Apply to start a chapter

Note: As part of July’s theme “Heritage,” we’re offering up $1,000 USD starter sponsorships courtesy of MailChimp to three new cities that apply before August 9! Learn more

Local CreativeMornings events are run by passionate volunteer organizers and their teams. We work closely with every organizer, so there is a formal application process to start an official chapter in your city.

CM offers an opportunity to bring together your local creative community, connect what’s going on in your city with the broader creative world, and join a network of talented organizers that spans six continents.

If you’re serious about bringing CM to your hometown, we’d love to hear from you. Please read through the following information to get a better idea of how CM operates. If CreativeMornings seems like the right fit for you, fill out the form at the bottom to receive the New Chapter Application via email.

When you’re ready, send us your completed application via our submission form.

Becoming a CreativeMornings organizer

I get really fired up to think about our city becoming more creative because of CreativeMornings, because of this central place we can come together to be encouraged and inspired to do better and greater things.
CM/Atlanta host

It’s a practical, real-life, free, ongoing, regular, exciting, awesome school of creativity with classrooms all over the world.
CM/Sydney host

Q: What does it mean to be a CM organizer?
A: Each CreativeMornings chapter is lead by one person who serves as the local organizer. This volunteer represents his/her city by leading a team and organizing the chapter with the support of CreativeMornings headquarters in New York.

As the primary organizer, you would be in charge of all the details for your local event such as:

— Securing a venue
— Finding a speaker each month that relates to the global theme
— Finding sponsors to cover breakfast and other event costs
— Leading the Chapter team (including a photographer and videographer)
— Marketing for the event
— Serving as the main point of contact for HQ

Q: Do hosts sign a license agreement?
A: Each host signs a license agreement in order to represent the CreativeMornings brand and agrees that all content created as a result of a CreativeMornings event is property of CreativeMornings LLC. The license agreement lasts for 12 months and is renewable.

Q: Can there be co-organizers?
A: No. We require one point of contact for each chapter who serves as the face of that location. Behind the scenes, you’re free to organize your team as you see fit, but only one person can be the official organizer.

Q: Can my company or group apply to be a host?
A: No. CreativeMornings chapters are licensed to individuals. In many instances, an organizer’s company supports their employee (e.g.committing to longterm sponsorship/resources). But at the end of the day our official relationship is with the individual, and if that person leaves his/her current company, the chapter would remain with that person.

General expectations

Q: How often are events?
A: Each chapter is expected to host a CreativeMorning once a month, every month. Events are generally held on Friday mornings.

Q: Are CreativeMornings always free?
A: Yes.

Q: How do the themes work?
A: CreativeMornings has monthly global themes. The themes serve as a common thread to connect all of our cities. Each theme is selected by a chapter in order of when they launched. All chapters participate by selecting a speaker that broadly relates to the topic of the month. Organizers know about themes at least six months in advance and participation is required.

About your city

Q: Can there be more than one CreativeMornings chapter per city?
A: Nope. We stick with one per city.

Q: Can I organize a CreativeMornings chapter for my entire country?
A: No. CreativeMornings chapter licenses are limited to one city.

Q: I live in a small city. Can I still apply to start a chapter?
A: Currently we’re focused on expanding to larger cities. As a point of reference, cities with CM chapters generally have a population over 500,000. Unless there is an extremely compelling reason and you put together an outstanding application, we are not likely to start a chapter in a smaller city right now.

Q: What if the city I want to apply for is very close to another chapter?
A: You’re welcome to still apply. Just ask yourself since the chapters would be so close, would it make sense objectively to have a CM in your city as well?

About the application process

Q: What do you ask for in the application?
A: The application includes a video and a written portion.

Q: How long should my video be?
A: Use your best judgement :).

Q: Why do you ask for a video in your application?
A: So far, it’s the best way to get to know someone in a faraway place. Also, recording video of each CreativeMornings talk is very important, and we like to see what kind of video quality to expect from your chapter. (Translation: it’s a good idea to have your team videographer already on board to help out with the application).

Q: Can I submit a video that I already made (for a different purpose) as my video application?
A: We appreciate the resourcefulness, but no.

Q: If I apply, how long until I hear from you?
A: We review applications once a month so you can expect an update within a few weeks. We are a tiny team at headquarters. Thank you for your patience!

Q: Are there more steps to the application process after I submit?
A: If your application seems like a good fit, we will setup a Skype interview to learn more about you and your vision for the chapter.

Q: Are you a morning person?
A: At least one day a month.

Q: What are some qualities you look for in a chapter host?
A: Here are four qualities:

You just make things happen: Organizing a chapter is a big responsibility and involves many moving pieces. We’ve learned that although experience in the industry and event organization is a plus, it can’t make up for a willingness to get started, figure things out, and make it work.

You’re good at giving away credit: It takes a certain personality to successfully lead a volunteer team, keep sponsors happy, and celebrate local talent. This chapter won’t be about you. It will be about the fantastic people you get to bring together.

You’re obsessed with “mixing up” your community: CM was founded to be entirely open and accessible to anyone who considers themselves “creative.” Our organizers are willing to make the extra effort required to gather a diverse group every month from all industries, backgrounds and professional levels.

You’re flexible: We at HQ do our best to steer the CM ship with limited time and resources. If you’re looking to join an organization that has everything laid out for you, we’re probably not a good fit. This is an exciting time for CreativeMornings, and we will ask you to experiment with new initiatives while welcoming feedback.

Q: What if I don’t want to apply and would rather start my own event?
A: We think the world could use more breakfast get-togethers. You’re more than welcome to start your own event with a similar model. We just ask that you do not use the “CreativeMornings” name.

Q: Is applying for a chapter first come first serve?
A: No, not necessarily. However, we do recommend that you get your application in as soon as you can. If we find a host we really like, we’ll grant them the chapter.

Q: Should I reserve or “park” my city’s social media accounts? (e.g. Twitter)
A: Please do not register social media accounts on behalf of a CreativeMornings chapter you are applying for. Other teams may be applying, your priorities may change, and it’s difficult for us to hunt down reserved accounts. When we launch new cities we take care of registering those accounts and populating them with sample descriptions.

Q: What’s the answer to the secret question?
A: Rooster

Q: Can I reach out to potential sponsors, venues or speakers before applying?
A: Yes. Committed sponsors, venues and speakers is a great way to strengthen your application. However, please be clear and explain that you do not officially represent CM and are applying for a license to start a chapter.

Running a chapter

Q: Do we have to get speakers approved by headquarters?
A: Nope.

Q: Are there any costs/fees associated with running a chapter?
A: Chapters usually cover their event costs primarily through local sponsors. There are no application fees, upfront fees or ongoing fees to headquarters. All local sponsorship money stays with the chapter. Our chapters help sustain headquarters by participating in HQ’s partnership initiatives from time to time.

Q: Do local chapters create LLCs or non-profits?
A: Some chapters do establish organizations to keep finances in order or apply for certain types of funding. However, CreativeMornings does not permit chapter organizers to use the “creative mornings” trademark, or confusingly similar names, as the entity name.

Q: Are CreativeMornings speakers ever paid?
A: No. (Except maybe reimbursement for travel)

Q: How many cups of coffee have been consumed at CreativeMornings?
A: 10,972 (ish)

Q: What sort of resources does CM headquarters provide?
A: Each of our chapters receives a large batch of files (e.g. brand assets, slides templates, sample marketing materials), the online CM handbook that details guidelines and learnings from our hosts, and access to our internal message board for all CM hosts worldwide.

Q: How long is the commitment for being a host?
A: Our licenses are one year long and in most cases we offer hosts the opportunity to renew their agreement each year.

Q: What happens if I’m an organizer and I’d like to pass on the role to someone else?
A: We have an exit process setup for our organizers. You will have the option to nominate someone who you heavily endorse to be the next organizer (they will have to complete an abridged application). Otherwise, headquarters will open public applications for the chapter.

Request an application

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