The next Midwest EMC/Documentum User Group (MWDUG) meeting was just scheduled for April 9th in downtown Chicago. We try really hard to plan good, worthwhile meetings for our members. Below are a few guidelines that we follow to make sure our members find it valuable. If you are interested in becoming a member or receiving detailed meeting information (agenda, registration info, etc) please see my address that is posted on the MWDUG website (www.mwdug.com). Hope you can join us!
- Presentations by End Users – We require that all presentations are given by end users. If vendors or integrators want to present they must do so with an end user. This results in more case study presentations rather than presentations that are focused on a sales pitch . At our typical meeting one presentation is given by EMC and the other 4 are given by end users. As an organizer, it is much more difficult to get end users to present but definitely worth the effort in the end.
- Mix of Technical & Business Information – Our attendees typically have a mix of business and technical background. So presentations are geared towards users who are interested in the technology as well as the business application of that technology. We make sure all technical presentations have a business context and all business presentations have some relevant technical information.
- Scheduled Networking Time – It is nice if networking time is scheduled in the middle of the meeting rather than at the beginning or end of the meeting. If the network time is scheduled at either end of the meeting people tend to show up late or leave early – defeating much of the purpose of a user group meeting. At our MWDUG meetings we schedule a short networking time (15 minutes) in-between each presentation. We also extend the lunch period so users have a chance to network with others. Some meetings have even scheduled specific break-out topics. I have seen multiple members of our group use this networking time to figure out industry best practices, solve a very specific problem and find a new job!
- Strong Regular Attendance – The MWDUG user group meetings consistently have 75-100 attendees – and a vast majority of them are repeat attendees. We believe the high repeat attendance is because people find the meetings valuable – so if you are in the Midwest area, come check out the next user group meeting on April 9th!