The United Pool Association is rolling out a new kind of chapter that won’t require monthly meetings — not in person, that is.

UPA’s virtual chapter will be comprised of members who’ll get together once a month for educational sessions, talk shop and seek advice from peers through an online platform. These gatherings will be held separately from local chapter meetings.

“They’ll have their meetings,” said UPA President Dale Given. “They just won’t be across the table from each other.”

Otherwise, they’re just like regular members with all the same benefits.

The initiative is expected to attract mostly young pool professionals — people in their 30s and 40s who are married with children and might not have time for in-person chapter activities.

In recent years, this demographic has, to some extent, eluded legacy trade organizations that require a certain amount of participation. As a result, the industry has seen several alternative associations enter the market, promising insurance without any of the obligations.

UPA believes networking and education are the pillars of its success. Rather than lure young members by doing away with mandatory meetings, it’s simply making them more convenient.

“The concern was we didn’t want to lose what’s working for us,” said Sean Reardon, UPA’s insurance broker. “What’s helping keep claims down is continuing education that comes with a chapter arrangement.”

Members of the virtual chapter will also be assigned mentors, people they can call, text or email if they need guidance on chemicals, repairs and even business-related matters such as bookkeeping. They’ll also have access to a digital library of how-to videos and other resources.

Providing a way for prospective members to join without being tied to a local chapter will also enable UPA to begin recruiting members nationwide.

“This cloud chapter is going to open a lot of doors in a lot of states,” Reardon said.