I'm currently looking at helping my admin out by starting up an internal user group within my company and whilst I wait back on some of the other AUG leaders getting back to me, I thought I'd throw something here.
Has anyone got any experience/tips/tricks/pitfalls to avoid when setting up a user group. Currently the number of users we have is 9000 with 90 initially agreeing to the user group and more being added by the day.
Any advice most welcome.
we have an Atlassian company user group with monthly one-hour-meetings. I'm managing these meetings, as well as the Atlassian Community Hamburg.
The dates and topics for the company community meetings are published four to six months ahead on a Confluence page, so the dates and the topics are clear quite early.
People register on that Confluence page for the meetings. It's not always the same people, not every topic is interesting for everyone. But registering is essential for taking action, e.g. booking a bigger conference room, order more coffee, donuts and pretzels (the standard for our Atlassian Company User Group meetings).
Our group size is about 15 people - and that's a lot of work already - 90 and more people is a really big company user group. I don't think, I would like to manage such a big group all alone.
We started with two topics per event, but I wouldn't advise that. We soon switched to just one topic, leaving enough space for discussions and questions.
I'm still trying to encourage people giving a talk, but it's difficult. Be prepared to do that on your own, at least for the first events.
For our company the formula "one-per-month-one-hour-one-topic" works best. If the event is longer, a lot of people won't attend - aks your keyplayers, your power-users for topics.
We let the people vote for their topics - you will be surprised, how many people are not interested in the latest crazy apps and functions but on basic things like how to design a page or a space properly and nice (but we also talk about the latest crazy apps :-) )
@Manon Soubies-Camy's article is also great, you will find a lot of inspiration there.
I really like @Manon Soubies-Camy 's article!
I will add a few things as well. I've run my company user group since January 2017. Every company is different and that is why Manon's questions are great to ask. For us, it had to be virtual - I tried both virtual and in person. The difference was huge. My users care about learning about the products and how to get the most of them. If food or swag (or swag codes) motivates your users then definitely us that.
Like @Thomas Schlegel mentioned, I plan out the topics for the year but that isn't as important (I will switch directions as needed). For me, I have to invite the users about 2 weeks before the event. If I event them earlier, they forget about it or closer than 2 weeks they are already booked. I use a list of my licensed and active (last 90 days) users across Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket as the initial invite list. And then I also post to a virtual room (Slack, Teams, whatever) the invite info as well so that others can find out about it.
I give everyone the ability to ask for topics close to them but since my group supports the services, I watch what questions are being asked or what functionality is being requested and use that to build my list of topics. I have presented quite a few of the topics but I also use the Atlassian Global Partners as well when they are subject matter experts on the topic. I also keep the meetings to 1 hour and 1 per month.
For us, recording the meetings and providing the information on the topics, the presentation and recording is important because people go back and watch it again or send the link to people that couldn't attend and they watch it later. If you reach out directly to me, I can share a list of topics and in some cases the actual presentation but I hope this helps!
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