How do you create a successful user group?

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  • Updated 5 months ago
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One of the best ways to bring your Quick Base skills to the next level is by learning from your peers. But what if you’re the only app builder — or one of a small handful — on your team? Forming or joining a user group, either internally within your organization or in your local area, is a great way to foster this kind of learning environment.  

At Quick Base, we're always looking to help Quick Base builders connect with each other and do great things. 

Here are a few questions for the group: 

  1. If you are a member of a user group already, what are some keys to success?  

  2. If you are NOT a member of a user group, what would make you want to join one? 

  3. What can Quick Base do to help user groups thrive? 

Please share your thoughts!  
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Davin Wilfrid, Community and Customer Advocacy Leader

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Posted 5 months ago

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Derek Hutchinson

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1. I am not currently a member of a user group.
2. Ideal for me would be group based on type of environment. Manufacturing, Customer service, etc... 
3. I am not sure at this point I have not used the groups up to this point but always looking for new things to try and learn about.
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Davin Wilfrid, Community and Customer Advocacy Leader

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Hi Derek - Thanks for the input. Follow-up question for you: When I say "user group" did you imagine a physical gathering of people, or more of a focused online community experience of some sort? 
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Derek Hutchinson

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Usually Online community experience. While physical gatherings are great they usually are more difficult due to schedules, Travel, and need for physical space. 
I think this community is already a good user group.
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Kevin Shuler

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Local User groups are a great way to expand your knowledge, but more importantly your network. I found great value with the local Denver Great Plains User Group (GPUG).

1. Keys to success are consistency, a strong sponsorship that will allow the group to grow together, and a central location which doesn't involve expensive parking or difficult access.
2. Ideally having agendas available prior, so you'll know what the topic is before you go. Advertising off the bat to ensure a large enough group to make it worthwhile.
3. Have local resources available at major events.

We've held some local events on meetup, but nothing more than a meet and greet. 
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Davin Wilfrid, Community and Customer Advocacy Leader

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Great thoughts as usual, Kevin. Follow-up question: When you mention "sponsorship," what role do you think Quick Base should play in that? Is it better that it's community-driven with some financial support from Quick Base (renting space, providing food, etc), or do you think we should play a greater role? 
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Kevin Shuler

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Not necessarily a Quick Base paid sponsorship, but maybe partner sponsorship for a region or metro area, where they're responsible for hosting the space and amenities. I've seen that model used in the past with some success. I've also seen full blown product sponsored events, like the Summit that you've been hosting. Maybe a combo of both? Word of mouth will go a long way once they've been established, especially when everyone can see the value that user groups can provide. 

With all the co-working spaces out there, finding recurring meeting space shouldn't be too far of a struggle, and we've currently got room in our office for more intimate group settings.
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the community is really a great sounding board to get a direction.
A small focused group might be fun, as long as there is not TOO much time necessary...
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CCI currently has a user group made up of all of our Citizen Developers, we typically meet the Tuesday after a Quick Base product update. We discuss many things; what is included in the update, if there are any early access features that we want to participate in, share success stories, demo a cool new feature that has been implemented. All sorts of stuff!! This started after the first Empower that we attended in 2015!
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Gil Spigelman

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We have an internal group of 5 developers. A couple of us are experienced with native QB and others are great with QB and even better with custom code. We share our experience and objectives with each other. We then use this community as a good resource. I would like to see how APIs are used. As I'm not extremely experienced with API.
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Evan Martinez, Community Manager

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Hi Gil,

If you and your user group are getting started looking at the Quick Base API there are a few resources on the University from Empower 2018 that might be helpful. Harrison Hersch did two sessions an Introduction to the Quick Base API and then also an Advanced Quick Base API Tips, Tricks, and Techniques session that might be a good jumping off point.

There is also a module API Boot Camp on our University as well:
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A local user group is a great idea.

1) I'm not currently a member of a local user group
2) I would want to start/join a local QB user group to learn from other builders and to network.
3) I'm not sure what Quick Base can do now to help a local user group thrive except maybe provide technical support and training to help the local group solve the unique problems that they are interested in solving.  
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Jennifer Schafer

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I am not a member of a user group. Often, I build apps that are basically participant file folders for case managers. It seems that is not a common type of QB app because it can be difficult to find questions and answers suited to my situations. It would be nice to brainstorm ideas sometimes.
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Trevor Textor

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Capture key/strategic items from your app building job to bring to a user group. Helping guide the group discussion helps a lot. 
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Pat R

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  1. No, not part of a user group.
  2. I would really like to join one.  I would hope it would be local so that we could meet in person.
  3. Perhaps Quick Base could help by facilitating the connection of people who are in close proximity of each other and want to participate in a user group.  Also, where a user group doesn't exist and there is interest, perhaps Quick Base could get the group started 
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Jenni Murray

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I've attended user groups in the past. I like the community of people and learning more about the platform. I would like see a QB user group close to me, as I'd like to learn more and also to help others figure out how to do something to solve their questions.

QB could support the groups by having resources available, either in person or video conference, to present a topic, use the meeting as a test group for upcoming features, or to answer questions. For me, I would attend meeting more depending on time and location. Plus having snacks available is always a draw :)
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Michael Barrow

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I agree that online is probably best. Physically getting together is so much overhead and so difficult with time and schedules.
I had an hour in a dentist chair this morning so I was had the time and was highly motivated to take my mind elsewhere so I gave this some thought.

  1. Virtual meetings are the way to go.

  2. Likely organized around very broad industry verticals such as Healthcare, Manufacturing/Distribution, Services.

  3. Quick Base can play a strong role in fostering the formation of these Users
    groups by...

  4. Providing a point of contact who has say 2 days a week (10%) of their time allocated to fostering user groups.

  5. Host a once a month meeting of User Group organizers to share best practices, track memberships meeting numbers to measure Meeting Activity Counts.  Meeting Activity Count = a single member attending a single meeting.  In return for providing those stats to QuickBase to roll up and measure internally, and share with the User groups .....  

  6. Quick Base will provide the group with access to Quick Base's video conferencing service.

  7. Quick Base will an app written  and put in the Exchange to help User Groups stay organized with email lists and a place to post sample code.  Perhaps Sponsor a hackathon or get it written by a QSP.  The app will allow the easy tracking of attendance.

  8. Providing a variation on a the very new Builder Accounts for the User Groups to use for their user group purposes.  It would need to allow the transferring in of apps and probably EOTI access.  

  9. Have a breakout session at EMPOWER 2019 to have people interested in starting up a User Group meet to share Best Practices.  There are probably many attendees who have had User Group Experience for other "Affinities" and they could offer up their ideas as to what makes User Groups succeed and fail.

  10. Based on the incredible success of User Groups in 2019 plan to allocate meeting room availability at the Empower 2020 for any user groups who want to meet in person after only seeing each other on video all during 2019.   So virtual meetings during the year and then do an annual in person meeting starting at at EMPOWER 2020, that would also be on video conferencing for those unable to travel.
Mark Shnier
Your Quick Base Coach, QSP.

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1. I've been a part of user groups for other low code/rapid application development tools, but not QB. The ones that were successful were well-organized and had regular meetings with a mix of users presenting interesting problems they had solved and experts answering questions.

2. I wouldn't need much encouragement to try one out for QB, but I haven't gone through the effort of finding one. So I guess I would just need an existing group pointed out to me.

3. Some ideas:
  • A directory of all user groups by geographical area and/or area of focus so people can easily find a group relevant to and convenient for them.
  • If there was a way for a point of contact for each user group to easily get QB questions answered, especially about new features, I think that would be valuable. This could be a person or team dedicated to answering technical questions, a webinar that's held right before/after the monthly update, someone who takes emailed questions from a bunch of people and then builds a FAQ, or something else along those lines. New features are always a hot topic among enthusiasts, and questions always come up that nobody in the group knows the answer to. Having a way to get that info and disseminate it to the group would make the group more valuable for everyone in it.
  • QB paying for a bit of food/drinks when a new user group starts up as an incentive for people to attend meetings, if a group is meeting in person.
  • QB could highlight a group every week/month for something cool they did. This would bring attention to groups in general, encourage other groups to do interesting things so they get highlighted, and give other groups ideas and reasons to stay active.
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This community itself and indeed a great user group. Thanks to everyone who are really active with QB Community and contributing by sharing their ideas/thoughts and answering to users queries/problems. Cheers !!
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We have internal user quarterly meeting.