Three Things That Are Working to Start the Greater Los Angeles Chapter
Kit Cole, Lauren Cobb, Jennifer Trotter, and Scott Woodhill have been spearheading the effort in Southern California to form the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of IAP2 USA. Since the first meeting in June 2014, the emerging chapter has been growing steadily and they now have more than 160 professionals on the invite list.
Three things have made important contributions to the Greater Los Angeles Chapter’s growth:
- Killer Speakers and Topics – EVERY SINGLE TIME! Because it’s tough to travel around Los Angeles, Greater LA team has found they need a great speaker with a great topic to motivate attendance. A great speaker puts their own twist on P2, and helps promote the event to their audience as well. For example, the Greater LA Chapter’s first meeting was held in a Southern California Edison (SCE) conference room with Genoveva Arellano of Arellano Associates presenting about her agency’s P2 work on a statewide transportation project. Her topic was amazing – how a Latina with a Harvard degree has cornered the market on P2 around transportation projects in Southern California. Another event featured Darrel Cole from Parsons Brinkerhoff presenting his team’s use of social media for better P2. Both speakers – and topics – were a big draw.
- A Super Organized Person in Chapter Leadership – A detail-oriented person who writes and sends invitations, manages RSVPs and maintains the email list of everyone and anyone who expresses interest in public engagement. Ideally, the email list comes to span not only public engagement practitioners but others like:
- local government people
- communications officers from engineering firms
- management from utility, transportation, and other public/private partnership agencies
- non-profit civic engagement think tank representatives
- Get Personal – Use personal invitations and leverage your relationships! The event invite email comes from a personal email address – not an event invite service. Most importantly, for the first few meetings, members of the leadership team got on the phone and personally called people who they thought would be interested in attending.
Want to discuss your ideas for starting a chapter or work through your roadblocks? Email Kit (email@example.com) or Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact email@example.com to be connected to the IAP2 USA Chapter Liaison Committee.