Use UGSS and GITCA to support your User Groups

If you are supporting/running a user group or  interested in becoming a technical presenter this blog post will help you. I am starting to help with the Pittsburgh SQL Server User Group and I wanted to share some knowledge learned from working with the Greater Wheeling Chapter of the Association for Information Technology Professionals. If your user group is based on technology (AITP, INETA, PASS) etc. I highly recommend you look into leveraging the resources provided by UGSS and Culminis GITCA.

Today I received an email reminder to sign up for the Q2 UGSS User Group Kit and this motivated me to write this blog post for leaders and presenters who are not familiar with UGSS or GITCA.  At the end of the day you need to offer something of value (knowledge, training, networking, swag)  for people to attend your events. I want to commend both UGSS and GITCA as they provide support to increase the value of your user group meetings.

Global IT Community Association (GITCA)

For starters Culminis is now GITCA.  Global IT Community Association (GITCA) represents over 700 member organizations and over 3.7 million IT professionals.   GITCA is the world’s largest international not-for-profit independent organization powered by dedicated volunteers devoted to the development and growth of the IT community by providing services to support leaders and connect user groups, associations, and student IT organizations.

The following is a list of benefits for user groups:

  • SharePoint hosting for user group
  • LiveMeeting account online meetings
  • Event Support
  • Community Development
  • Access to User Group Support Services (UGSS)  more on this below.

To apply check out the requirements and sign up if you qualify.

User Group Support Services (UGSS)

User Group Support Services (UGSS) is dedicated and committed to serving technical community members and leaders worldwide.  UGSS provides resources that will ignite your efforts as leaders and invigorate your experience as members.

The following is a list of benefits for Community Leaders:

  • Get speakers for your events – if you are interested in presenting sign up here. Groups will find you and ask you to present.
  • Get funding for your events – yes, they will help sponsor your events.
  • Get publicity for your events
  • Get more publicity for your events
  • Get swag (content, demos, samples and more) –  the photo below shows some items I received during the last kit.

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If you are the leader of a user group, a presenter, or someone who would like to sponsor events apply here. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email at jsterrett at gmail dot com and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for the positive feedback and support. As an all volunteer community based organization GITCA aims to truly live up to our slogan of “By the community, for the community”. It is very satisfying to know that our collective efforts are appreciated and inspires us to strive to be better and better.

    Regards
    Graham Jones
    Chair GITCA Global Board

  • Thank you Graham for your feedback. Once again I would really like to thank you and everyone who is involved with GITCA and UGSS.

    Just last month we included a photo of the quarterly kit and mentioned that we had microsoft products as door prizes in our newsletter. We had quite a few new people show up. I cannot directly say that is the reason why those people showed up but it defiantly didn’t hurt the cause.

  • Use UGSS and GITCA to support your User Groups

    John wrote:

    “If you are supporting/running a user group or interested in becoming a technical presenter this blog post will help you. I am starting to help with the Pittsburgh SQL Server User Group and I wanted to share some knowledge learned from working with the Greater Wheeling Chapter of the Association for Information Technology Professionals. If your user group is based on technology (AITP, INETA, PASS) etc. I highly recommend you look into leveraging the resources provided by UGSS and Culminis GITCA.

    “Today I received an email reminder to sign up for the Q2 UGSS User Group Kit and this motivated me to write this blog post for leaders and presenters who are not familiar with UGSS or GITCA. At the end of the day you need to offer something of value (knowledge, training, networking, swag) for people to attend your events. I want to commend both UGSS and GITCA as they provide support to increase the value of your user group meetings.”

    John, I would like to suggest that you also include the Association for PC User Groups (APCUG) in your list UGs focused on technology.

    APCUG has a broad base of membership, which includes AITP members, IT Pro UGs, Mac focused UGs, and Linux UGs. In addition most APCUG member groups have special interest groups (SIGs), which are focused on developers, SharePoint, Linux – Open Source, and other IT Pro subject areas. One of APCUG’s IT Pro member group has over 6,000 members.

    APCUG is also scheduling regional conferences around the US and Canada and most have an IT Pro track. The next regional conference will be in Phoenix on Feb 20-21, 2010.

    Jay Ferron is the APCUG president and his blog is http://blog.mir.com/.

    Linda Moore
    APCUG Secretary
    lmoore at apcug.net

  • Jay Ferron is also one of our (GITCA North America – NorAm) board members and has been a great addition. If any APCUG chapters would like to join GITCA and UGSS (and AlertPay), they can reference the articles that I wrote for AITP on its national website, http://www.aitp.org under Publications, IE/NS Newsletters. These are in the public area of the website and do not require a logon. You can also go directly to http://www.aitp.org/newsletter/newsarticle.jsp?article=1018 for the first article (actually a single 3-part article) and it will lead you to part s 2 and 3 (articles 1019 and 1020).

    Harvey Schoenman
    AITP Pittsburgh Chapter
    GITCA NorAm Board

  • Linda I would highly recommend Harvey’s advice. He has helped AITP build a great bond with GITCA. Harvey is also on the NorAm board of directors for GITCA. In fact, Harvey is the person I go to when I have questions. He is a great resource and a true friend of mine.

    Harvey is there anyone else I am missing?

    Below is a link to the Board of Directors for GITCA for everyone incase you want to see the faces and get some information of the individuals behind GITCA.

    http://itpro.community.officelive.com/BoardMembers.aspx

  • Looks like UGSS is no longer accepting new user group registrations 🙁

  • Dustin,

    I thought UGSS was only suspending new user group registrations and additional funding until the start of the fiscal year which I believe was July. I believe Bob Hunt is still the Microsoft IT Evangelist for PA. I will follow up with him to see if he can help us out.

    Regards,
    John