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The Journey to a Successful Technology User Group

The Journey to a Successful Technology User Group

Given at SeaGL and SCALE 2015; OpenWest 2014

B9371330cad1f8da5d346d3ee090a98d?s=128

Kara Sowles

August 31, 2015
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Transcript

  1. The Journey to a Successful Technology User Group SeaGL 2015

  2. Hi, I’m Kara Sowles Senior Community Manager Puppet Labs Portland,

    OR Twitter: @feynudibranch Email: kara@puppetlabs.com
  3. So What?

  4. I made a user group!

  5. Awesome first meeting!

  6. ELEPHANT GRAVEYARD And then... - from The Lion King copyright

    walt disney pictures -
  7. “The internet is littered with ghost towns where communities used

    to be. The people still exist - but the structure fell apart.” - I couldn’t find a quote about this so I made one up
  8. Where are we headed? Hall of User Group Creation The

    No-Members 
 Mountains The Venue-less Valley The Speaker-less Swamps The Food-less 
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection
  9. Hall of User Group Creation

  10. THE BASICS Date / Starting Time Venue Speaker Way to

    communicate with members Let the world know it exists Maybe food?
  11. RECONNAISSANCE When do similar groups meet? Is there already a

    group about X? What works well for other local groups?
  12. Choose an online home for your group

  13. SET EXPECTATIONS Find a cadence and stick to it. We’ll

    come back to this later...
  14. What’s your PURPOSE?

  15. Hall of User Group Creation The No-Members 
 Mountains The

    Venue-less Valley The Speaker-less Swamps The Food-less 
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection Our Journey Begins...
  16. Where to post? Seattle: SEAFOSS.org

  17. Local Conferences

  18. Joint Meetings Find a similar user group, and team up

    for a talk aimed at both audiences!
  19. The No-Members 
 Mountains The Venue-less Valley The Speaker-less Swamps

    The Food-less 
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection The No-Members Mountains Hall of User Group Creation
  20. Members! The Venue-less Valley The Speaker-less Swamps The Food-less 


    Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection Friends! At last! Hall of User Group Creation
  21. Hall of User Group Creation Members! The Venue-less Valley The

    Speaker-less Swamps The Food-less 
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection The Venue-less Valley
  22. MAKE A LIST Brief description of group’s purpose Average #

    of members at each meeting Date / Time of meetings A/V requirements Any other space requirements / needs
  23. THINK ABOUT PERKS “The hosting company is invited to announce

    any open jobs at the beginning of each meeting.” “The hosting company is listed as a sponsor on our meetup page, and at our yearly event.” “The hosting library has interesting events to advertise and bring in more people.”
  24. Ask your company

  25. Ask your friend’s company

  26. When thanking those that said ‘no’, ask them for recommendations.

  27. Are there any local companies that cater to your attendees’

    demographic?
  28. Ask your user group

  29. Local University or Local Library

  30. Check where other user groups are hosted

  31. Try a Co-Working Space

  32. Get flexible

  33. STILL NO HOST :’(

  34. Temporary or alternate locations

  35. BE A GOOD GUEST Leave the space clean Turn off

    the projector Don’t act entitled to the space Check back in every month Thank the host regularly SET EXPECTATIONS - no surprises!
  36. Hall of User Group Creation Members! The Venue-less Valley The

    Speaker-less Swamps The Food-less 
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection The Venue-less Valley
  37. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! The Speaker-less Swamps

    The Food-less 
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection Yes! Shelter!
  38. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! The Speaker-less Swamps

    The Food-less 
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection The Speaker-less
 Swamps
  39. Yes, it’s tough.

  40. “What topics would you like to hear about next month?”

  41. “Does anyone have experience with [X topic]?”

  42. Post suggested topics to the group online, and ask again.

  43. Ask individual members what they’re doing.

  44. Cultivate those who don’t give talks (yet)

  45. At your company: Look for managers that want to foster

    speaking opportunities for their teams
  46. Topic Meeting for Meeting Topic

  47. To companies: “Would you send someone to give a talk

    on [X topic]?”
  48. Still no speakers? Hold a... Discussion Session Hack Night

  49. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! The Speaker-less Swamps

    The Food-less 
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection The Speaker-less
 Swamps
  50. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! The Food-less

    
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection Speakers! Yay!
  51. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! The Food-less

    
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection The Food-less
 Flats
  52. Finding $ponsors

  53. The company that’s hosting you

  54. Your Company

  55. Other Companies

  56. SWAG

  57. Your Company as a Support Structure

  58. Think Like Other Departments Leverage Sales team Leverage Professional Services

    team Leverage Education team Leverage Marketing team Leverage Engineering team Leverage Community team
  59. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! The Food-less

    
 Flats The Rains of 
 Rejection The Food-less
 Flats
  60. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! FOOD The

    Rains of 
 Rejection FOOD!
  61. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! FOOD The

    Rains of 
 Rejection The Rains of Rejection
  62. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! FOOD The

    Rains of 
 Rejection The Storm of Sad :’(
  63. Making your group inviting: Setting Expectations

  64. Anatomy of a Meeting 6-6:30 - Socialize + Eat 6:30-6:45

    - Introduction 6:45-7:30 - Presentation 7:30-7:45 - Source Next Meeting’s Topic 7:45-8:00 - Socialize + Clean Up Just an example....
  65. Clear familiarity level Are the talks this month for intermediate

    users? Is this session accessible for absolute beginners? List this info for every meeting / every talk
  66. ACCESSIBILITY Is it easy to find the venue? Is there

    parking nearby? Bike parking? Bus access? Is the venue wheelchair accessible? Who can people email with special accessibility requests or questions?
  67. Have a Code of Conduct

  68. ― Bell Hooks, Teaching Community: A P “To build community

    requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.” ― bell hooks Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope
  69. None
  70. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! Food! The

    Rains of 
 Rejection The Rains of Rejection
  71. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! Food! :)

    Inclusivity!
  72. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! Food! Inclusivity!

  73. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! Food! Inclusivity!

  74. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! Food! YOU

    Inclusivity!
  75. Hall of User Group Creation Members! Venue! Speakers! Food! Inclusivity!

  76. Kara Sowles - Puppet Labs Your advice? Twitter: @feynudibranch Email:

    kara@puppetlabs.com
  77. Kara Sowles Community Initiatives Manager Puppet Labs Portland, OR Twitter:

    @feynudibranch Email: kara@puppetlabs.com Thanks for listening!