Hello from my sixty-eighth city in a long-term RV trip I started in 2015! I've traveled all over the US staying in different cities and states for just a few days up to many months. This week I'm in a state park in central Florida and next week I'll be living in a totally different town for the season. Working on the road is easier and more rewarding than you’d think! Read more about my digital nomad lifestyle here.
I originally learned about the Atlassian Community at Summit in 2013. I wanted to understand Jira and knew that networking with my local peers was the way to do it. I marched up to the community events booth to ask about events in my area. Unfortunately, there were none. I immediately volunteered to start the user group in Northern Virginia.
My favorite event was in 2014 when I brought the Northern Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC groups together for a mini-user conference. I created stickers to signify group membership and all attendees received specially curated swag bags. As far as I know, this was the first multi-city, combined, user event of it's kind. Since then, many groups have joined forces to virtually and physically bring users together. Here are some photos from that event.
Event advertisement - post cards handed out at Summit 2014
Preparing special mini-user conference swag bags in my condo
Event check in with sign in sheet, location stickers, business cards, and a raffle
Replica of the user conference "feedback wall"
When I hosted community events there were few resources available. For example, there was no event management platform, so I created the group's website and a database to track member registrations and attendance. I also created event signage, business cards, a sponsorship program, post-event surveys, and all the other processes and materials needed to run a successful community group. These days, Atlassian and their talented Community Team handles all this for leaders. It's great to see how much the community has grown and matured since 2013! Here are some relics from that time period.
Group and event website - before Atlassian handled event management
Event stats database - before Atlassian tracked RSVP's and attendance
Business and event promo cards - before Atlassian designed and printed them
While I'm no longer leading my own city group, I've found other ways to contribute differently. I've served on various committees, mentored new leaders, and helped leaders start their groups. I'm also a frequent speaker at other ACE events around the world. Need a speaker for your event? Choose one of my presentations from the "Leader presenters" column in the "Community Leader Virtual Presentations" Trello board. I love to attend in person when I'm near an ACE city and I attend the rest remotely from my RV. I also enjoy contributing content like this to the Atlassian Community online website.
I love participating in this fantastic community and I can't wait to see everyone at Team 2022!
This post is part of the 2021 Atlympic Games. See: https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Atlassian-User-Groups-articles/%EF%B8%8F-Atlympic-Event-ACE-Leaders/ba-p/1756022