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In the past year we done some new things to try and make APCUG a better association.
The first was that we were for the most part we have been doing the same thing for years without asking
The board took a hard look at the Annual convention and we learned some things. First most attendees were from the Southwest with little participation from the rest of our regions. This fact made it clear that even though we call it an Annual Convention it was really a region event. The board then made the decision to change from a once a year event, in Las Vegas, to supporting regional events around the country. Our thought was that if you will not come to Vegas, APCUG should come to you. So, we made a big decision to not have a Las Vegas Event instead and to hold regional events around the world
We started with a new event in New York -- the Management Development and Leadership conference (mdlc.apcug.net). The 2008 Midwest User Group Regional Conference titled, "Technology for the Rest of Us" -- http://mwug.apcug.org -- just ended a few weeks ago.
Next year we will add Phoenix as well other venues! The goal is for you to not have to travel half way across the country and for APCUG to come to your region. We are starting small with the goal to have 6-8 events around the world. The Annual General Meeting will be hosted at one of the regionals on a rotation basis. This will allow as many member UG's as possible to participate in an AGM. If your group would like to help in hosting a regional event please let us know. Kathy Jacobs and Bill James have agreed to co-chair the regional event committee.
We also took a look at how the APCUG spends its money. To that end, we've implemented a balanced budget scheme, but we know there's more to do.
We talked about building membership and developing new officers, and we had a conference on that topic, but their so much more we can do. One of the things we are working on is new marketing to help bring members to user groups and help bring new user groups to APCUG. We plan on increasing our focus to include all technology groupsí not just PC user groups. We believe that groups that deal with Digital photography, Hi-tech audio and video, and Mobile devices all can share ideas and technology with our member groups. Some of your groups have sigs that do this now; we are just going to embrace the technology user groups more openly.
Last year we heard you say we need to share and communicate better So, now we have an additional method of communicating with you and help you run your groups: we are announcing a new SharePoint site. See the SharePoint article on page 4 for details in this issue.
We have an award program that recognizes APCUG member's best Web sites, photography, Newsletters and community projects. This year we are making a small change we will be give these awards out regional at our regional events. Details about the Awards and contest will be posted on SharePoint.
Regional Advisors have been busy working on helping user groups share ideas and grow but we need you to help us. Please share with your advisor what happing in you group, what is working and not, and community projects you are involved in.
Another item is to say THANK YOU to all of you who over the past year have worked hard in making your user group stronger and in support of APCUG.
Last, we ask you to work with us as we implement these changes for a better more responsive APCUG. This is a work in progress if you would like to be part of the change and help, please contact me: jferron @ apcug.net
Together we can make a difference