EricHarlan

How to start and run a successful SharePoint Users Group (Part 5)

Synopsis (Be a good Steward. Summary and Checklist)

Now that you’ve read the ups and the downs, the cost and the rewards and you’re still ready to jump in, let’s go over a few of the major points we talked about.  Note:  do yourself a favor, if you skipped down to this portion of the paper, go back and read it from start to finish, yes I know it’s a bit long winded but I assure you I’ve added some funny antics to make the reading easier.  On top of that its instrumental in the overall process to understand what you’re getting into.   The purpose of this article was simply to fill in the gaps of the few articles available through other avenues currently. In my opinion this has been a fairly detailed and extensive write up on your upcoming adventure.

 

Important Items

  • Hammer down your intensions

Make sure you’re getting involved in this community for the right reasons. It’s a support and service role. There should only be passive self advancement.

  • Understand the pros and cons

Know what you’re getting into, the time commitments, issues you’ll have to deal with how to deal with the wolves and how to be the viper. The money it might cost you and the personal satisfaction you’ll get out of the endeavor.

  • Get the location nailed down

The most important part of the deal, get a stable suitable location to help the grow the group as much as possible

  • Sponsors

Try to nail down as many full time sponsors as possible. It’s really hard but will make your life easier in the long run. No more worrying about food, swag etc.  Watch out for the hard sell and the takeover plots (seriously).

  • Make sure folks want to attend

Try to anticipate your audience, what they will like and what they won’t. Once you’re in the door, keep a finger on the pulse of what the users want to see/hear. Anonymous polls work great.

  • Support

A good support system is great to have a place. A number two, or a informal board of trustees to get advice from could come in helpful when in a bind.

 

I’ve enclosed a checklist that might help in getting the group started. ­ It shouldn’t be a supplement for experience or at very least reading this full paper but it will offer some guidance.

Thank you for reading, GOOD LUCK and special thanks to Todd Baginski (MVP), Joel Oleson, and Jason Medero (MVP)

Download the white paper here:

 

Reason for starting
¨ I understand this is not MY users group ¨ I’m interested in this technology
¨ I understand this will not always be easy ¨ I don’t want to do this solely for self advancement
¨ I fully understand the potential and unseen Pros and Cons ¨ I want to be a steward to help others
First Steps
¨ Research the local area, and know the existing groups ¨ Understand the local market for that technology
¨ Researched the International SharePoint Pro’s ¨ masking tape or sewing tape (for last-minute ripped hems)
Location
¨ Found a Consistent location ¨ Located at a suitable middle ground
¨ Has potential for growth
Sponsors
¨ Food ¨ Location
¨ Swag ¨ Financial
¨ Speakers ¨ Hosting
Personality/Services
¨ Knowledgebase ¨ Newsletter
¨ Jobs ¨ Website
¨ Events Calendar ¨ Tutorials
¨ Resource links ¨ SharePoint Saturdays
¨ SharePointSki Events ¨ Partnership with other Users Groups
¨ Surveys and Polls
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