet access and adequate staffing, you can do all the meeting sign-in and registration online).
- At the meeting, take registration, introduce the "players," always remind the attendees that the best groups have lots of volunteer help and thrive on group creativity and suggestions.
- Present your meeting. Use the IDUG evaluation cards to collect feedback and suggestions. (You can also use them as the vehicle for choosing raffle or prize giveaway recipients.)
- Run your raffle or prize giveaway.
Follow Up on Your First Meeting
- Post a meeting summary to the website (topics discussed, presentations, guest speakers, handouts if available, etc -- photos are a welcome addition). In it, if possible, include the date and location, and topic of your next meeting.
- Complete the attendance report for the recent meeting.
To discuss these steps, or if you have any questions about starting up a user group in your area, please email the InDesign User Group program manager at