New Member Orientation
Roundtable Notes from APCUG Annual Conference, January 2006
Dave Gerber, Program Chair,
Sarasota PCUG, Florida
Have a separate new member orientation session that is open to all members (including guests – a great way to get new members). Describe the groups’ resources.
- Have greeters at all meetings wear something distinctive – club t-shirt, apron (like WalMart aprons), have a large colored badge with GREETER and their first name.
- Give history of the group.
- Stress there is no pass/fail; no one is going to laugh at people when they ask a question. The groups’ motto is Users Helping Users.
- How many people don’t have a computer? We can help you gain the knowledge to buy a computer.
- Have the moderator ask new members, etc. to rate their computer knowledge on a scale of 1-10. When they see other people putting up their hands for a 1 or 2, they start becoming comfortable being in the group.
- Have an application with a place to fill in their comfort level using their computer (define on back) .
- Let them know their comments and opinions are important to the officers.
- Give overview of group procedures: wear badges; turn them in for a members-only drawing. Let them know they should sign-in at each meeting so the number of members at meetings can be tracked (good info for planning future meetings – what brings out the most members).
- Give overview of SIGS, group field trips, classes, social activities, etc.
- Explain Q&A or RandomAccess session: ability to ask questions, hand in questions on a card. Give a pen, squeeze ball, etc. to person asking question.
- Overview of Adobe Acrobat so they can access the online newsletter.
- Mention software review guidelines, the benefits of reviewing software (they get to keep it when they turn in their review), and timeframe for completing review.
- If your group has a lending library, hand out a list of CDs, etc. that are available for member check-out, length of time they may be kept, etc.
- Go through the Website, how to contact officers, find out about SIGS, etc.
- If your group has member Tech Support, ask how many people have called tech support lately and then let them know that members offer support via the Help Line; Yahoo group, whatever your group does in that area. Give them examples of questions: best thumb drive, error messages …..
- Let them know why the group needs their e-mail address; stress that it will remain private, won’t be sold. All e-mails from the group should have group acronym first in the subject line so members know it is a legitimate e-mail from the group.
- Demo various communication lists the group may utilize.
- Tell them about the benefits to themselves and the group by subscribing to Smart Computing magazine.
- Let them know about any type of recycling program the group has.
- Don’t give a heavy-handed pitch but ask for volunteers. Have a form they can fill out so they don’t need to raise their hands. Let them know that they don’t need to be an ‘expert’ to volunteer.
- Have a New Member Packet
- Two issues of the newsletter
- Welcome Letter from President
- Shareware / freeware CD
- Talk about any organizations your group belongs to: APCUG, FACUG, etc.