Saturday Bring-a-Box Meetings

What is a Bring-a-Box meeting?

We have regular sessions on the second Saturday of each month. Bring a 'box', bring a notebook, bring anything that might run Linux, or just bring yourself and enjoy socialising/learning/teaching or simply chilling out!

These are very informal sessions - generally people bring in their computers if they have an issue and want hands-on help, or if they just want to show some cool new things they've found.

Sometimes we have talks on subjects - anyone is welcome to volunteer for a talk, or volunteer a subject for a talk if you want to know more about something! Please check out Topics Requested. It's also a good place to chat to fellow SLUG members.

Previous Sessions

To get the flavour of some typical meetings, take a look at our BringABox/Archive page, where you'll find summaries and photos.


Forward Planning for future Sessions

This is a rough plan for future B-a-B meetings for the next 10 months.  This outlines the organiser and proposed venue for each B-a-B meeting. Meetings are usually held on the second Saturday of each month.

  • May 10th:
    • Sirius (Addlestone) - Andrew could do 3rd May not 10th
    • Gatwick - Kevin making enquiries
  • June 14th:
    • Ian, TBC-Farnborough area - looking unlikely now
    • Sirius (Addlestone) - Andrew could do 7th June not 14th
    • Red Hat (Farnborough) - Dominic could do 14th
    • Gatwick - Kevin might be able to do, if not doing May
  • July 12th:
  • August 9th:
    • Red Hat (Farnborough) - Dominic has confirmed
  • September 13th:
    • Dave, Egham/Staines Library,
  • October 11th:
  • November 8th:
  • December 13th:


Where are they held?

The following venues have all been used recently:

If you know of alternative locations - preferably in Surrey, then please contact us on the Mailing List.

Who may attend?

New members are very welcome. We're not a cliquey bunch, so you won't feel out of place! Usually between 10 and 30 people come along.

Sessions mostly run from 11am to around 5pm, with any talks not starting until an hour after doors open. 
Unless announced otherwise on the Mailing List you can turn up at any time and don't need to register before coming.
Meetings at venues with commercial or academic links are typically free of charge, at others please expect to make a small donation or purchase.

Venue etiquette is minimal but from experience it's worth mentioning these:

 - if you don't recognise someone say hello!
 - bags, kit and leads to one side where possible for safety
 - use wi-fi in moderation: downloads are usually OK, TV less so
 - ask before pulling plugs: a laptop's battery may be flat
 - don't leave for lunch unless someone agrees to safeguard the kit
 - help clear up before you go home
 - the host has to leave last, so don't be second last to go

And at venues that are shared use or similar:

 - find the voluntary donations tin/jar  :)
 - set up tidily
 - if at a pub order early & don't bring food or drink without permission 

How To Organise a Bring-a-Box

Hosting a Surrey LUG meeting can be a good PR move for organisations of all kinds, and we've a long record of good behaviour  :-)

If you or your employer / uni / club / whatever can provide a large room, chairs and a mains socket the remaining essentials tend to turn up on the day.

If it's a new venue talk through the details with the owners, mentioning anything they might not foresee or want e.g. kit, trailing leads, wifi, food and drink.  If possible check with them during the day, and get feedback after the event.  The main aim is to make sure we will be invited again.

Checklist for before the day: security arrangements e.g. registration and opening up, coffee, teas, milk, power cables, wireless access and keys.  Mailing list announcement mentioning directions and parking, whether children are welcome, lunch arrangements (on site / pubs / cafes / shops) and approximate costs including any suggested donation.

On the day: arrive 10:30. Locate the duty staff - find out the door codes. Put up a tip jar. Make people aware of the loos codes etc and meet point in case of fire. (I try and get a site map). Announce the sign in list and tip jar. Fire crews might not take the trouble to come and fetch someone out if they cant find you on the list. Read out any safety instructions. Introduce the first speaker. Be prepared to intervene if the speakers need help.  Keep an eye on proceedings. Tidy up at end and put the lights out. Hand tip jar to duty person.  Don't plan to leave before 6... :-) Not being used to this kind of thing I find it quite tiring.