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) 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.
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.