Tips For Running A Successful User Group

Tips For Running A Successful User Group

I have been asked a number of times and as well as this is my personal experience too that setting up a new user group is quite easy comparing to running a successful user group.  There is no specific success recipe or steps to follow because user groups success depends on the many different things such as the group focus on the technology, the audience, group meeting location etc and in the context of location running a user group in a metro city is quite easier than in a small town.

The best thing to be is to ask yourself why your user group is not running or what are the challenges because most of the time challenges are same
User Group Sponsors
User Group Growth
User Group Venue / Location
theses are three basic challenges most the user group faces and yes there is a solution to beat those challenges.

The one of the most important thing ask yourself –
If you were to attend a user group why would you attend it?
If you were to sponsor a user group event why would you sponsor that event?

Benefits
User Group plays a role of benefit to both the user community and the sponsor.  To a vendor they want to get closer to the audience or market to get the feedback to hear from the user community. So if your user group can help the user community and the vendors then your user group is on the right track.  To the user they always look for new products and technology and want to get deep details of the technology rather than just the features.

Social Media
I have seen very few user group leaders who make the use of social media but wouldn’t be great if all your user group members follow you on the twitter?  Same way you can start a discussion on Linked and Facebook. It is your choice which medium do you choose but personally I would go with Twitter and the LinkedIn.

Cross Promotion
I would call it the most important and strongest tool for the user group leaders. Cross promoting each other event can significantly increase your member growth because if you think that your attendees are usually system admins and they wear many hat and if they are attending your exchange group meeting they might also be interested in virtualization and other windows technologies so why not cross promote other user group and have them promote you and again use the social media on top of that.

User Group Resources

www.gitca.org
www.technicalcommunity.com
http://www.microsoft.com/communities/guide/usergroups.mspx