I am a UX Designer based in Bordentown NJ (formerly in Princeton).
I started a meetup group based in central NJ...because I was a transplant from Philadelphia, I found a lack of groups in NJ that focused on UX Design/Interaction Design. As I began to meet people and plan events, I began to hear the following.
1.) Awareness of the Northern NJ IXDA group, but locations/times proved prohibitive
2.) An unawareness of the Northern NJ IXDA group's existence. I got a lot of feedback like, NJ needs a group like this, or, this is the only group of this type in NJ
My meetup group now has 164 members, and this is without any real marketing on my part; I've been able to plan events on healthcare and UX; visual design; and digital prototyping. I have also gained sponsorship from two organizations: Infragistics (whose HR person also mentioned the lack of groups/support for UX Designers in NJ) and the public policy firm Mathematica (based in Princeton NJ).
I would really like to start an official IXDA chapter in central NJ...it seems public interest is there, there is a need, and I've been able to host well-attended and reviewed events, and receive corporate support.
Any information would be appreciated! I am currently the curriculum coordinator for the UX Design program at Rutgers University; but really, building a design community in NJ has been a passion of mine for a few years now...that role is just a part of the larger picture.
Thanks so much