Here is another suggestion on how MS can help user groups. They can ask the local user group presidents to give a 5 minute speech at all MS partner events to introduce the User Groups to MS partners.
This allows MS partners to find out about the local IT community and this allows the MS partners the opportunity to support the local IT community by:
- providing a venue for UG events
- provide presenters (ideally non-sales pitch type presentations, but that is up to each UG)
- provide technical experts for panel discussions
- provide technical advice within the forums/mailing list
- spread the word about UG to their clients (for example add a blurb about the UG in their newsletter)
- provide door prizes
- sponsor the web site
- sponsor an event
- provide content to the UG web site in the form of items like:
- news releases
- forum messages
- blog post
- free downloads, etc.