I happen to belong to the Boston Reefers Society. They are an amazing club and one of the larger in the US. We do have dues, regularly scheduled meetings, guest speakers, bylaws etc. You can find most of the "organizational information at their website: www.bostonreefers.org
Some info for you:
Our Mission Statement: Boston Reefers Society is committed to promoting interest in and enjoyment of all aspects of the marine aquarium hobby by educating the public on topics related to the biology, physiology, and chemistry of reef biotopes through the sponsorship of meetings, lectures, publications, websites, competitions, exhibits and other means. Providing a forum for sharing resources and information among local aquarium enthusiasts. Supporting research, education and conservation efforts aimed at improving marine and coral reef environments. Involving and educating young people about aquatic life and the aquarium hobby. Fostering camaraderie, friendship, and appreciation of aquatic life.
Membership Information: (Dues pay for meeting locations, air fare, hotel, travel expenses for guest speakers, etc.):
As a friend of the BRS, you will receive all public announcements and invitations to upcomming BRS meetings, guest speaker lectures and other special events. However, in order to obtain the full benefits and priveleges of membership, you will need to pay the annual dues to the Society.
Current rates for 2006 are: $20 for individuals and $25 for families.
Membership benefits are expanding but for now, it entitles you to:
1) Voting rights for BRS officers.
2) Discounts with our many of our Sponsors
To become a full fledged card carrying member of the BRS -- or renew your membership -- you just need to have an account on our forum system and then pay the membership fee as directed at the top of the page.
Most of the New England LFS give somewhere around 10% discount to BRS members. (DP)
We have an incredibly solid group of people (you have to when you are hosting MACNA etc.) that has stood against a lot of pressure over the last few years. We are really close knit (I could have a dozen people at my home if I cried for "help") and have regular meetings.
During the meetings, we have great speakers (Tyree, Randy Holmes-Farley, Sanjay Joshi, Shimek, Borneman etc.) Yes, we have great speakers because we are a) large and b) use our finances wisely.
We also have an annual auction. This last year (120 attendees), we raised 11-12K in net and over 5K in profit. This is how we get speakers
We have regular meetings for activities such as frag workshops, fish-goo parties, and during the Summer...a non-business, clambake party, Board Elections etc.
If not for BRS, I'd still be raising cichlids