Some of you may be already running your DotNetNuke user group meetings. If that is the case, let this be a refresher or a guide. For the rest of us, this is meant as a reference to help you plan out your first meeting, or the ongoing logistics of future meetings. If you’re doing the right things, holding the meeting should be the least amount of work for a user group leader every month. It should begin to run itself…
Knowing your venue is important. Every meeting place will have attributes that you will have to describe and know before announcing and holding your meetings. For example, there may be multiple entrances that your members could enter. There might be multiple hallways, stairs, or elevators for them to take. There might be multiple meeting rooms with similar or same naming conventions. The worst is when more than one group of people are meeting at the same time. You need to expect and plan for these things.
Probably the easiest way to plan for these things is to have pre-made and re-usable signage to help point people in the right direct. The signage should have arrows on it to guide your attendees all the way up to the right door.
If you are meeting in a secure location that doesn’t allow anonymous people to enter on their own, make sure that you do one of the following:
The last thing to remember in this area is to keep an eye open. You cannot expect your volunteers to stay at the front door for the entire meeting. Instead, it will normally fall on your shoulders as a leader of the user group to keep an eye out on the phone and doorway to help stragglers gain entry to the meeting after it has begun.
There are a great number of things that you could possibly do at one or more meetings. You should find a dependable volunteer to assign responsibility for any tasks that repeat from meeting to meeting. This is a great way to make someone feel like they are part of the group, they have ownership in the group, and ensure that they will continue to show up at as many meetings as possible. Informal leadership positions can change the dynamic in so many ways – and almost always for the better.
Here is a list of the most common things that you might need to consider assigning tasks to people:
There could be any number of other duties that might need to get done. These should just give you an idea. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to do something either. You’d be surprised at how many people really are willing to help if you ask them.
As a leader of the user group, it probably isn’t a good idea to do everything yourself. If for some reason you are no longer able to lead the user group as thoroughly as you were for any length of time, the people that were helping would generally be able to step up for you to make sure the meeting still took place.
The most important thing that you can do as a leader of a user group is to identify the various things that need to take place over the month, and assign those tasks to people as much as possible.
Along with hopefully bringing some attendees to your meeting, there are some must have items that you should consider, as well as some optional things depending on how your meeting is formatted and what kind of support you have.
If you end up being as thorough in your meeting format as possible, you might end up with too many things to carry into a meeting. This was certainly the case at the last user group I ran. In the event that this happens, a large plastic bin, a cooler with ice, and some bungee cables will become your best friends.
Hopefully, this blog post was able to identify some of the things you need to remember and do for your meetings – and maybe even give you a couple of new ideas!