How to run a user group

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How to run a user group

So you founded a local user group and wonder how you can attract and reach out to interested people? Here are some hints on how to get started:

Choose your target audience for sending out invitations

  • Research local user groups (Linux/BSD/Windows, Perl/PHP/.Net/Java/Ruby). Hint: try a web search for "User Group" and your city name.
  • Universities (e.g. Computer Science Students)
  • Local associations of SMBs in the IT Industry (most of them have web sites and mailing lists)
  • Social Network sites (e.g. FaceBook, LinkedIn or Xing)
  • Blogs (e.g. via PlanetMySQL) and MySQL mailing lists/forums
  • Also check out for other people interested in a Meetup

Advance Preparations

  • Set up a mailing list for sending out updates and announcements. MySQL provides the infrastrucure for hosting mailing lists for User Groups, please contact the MySQL Community Relations Team about creating one for your group!
  • Use one of the following sites for sending out invitations and tracking RSVPs (reservations):
  • Set up a meeting schedule that includes a round of introductions and maybe a technical presentation, to give people an idea what they can expect from the meeting
  • Choose a location (e.g. a restaurant with a separate room, a meeting room in a company)

Invitation hints

  • Once you have gathered your list of potential candidates to invite, send out your invitation.
  • Start inviting early and set a deadline for the confirmations (A "No" helps, too!)
  • Also post a note to event notification sites like
  • Keep people posted about how many people have registered, eventual changes, etc.
  • Shortly before the event, send out a reminder note to all registered participants

Other resources

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The individuals who post here are part of the extended Oracle community and they might not be employed or in any way formally affiliated with Oracle. The opinions expressed here are their own, are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual authors, and neither Oracle nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.