The Midwest Documentum User Group meeting coming up on October 29th, (visit http://www.mwdug.com/ if you are interested in attending). As usual, Ellen and Bethany have put together a great agenda including:
- United Airlines, Fedex and American Electric Power presenting.
- Deep Dive on xCP
- Review of the Documentum Roadmap
- Panel Discussion with Discover, AEP, Abbott and The Hartford.
- Networking and Discussion time
In promoting the event and helping other user groups with their meetings, we thought we would share some of our best practices. As some users know, the TSG coordinates the Midwest Documentum user group as well as some MWDUG related satellite groups. Over the years, MWDUG has been very successful in not only attracting a large following (70+) with mostly repeat attendees and many folks flying in from out of town. Some of our thoughts in regards to best practices include:
- User Groups are about the users – Typically we try to get the bulk of the presentations to be from users themselves and Ellen and Bethany are very active in reaching out to all users for presentations. That said, attendees at MWDUG will often notice that many of the presenters are TSG clients. While we do have significant strength in the Midwest, it is more often that our clients are the ones we can “arm-twist” the most into presenting.
- User Groups are not about sales – We often have to work with Vendor presentations to avoid the over the top sales pitch. Most of the attendees of the user groups are experienced Documentum veterans and want detail not marketing powerpoint presentations.
- User Groups are about networking – We try to leave time in every meeting for networking and discussions. Ellen will usually start the meeting with introductions and a starter question such as “what are you hoping to learn today” so that users can understand who is doing what and meet during breaks and lunch to share.
- User Groups are not “complaint” sessions – Okay – used politically correct word there but we have always tried to facilitate that the meetings should be about how to do things better, not complain about what is wrong. Ellen usually kicks off the meeting with a reminder that we are here to make things better, not just complain.
- Users love Demos!! – Death by Powerpoint can be overwhelming. Users like to see rather than just hear what others have experienced. When we can’t do real-time demos, we look for users to present screen shots or screen cams of their solutions if possible.
- Users like seeing “What’s New or Next” – Most user meetings have EMC presentations on a product or new development. In a down economy, not all users have the travel budget to make it to EMC World. Each meeting should have something new so that users are learning what to do next as well as sharing what they are doing now.
- Users like seeing old stuff too – Too many times, we will have users not want to present because they are on either old releases or haven’t done anything new. Some of our most successful presentations are the lessons learned and plans going forward that apply to many of the users in the audience.
If you are interested in learning more about the user groups, please consider attending MWDUG in October or send us a note!!!