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How to find Local User Groups & events – My Experience

I had a discussion last night via twitter with one of the attendees that I met at the Microsoft Cloud Roadshow in London earlier this year and the outcome of the conversation was that although I find it easy to find out about events – this isn’t all that common for others.

 

So I decided that I would quickly jot down some of the places that can be useful to search to find events that are going on around you.

  • Word of Mouth – If you know a number of people in the area ask them if they know of any events going as they will likely be closest to the events.
  • Twitter – There are a number of Twitter accounts out there that are just setup to serve what’s happening in your area. A good example is the @TechNWUK twitter account which lists all the events around the North West that the group knows about.
  • Eventbrite – www.eventbrite.co.uk is another good place to find tech events – especially those that are full day events or conferences – Just do a quick search for a specific Technology and you’ll get some results back on upcoming events around you.
  • Meetup – www.meetup.com is another and increasingly more common area for User Groups to promote themselves on. Similar to Eventbrite but a much more social feel to event listings. You can also find many more non-techy events listed there which can be very interesting and useful. My only gripe with Meetup is the admin cost for setting up a Meetup group which at $89.94 per 6 months for the unlimited subscription isn’t really what I would call reasonable for a user group marketing channel though this does allow multiple groups under the 1 subscription so can be shared as part of a collective – like Get-PSUGUK
  • Facebook & LinkedIn Groups – Both of these can also be an avenue for finding out about User Groups or events.
  • MSDN Events – http://events.msdn.microsoft.com/ – this can have a number of the Microsoft focused events on there as there is the ability to register as a Technical Event lead on https://www.technicalcommunity.com/ and this allows you to get the event posted to the MSDN events pages

 

If you still can’t find any events around you then I would suggest to try the following

  • Speak with those that you recognise from the community – this could be a Twitter DM etc but is normally a good starting point as they may know of events that already exist or are in the initial starting up period
  • Try and reach out to organisers of similar events as they may likely know of one starting up soon in that area or it may just be advertised in a manner other than the above, this is especially more common when you are in more broader focused technology like the various JavaScript frameworks.
  • Broaden your search area as some user groups will try not to have meetings too close together. Examples of this would include having groups in Birmingham & Wolverhampton.

 

Lastly good luck in your search and if you still haven’t found a User Group around your area then why not think about setting one up? If there is already similar communities out there in other areas then reach out to the organisers of those events and see if they can provide any guidance.

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