For as long as there’s been technology, there have been user groups.
A user group can be formal or informal however what they all have in common is that they provide a forum for people to share their experiences, tips and tricks, and questions regarding that technology. They offer significant benefits, which can include:
Being part of a user group can help you get answers when you need them, whether via an online forum in the middle of the night or at a user group meeting. Exploring these technical questions in depth with users who have a range of different experiences and knowledge levels can provide answers that you may never have come up with on your own, or even with the help of the vendor’s tech support team. It’s the easiest way to crowdsource a solution.
User groups can put you in touch with likeminded peers who can help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your technology. And, it can help you make additional contacts in your industry. The people who attend user group meetings are likely to work in the same or a similar industry as you, making them perfect people to develop relationships with.
If you’re a member of a user group, it’s important to attend the meetings. The new information and business contacts you can get from a user group meeting are invaluable.
Some official user groups offer additional benefits like discounts on new products for members.
And, if you find it hard to attend events outside work hours, user group meetings could be the exception since there are often free giveaways, making it fun and educational. You can improve your own skills, add value to your employer, and walk away with a free meal in the process.
Those who regularly attend user group meetings will attest that you never know what you can learn. While the meeting will focus on the specific technology you all have in common, often, other technologies will be discussed. You’ll learn something new every time and you can pass on your own knowledge for the benefit of the industry.
Once you have attended user group meetings you will be able to bring those shared learnings back to your organisation, and your colleagues. This will spark discussion and collaboration amongst the team and lead to new ideas being implemented in your business.
Stay tuned for news in the coming weeks on a new Konica Minolta user group community coming to our Australian production print customers.