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How do I start a LUG?

edited December 2011 in Community and Events
It does not seem like there's too many LEGO users down here in South Florida, but with 2 LEGO Stores around and at least 4 or 5 users that I've counted already that post on this Forum, I was thinking about creating a LUG. What do I need to start (other than interested members)? Does LUGs enjoy any benefits with the Company, or get any support from LEGO for events and such? I'd like to know more about LUGs, so I could, maybe, start one here in South Florida.

Comments

  • Cool. Thanks for showing me this group. They are more into Orlando/Tampa area but it's good to know there are already organized groups in Florida. I want one for Miami/Broward/West Palm Beach area.
  • Sorry. I am in California. Don't know much about Florida. I do know several of the guys in that group though. Great bunch.
  • To be honest, people down here are very flaky (in general) and I'm wondering how successful it would be. As for me, I'm not sure I could commit. I have a seven month old at home and he takes most of my time. I still haven't finished my Xmas setup yet. Argh!
  • With the load of grading I do, I use building as an escape... and would love to see a Miami Lug started... mialug?

    I was also trying to figure out, if a LUG started here, how I could connect it with Florida International (where I teach), as a location for a Miami exposition of sorts. I honestly think the art community would be on board... sorry, sharing some of my hopeful thoughts to bring Lego further into the University :)

    Coolpix, I'll def. be talking to ya on Sat. morning.
  • Miami huh.. I rarely go into Dade County. I went to FIU but I live in Sunrise... not exactly close.... but only seven minutes from Sawgrass :-)
  • @Bosstone100 I agree on the flakiness of the people that live in South Florida and maybe that's the main reason a LUG has not yet come to live here. I too have 3 small kids and time is an issue for me too, but I feel it would be great to have a LUG around here, even if it was not as active as other groups around. I live in Broward too, and would be voting for the group to be formed in the Ft. Lauderdale area.
  • I'm always up for a short drive, and since I grew up in rural MN, 45 minutes is a short drive :) I'd just like to do some drafts and maybe work on some larger MOC's for a purpose other than my nosey neighbors :)
  • What do I need to start (other than interested members)? Does LUGs enjoy any benefits with the Company, or get any support from LEGO for events and such? I'd like to know more about LUGs, so I could, maybe, start one here in South Florida.
    One of the benefits that LEGO provides LUGs is something called LUGBULK. They allow LUGs to purchase bulk amounts of parts at bulk prices once a year (it used to be twice a year). Here are the requirements for a LUG in order to qualify:

    (*) LUG needs a minimum of 10 members
    (*) LUG needs to feature at least 2 public displays a year
    (*) LUG needs to exist for at least 1 year (so get your LUG started now to qualify for next year)
    (*) LUG needs to have an official website (Facebook, flickr, and other social media web sites do not count)
    (*) LUG needs to have a 1 page description of the LUG and its activities on the web site

    Prices are typically better than Bricklink/PaB (although not always). Keep in mind that whatever you buy thru LUGBULK is *not* for reselling. It's for LUGs needing large quantities of parts for building MOCs. Not all LUGs are for this purpose, but I wanted to share this to make you aware of the benefit. Let me know if you want more info.
  • @sidersdd Thanks a lot for all the info! That's what I needed to know to start. Now, some remarks:

    - 10 members: Maybe a bit hard to come by on the first few months, but I think with some public appearances, or even the help of the local LEGO stores, we may get new members quickly.

    - 2 Public displays a year. That is not hard. We can set up a minimum of 2 public displays a year with no problems. Now, what kind of public displays qualify? How do we let LEGO know about these events?

    - Exist for 1 Year: Okay, it starts NOW!! :-) Seriously, how does we register the LUG? Do we need to contact LEGO, or ask for some kind of permission? Do they register our beginning date there somehow, or just putting the website up would mark the initial date of the LUG?

    - Website: That's the easy part. My full time job is as web designer, and I own a small web design company that puts out about 70 sites a year, I can have the site up and running in a few days.

    That benefit of buying parts in bulk is really interesting, and would help us a lot getting parts for the MOCs. Do they allow access to the entire current parts catalog, or do we have a limited selection? Thanks!!
  • For bullet #2 on the displays - when you submit your LUGBULK info to the LUGBULK team you simply send them the dates of the events and links to photos of the events. They just want to know you're evangelizing the brick to the public and not hoarding this stuff for your basement setup.

    For bullet #3 - I think it's just honor system. Let them know the starting date of your LUG when you work with the LUGBULK team. Perhaps have the starting date on your web site.

    As far as what parts you can order - you're pretty much restricted to current parts (available within the last year or so), and they must not be licensed parts (e.g., Star Wars minifigs, Cars character elements, etc.). You must order parts in multiples of 50, except for baseplates and any part which costs around $1.75/each (e.g., power function parts, the bear from the forest police sets, etc.). Those you can order any quantity. There are limits to the total amount you can order - ~$270/member.

  • I'm sorry to reply to this so late but I dug this up googling something I am participating in that relates to the Florida LUGs (hint it has been deliberately mentioned on this thread). Just wanted to chip in a note or too.

    Us south Floridians tried starting a FLUG for about a year now. The flickr group is http://www.flickr.com/groups/floridalug/. There haven't been any displays set up yet but I have been painstakingly working to plan some. I may get into talks with the South Florida Railway museum, the FEC Railway Society, and others to get us into some train show/swap meet/convention events but that may be none more than a dream. We also have a private Facebook group.
  • @brickbuilder711 I remember you! You are the one that put together all the models for the new Sawgrass Store. I was really into creating a SFL LUG back in December, but life got in the way in January, so that plan was put aside. Now, i know @Bosstone100 and @krklint are also in South Florida and somewhat interested into being part of a LUG.

    I just wish we could start something. It was said that we need at least 10 people, so I believe we can do this. It's great that there's a Flickr and Facebook going on, and I can put together a website for the group that will bring everything together, since I work as a Web/Graphic designer. Let's talk about it.
  • Bear in mind that the 10 member minimum mentioned previously was one of the requirements in regards to participating in LUGBulk, if you wanted to you could have a LUG with 3 people, you'd just not qualify for LUGBulk in that case.
    For me (and I've posted this someplace before) being part of a LUG is not about getting a deal on parts, it's about being part of a group that shares an interest in LEGO, the fact that I can participate in LUGBulk is purely a bonus....
  • edited April 2012
    @BeardedCastleGuy Thanks for reminding us about it. I must admit that back in December 2011, I was very interested into buying parts in bulk, but I am not not so much right now. Since then I've purchased hundreds of parts myself and I think I am doing fine this way - buying what I need in smaller quantities.

    Now my main goal would have other folks that share the passion in the neighborhood together so we could talk about the hobby, share experiences and ideas, attend to our local B&M LEGO Stores events and ultimately display our creations. That would be my main goal right now. Not too crazy about buying LEGO in bulk right now to be honest, but thanks for letting us know.
  • You could also reach out to the North America Community Coordinator for LEGO. He would have a bunch of ideas, suggestions and/or advice in starting a group. He interacts with all the fan groups in the US and Canada. http://thebrickblogger.com/2012/04/your-bridge-to-lego-kevin-hinkle-part-two/ ;)
  • ^-- Thanks Kevin! I've read the entire article on thebrickblogger.com to then just realize that it was you who sent the link so I could know you better ;-)

    Please check your mailbox! Thanks!
  • Hi all,
    I'm still around... but swamped with papers to grade over the next 10 days. I'm still interested in starting a Lug down here in Paradise. I can't join any conversations until I post grades on May 2nd... but wanted to say hello to you all :) karl k
  • Hi all, I'm looking for a LUG in the Orange County/Inland Empire area of Southern California. Anyone interested or know of one in the area please send me a PM. Thank you!
  • I'm a silent follower of your conversation...and I have to say thank you to you guys who shared info and links...they are most helpful. We'll be doing our first public AFOL show in a technical school and a second one in a museum...though we'll be using bricks from our own collections...we don't have access to LUGBULK yet. I started Philippine LUG with a friend...and now we have more than 70 members, 20 of whom are physically present in our meetings. Much thanks!
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