First you need to poll your area to see if that subject alone is strong enough to attract what you think would make for great meetings. Maybe you could start a common SWUG and make it PDM heavy? Where would this group be located?
See below if you do jump in...
- Passion...bring that into every meeting and watch your group grow.
- Entertain...you are taking people away from thier families for 3 hours, make it worth thier while.
- Consistency...make it a staple to have X amount of meetings a year.
- Creative...don't be afraid to try new venues. You will actually attract more members.
- You...you are the secret sauce on top of that pizza. Build it and they will come!
You read my mind regarding polling and making a dual purpose group. We already have a SW User group that I founded back in 2001. Since then the baton has been passed to several leaders to run the group. There is a meeting tonight which I plan on attending, and have asked to have the floor for 5 min to get some feedback.
There are definite advantages to feeding off of the existing group, and it may start out that way. The only concern I have with joining up with the existing group, is that they aren't exactly checking all of your bullet points above (which are AWESOME by the way).
- They have always met at the same venue on the same night of the week every other month (for consistency).
- The current President is running the whole show because users don't want to volunteer.
- They struggle with attendance and new members (to backfill the ones who no longer attend)
- And have a tough time coming up with topics (VAR does most the presentations only because no one else will).
I would like to hit a broader target (IT, MGT, etc.) and try venues closer to other target audiences.