In this installment of the second to last installment of this series I’ll discuss one of the most difficult tasks you face while running a user group. Once you have a group started, meetings and events are being held, and people are attending you will have to figure out how to keep the momentum going. Having only run a user group for a few months I hope that I have it figured out so that I can both impart knowledge on you and keep my user group rocketing along.
One of the most obvious ways (to me anyways) to keep people interested and stoked about the group and it’s events is by offering great content. Like I’ve said in previous posts, content is king. People will come out to your events if you have great content and you have a way to let them know about it.
Other, less admirable, methods of keeping people interested tend to be marketing fluff. This may include special attendance deals (i.e. swag, attend and get the promo code from our sponsor, etc.). If you decide to take this approach you will need to be very careful. Developers have an innate ability to see marketing fluff from a mile away. If the do see it, they won’t pay attention to it.
Probably the bigger thing that can be done to keep the momentum up is creating and growing a strong local community. Admittedly this is far easier said than done, but if successful you will create a user group that will have great membership.
No matter what method you think you should take to keep the excitement about your group/event going, the one thing that will be at the foundation of all of them is effort by the user group leadership.