[Owasp-leaders] Tips for running small chapter with little funds

Takaharu Ogasa takaharu.ogasa at owasp.org
Sun Sep 16 21:12:44 UTC 2018

Hi Leaders,

I think it is good to share what I have been running Sendai chapter. Sendai
is a small chapter with having monthly meetings with around 20 attendees, I
think it is safe to say we are very active and doing "good and old time
style";) And we require almost no funds to run so far. (I know raising
funds are the different story though.)

- Send a talk by yourself
At first I sent some free trainig session by myself. It built my knowledge
quickly and made a good relationship with local guys. Building a good
relationship locally is really important to keep on going your chapter. And
does not cost anything at all ;)

- FInd a good venue
We are running a chapter meetings at co-working space. The owner is happy
to provide the space for free. I convinced the owner that we are open
source community, have meetings and trainings for free, main focus is raise
local people. More than often, places like co-working space are focusing on
raising talented people locally. Whatever the case try to find their needs
and match your focus.

- Find local community leaders to give a talk
Find local community leaders from other community. In my case I reached out
for the local developers community and ask them to talk at my chapter. This
brings more attendees from their commuinty, they are happy to give us a
talk for free and don't require any travel cost at all. Let them introduce
their community at chapter meetings in return. I buy them some beer from my
pocket but I do for them it anyway:)

- Find international speakers visiting your country
Tried to find international speakers, leaders from other country visiting
your country for business, confrerence etc. through SNS, conference
schedules etc. Some are very happy to come to your city to give a talk. It
is a great opportunity to to meet people from outside your country for your
chapter members. To make a return, I took my car and show them local
culture, tourist attractions, dinner with local members etc. Tried to show
something different from other major city in Japan. I and other attendees
really enjoy the special visitor (One day they took a speaker and Karaoke
till 4am!). They were the moments I really appreciate being a part of
global community. In our case, nobody asked us to cover their travel cost
although I offered them to cover their domestic travel.

- Ask attendees to bring foods and drinks to share
When Ade Yoseman from Indonesia came to my chapter and gave us a talk, I
asked the attendees to bring some local food and drinks to show him our
local culture. Ade is muslim so I talked with other guys and listed up what
violate muslims rule. They really enjoyed the process to understnd other
culture and we had piles of foods (too much indeed!).
Since that, some guys started to bring foods and drinks(mainly alchohol
though...) at regular meetings. So I put a table we call "Mitsugimono
(means tribute) table", everybody put what they brought sharing during and
after the meetings. My intention was not to minimize expense but came up
with not spending anything at all.

-- Have dinner or drinks after the meetings
When we have a speaker from other city, it is more than likely that their
employer covers travel. To justify, we go out for a bar with some attendees
and let them have opportunity to exchange their business cards, talk each
other personally after the meeting. Apart from that it is really great time
building good relationships, exchanging knowledes and experiences outside
talk materials with speakers.

Thank you for reading this with my rough grammer and hope others enjoy the
local meetings like we have been doing:-)

Takaharu Ogasa (@takaharuogasa)
OWASP Sendai Local Chapter Leader
OWASP A&D Project Leader
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