Today we welcome guest blogger Mark Rhodes from the Dynamics CRM User Group.
In our increasingly virtual world, it seems more valuable than ever to meet face-to-face for networking and to share challenges and solutions. As Program Director of the CRM User Group (CRMUG), I work with our members, partners, and Microsoft professionals to establish and run Regional Chapters. These quarterly, half-day meetings draw attendees from hours away to network, learn, and share (lot of stories, and usually Starbucks too). Demand has gone through the roof for these meetings – we’ve gone from 1 just six months ago, to seven active or in-process Chapters:
- Metro NY
- New England
- Pacific Northwest
- Silicon Valley
And we’ve had requests for Chapters in Florida, Chicago, the Mid-Atlantic, the Netherlands, North Carolina, and Arizona – just to name a few! It’s interesting, and gratifying, to see how popular these meetings have been - we had over 40 folks at the Pacific Northwest meeting in January. The opportunity to really go in-depth with roundtable discussions, interact directly with Microsoft professionals about new developments with the product, and network with local, fellow CRM users remains a very powerful and valuable opportunity. I am personally a huge fan of learning from others (and not re-creating the wheel – which is a helpful theme in this budget-conscious environment). Seeing the interaction and eagerness for folks to share in these meetings has been simply fantastic.
Another innovation to encourage in-person networking is CRMUG Meet-Ups – they’re like “mini” Regional Chapters. Meet-Ups are monthly lunch meetings without a formal agenda to encourage quick networking and knowledge sharing in local areas. For locales without a larger concentration of users, or for those who want to meet informally or more frequently, Meet-Ups are a great way to connect with fellow Dynamics CRM users at the local level.
If you’re interested in participating in a Regional Chapter or Meet-Up, check out our events calendar at www.crmug.com to see when the meeting is scheduled for your area, or feel free to contact Mark Rhodes.
Mark Rhodes – CRMUG Program Coordinator