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

 

 

TechNet Professional (NFR) subscription sweepstake for user group members.

TechNet Professional (NFR) subscription sweepstake for user group members.

You still have an opportunity to obtain a TechNet Professional (NFR) subscription at no cost even if you are not a user group leader but are a user group member registered on www.usergroupsupportservices.com. When you complete the survey, you will be able to enter a sweepstake for one of fifty subscriptions, subject to the rules you can find at https://www.technicalcommunity.com/InfoCenter/Pages/1HFY11SurveyTerms.aspx.

Announcing an exciting Global GITCA Event – 24 Hours in the Cloud

Announcing an exciting Global GITCA Event – 24 Hours in the Cloud

In March GITCA will run a 24 hour round-the-world virtual event focusing on Cloud Computing, and we need your help. Please visit http://24hours.GITCA.org to find out more and give us your topic suggestions, volunteer to help, or simply provide your advice and feedback. You can also email 24HitC@GITCA.org if you prefer.

Much work needs to be done to plan and effectively execute this project. Accordingly we are asking for your immediate assistance with three things:
·         A suggested list of topics on Cloud Computing
·         If you wish to participate, a declared interest from your User Group/Association complete with a topic and 250 word abstract outlining the presentation and if possible a 150 word bio for the suggested speaker
·         A preferred time zone for the presentation
The deadline for submissions is January 17th, 2011.
This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the strength, knowledge and importance of the “community”. So let’s all work together to make this a huge success.
 

Where can you meet the volunteers from GITCA?

Over the next few months GITCA will be represented at several important events. So if you happen to be attending please make a point of chatting with us. We always want to hear your feedback and ideas and what better way than in person! We would also like to get to know you and you to know us. Putting a face to a name always makes a difference :).

Microsoft TechEd India, Bengaluru, March 23 – 25, 2011 [GITCA contact Ashwin Kini]

Microsft TechEd North America, Atlanta, May 16 – 19, 2011 [GITCA contact Tim Vander Kooi]

We hope to see you there!

Resource – http://www.gitca.org/Pages/default.aspx