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May 6, 2006 | Episode 18

Movie club items
Your ticket to learning, friendship, adventure, and fun.
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Beyond Book Clubs

Expert advice on starting your own film, investment, or dining clubs


When Creating a Film Club...

Cathleen Rountree, author of The Movie Lovers’ Club: How to Start Your Own Film Group, says to:
• Divide responsibilities between members as if they were a “cast and crew.” The executive producer is the host; the publicist sends out announcements about what will be seen and what they want people to bring; the caterer takes care of food; the cinematographer takes photos; and the postproduction crew is very important for clean-up.
• Make sure that the screen is large enough for all members to comfortably see; straining eyes is simply no fun.
• Purchase the DVD. After the showing, you can include it in a movie library that members can borrow from, or you can raffle it off at the end of the evening.

When Creating an Investment Club...

Karin Housley, author of Chicks Laying Nest Eggs: How 10 Skirts Beat the Pants Off Wall Street...And How You Can Too!, says to:
• Choose diverse members with different backgrounds who can bring distinct perspectives — and expertise — to the group. There is no way you can know everything about every industry, so make investments that the members are comfortable researching, and stick to the “buy what you know” philosophy.
• Look at your monthly fee as an investment in a learning experience, and keep it small — say $50 — so that when a stock tanks, you don’t get too upset about it.
• Don’t take it personally if the group doesn’t buy your stock pick or if your stock tanks. It has happened to everybody — Warren Buffett included. 

When Creating a Dining Club...

Ben Marcus, founder and creator of Social Eats (www.socialeats.com), says to:
• Try to get as many members as you can, any way you can, so you can rotate hosting duties and ensure a long life for your club. People are busy so they can’t always make every event.
• Start with having events once a month and then, if you have more members, you can have more events, several times a month.
• Establish how many people can attend any given event — and the first members to sign up get in.
• Always encourage feedback from everyone who has attended an event by sending an email asking, “What did you think?” to determine if that person should host again.
• Always screen newcomers who want to host before including them in the group. First, speak with them over the phone to get a feel for who they are and what kinds of food they like to make. Then meet them in person at their home (or wherever they plan to host) to check the cleanliness and safety of the environment. Also notice if the décor and layout of the space is conducive to the event. Then taste something that the host may potentially make .

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