Apply to start a chapter

Please note: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, our current global policy states that all CreativeMornings events occur virtually until further notice. All chapters approved and onboarded after March 2020, will be expected to host virtual events. Incoming applicants must indicate that they agree to host virtual events until in-person gatherings are permitted. Once they are permitted, the applicant agrees to transition the events to in-person. Support and guidance from CreativeMornings will be provided along the way.

Local CreativeMornings events are run by passionate volunteer hosts and their teams. We work closely with every host, 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 host

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 host?
A: Each CreativeMornings chapter is led by one person who serves as the local host. 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 host, 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-hosts?
A: Yes. We require ONE point of contact for each chapter who serves as the face of that location but we ask that you nominate a co-host to support you behind the scenes. This way if illness, travel, or any number of life’s surprises prevents you from hosting one month, you have a solid back up. You’re free to organize your team as you see fit, but only one person can be the official host.

Q: Can my company or group apply to be a host?
A: No. CreativeMornings chapters are licensed to individuals. In many instances, a host’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 much time typically goes into being a CreativeMornings host?
A: On average, a host spends about 40 hours a month building their community and preparing for events . This number may fluctuate a bit as the host becomes more seasoned, but 40 hours is a good estimate.

Q: How often are events?
A: Each chapter is expected to host a CreativeMorning once a month, every month. Events are held on Friday mornings all around the world. We do occasionally make exceptions for non-Fridays if there is a significant reason to do so. Reach out if you have any questions about this.

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. Hosts 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: You’re welcome to apply! In the past, we were typically only accepting chapters in cities with a population of over 500,000, but we realized that there are large creative communities in smaller cities, so we are open to hearing you out. Just put together a compelling and outstanding application and show us why your city is in need of a CreativeMornings chapter.

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: Our next round of applications will be reviewed after March 31, 2021. You can expect an update within a few weeks of that date. 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 video chat/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 hosts 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 hosts 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: 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 a host and I’d like to pass on the role to someone else?
A: We have an exit process setup for our hosts. You will have the option to nominate someone who you heavily endorse to be the next host (they will have to complete an abridged application). Otherwise, headquarters will open public applications for the chapter.

Request an application

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