In this recent post to his blog John Congdon looks at some of his local user groups - Orlando and Daytona Beach in Florida - and how they handle their meetings and groups differently.
I am a member of two PHP user groups. Each one runs a little bit differently. I am looking for feedback from other people in other PHP user groups to find ways we may be able to make these better. he East Central Florida PHP User Group (Daytona Beach area) is new/restarting. [...] They seem to be more geared towards teaching new PHP developers. [...] The Orlando PHP User Group is quite different. They lean towards more presentation style meetings. Someone proposes a topic, and then someone volunteers to be the presenter.
He asks for comments from the community as a whole, wondering what he can do and what other groups in similar situations have done to help grow and improve their group. Comments on the post include suggestions of a more traditional approach over the mentoring aspect, a possible mixing of the styles and using tools likee Google Moderator to pick out the topics people are most interested in.