Every so often I get asked what is it like to run a user group. The answer is a lot of hard work and there can be a lot of time commitments as well.
After running the Ottawa Windows Server User Group (www.OWSUG.ca) for a few years now I am a STRONG believer that you don’t need to have one user group for every discipline or topic. I believe that each discipline or topic should become a Special Interest Group (SIG) of one larger user group.
In Ottawa there are several user groups that I know about. (listed in no particular order) and a lot more that I don’t know about!
Active Directory User Group
If most of these user groups were SIG of a larger user group or at least have associations with all the other user groups then could reach a wider audience.
So if you are thinking about starting a user group, consider becoming a SIG of another group.
Think about the benefits of becoming a SIG:
- Have an existing Web presence
- Have an existing Membership list
- You can use the existing UG leadership to help you out
- You can leverage any local partnerships that they have
- They will most likely have access to a location for presentations
- They will most likely have access to local MS or other vendor staff, who might be able to help out
- They can help you understand how much pizza & pop to order
So the point of all of this is, look for an existing user group before starting your own.
Need help finding a user group try out this link!