Thursday, June 22, 2017

Amanda Matczynski - Salesforce Boston User Group

This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

From Boston Massachusetts, introducing Amanda Matczynski - Boston User Group leader and #AwesomeAdmin Trailblazer.




Hi Amanda, tell us something about yourself, which User Group you lead, and how many co-leaders in your group?
I’ve been in the Salesforce ecosystem for 3 years now. And just took over as a co-leader of the Boston User Group last summer. I lead together with one other member of the community, David Pier.


I see you have a gold trailblazer hoodie, do you want to share a bit about that?

I was awarded the #AwesomeAdmin Trailblazer award at Salesforce World Tour in Boston. It was an awesome experience, and I am loving #LifeWithGoldie.


How do you become User Group leader? are you the group founder? and what make you interested in accepting the role as user group leader? 
I am not the group founder. The Boston UG has been around for quite a while, and has had a significant presence in the UG community. 
When approached to take over last year, I was excited to start planning events and engaging the Boston community. We have such a large community, and I was excited by the challenge to try and provide useful, engaging content to the community.


How often your User Group meetup?
Quarterly


How long have been your User Group established?
I’m not actually sure, but I know it’s been many years.


How big is your user group member, and the average number of members attend for the meetup?
We have over 2,500 members in the community, but we usually have 75-100 attendees.


What have you learned as a User Group leader?
I am constantly learning from our community. The knowledge of our member is incredibly vast, and I love seeing new ideas presented at each meeting.


What do you love being a User Group leader?
I have met so many incredible people through the User Group. I love getting to meet new folks and either sharing knowledge with them or getting them connected to the right person for the job!


What do the challenges become User Group leader and how to overcome it?
Finding space in Boston proper is generally our biggest issue. We’ve tried out a variety of spaces in the last few years, and want to continue to focus on meeting in the Boston area where folks have access to public transport if necessary.


Tell us what is unique about your User Group?

We do have an awesome MVP group here in Boston! Some familiar faces there for sure. Even in a city where tech is pretty big, we still have a good variety of companies represented at the User Group which I think is exciting!


What would like to see your User Group in the future? 
I’d love to be able to grow our attendance back up to what it used to be. We have an incredible group of folks who come regularly, and we frequently have some new faces. But I’d love to engage some others in the community.


One last thing you would like to share with the community
Imposter syndrome is a real thing. And man has I been there. But when others see potential in you, hold onto that insight and remember that you have worked hard for and deserve the recognition you’re receiving. Own it and remember that our Salesforce Ohana is incredibly supportive and encouraging! Embrace it!










Simplysfdc comment: You are really doing well for community and congrats for the Golden hoodie, you deserved it! 
Thanks for sharing about Boston User Group, it is a famous city, also a big name for the universities!





Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dale Ziegler - Salesforce Kansas City User Group

This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

From the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri, I would like to introduce Dale Ziegler, Salesforce MVP and Salesforce Kansas City User Group leader. Let's hear his story and transformation as user group leader.





Hello Dale, tell us about yourself, which User Group you lead, and how many co-leaders in your group?
I've been in the Salesforce Community since January 2011, the first 6 years as a customer admin and now a consultant.  I am the co-leader of the Kansas City User Group with Jason Kort.


How do you become User Group leader? and what make you interested in accepting the role as a group co-leader? 
When I first started attending User Groups, I was completely lost and actually stopped attending.
My boss then told me I *HAD* to go, and even tied my attendance to my annual bonus! From that point on, I made a point to be as engaged as possible, and gave my first presentation to the group in July 2012.
By 2014, I was a frequent contributor, and in Spring 2015, I decided to put my name in the hat to be co-leader of the group.


How often your group meetup?
Post-Dreamforce 2016 has seen a fairly regular frequency of every 2 months!


How long have been your user group established?
I couldn't tell you when the KCUG started up, but it's been strong for at least 6.5 years (i.e. as long as I've known it's a thing!).


How many members attend for the meetup in average?
We'll usually draw anywhere from 50-70 attendees...free lunch at a free site in the middle of an uncongested metropolitan area helps with that :)


What have you learned as a group leader?
I've learned that everyone attends user group meetings for different reasons, so it's important to provide a variety of content that's still aimed at capturing the entire audience's attention.


What do you love being a user group leader?
I love knowing we've organized a local forum for everyone to come together with their questions and insights, and in a safe place where everyone can drop their company affiliations and just be Community members.


What do the challenges become a User Group leader and how to overcome it?
Honestly, the biggest challenge can be finding willing presenters :) I know, I have a solid core of veteran presenters, but we all love seeing people get up on stage for the first time and tell their story.


Tell us what is unique about your User Group?
From what I've gathered in talking with other UG leaders, we're very fortunate to have access to an amphitheater-style room at a customer location, which means facilities are free!  This makes our group very competitive with sponsors, so it's definitely not a bad problem to have!


Share us tips that make your User Group success
Commitment.  To lead a solid and sustainable user group, you have to be committed to planning.  But also make sure it's fun and light.  No one wants to take time out of their day to be in another boring meeting.  Do whatever you can to make your user group meetings a local destination!


What would like to see your User Group in the future? 
I would love to see our group come together for some charitable work.  Kansas City has several non-profits that love to host work groups, so I think that would be a prime opportunity to practice Salesforce's spirit of giving back!


One last thing you would like to share with the community
We have the best BBQ in the world...if you want to come to KC to present at our user group, be prepared for some fine smoked delicacies!


Simplysfdc comment: this is the first time I heard that boss pushing the employee to attend Salesforce User Group, and even tied it to the bonus, if only more and more companies do the same thing, that would be really cool!

I think another unique about KCUG is that you guys not taking many photos :)







Thursday, June 15, 2017

Notsiblank Monica - Los Angeles Women in Tech User Group

This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

In this series, one the most famous person in Salesforce #Ohana "Notisblank Monica" from Los Angeles, California would like to share Los Angeles Women in Tech User Group.




Hello Monica, tell me about yourself, which User Group you lead, and how many co-leaders in your group?
Aloha #salesforce ohana! I am known in the community as Notisblank Monica. The nickname comes from my love of Salesforce formulas inspired by Steve Mo and other formula gurus I learn from by reading their Answers Community posts.  I learn something new every day and therefore consider myself to be a "community taught" button click developer. I co-lead the newly created Los Angeles Women in Tech UG with Nickki Gibaut.


I heard that your User Group just launch a few months ago, would you like to share the journey? and what made you would like to start the group? 
Last June, I met Alex Pisani (Community Program Coordinator) at the  TrailheaDX developer conference and mentioned in an offhand manner that I was a member of the Southern California Women in Tech user group but had never made it to one of the meetups. 

The reason was that the locations and times did not work due to Los Angeles traffic. I could not afford to miss one-half day of work to travel to the meeting. Folks from other areas find it inconceivable but in Southern California, it can take an hour or more to travel just a couple of miles. And since the So Cal group stretched from Orange County to Ventura County with every city in between, planning, coordination and attendance were huge challenges for the So Cal leaders Melinda Smith and Melonie Scott.

Then, in February Melonie and I were volunteer teaching assistants for a Girl Develop It course taught by Gillian Bruce. During one of the Melonie asked for a volunteer to lead a new Los Angeles WIT group since Salesforce was splitting Southern California into two groups. 

Yay! Now I had no more excuses for not getting involved in WIT. I had to help make it happen,  so I submitted the User Group leader application and drafted Nickki to co-lead with me.


How often you plan for User Group meetup?
Since we are new and are building our membership base we are meeting every month to get acquainted and discover what times, locations, topics and event types work best.


How big is your user group member, how many members attend for the meetup in average?
We have 56 members as of today and are growing every week. It has been amazing so far. Our first two meetings have each had about 14 attendees and we were blessed to have Gillian Bruce attend for very first meetup April 11, 2017.


What have you learned as a User Group leader?
Nickki and I are still finding our groove. The last meeting we had at a wine bar. Great idea we thought... until the acoustic musicians started playing so loudly we could no longer hear each other. Our meetup was in jeopardy until one of our members convinced the manager to give us a private dining room which was already taken by another party. 


What do you love being a User Group leader?
We love spending time with our ohana.  Every time is different and there is always something unexpected to learn and,  advice and support to share.


What do the challenges become a group leader and how to overcome it?
I was very lucky because my #gifsquad friend, Melinda Smith, had already convinced Salesforce to create the Los Angeles WIT group. She was moving to Denver so they needed a leader for the new group. The application is very easy and the process takes a month or so.


What do you think the "uniqueness" about your UG compare to others?
I think every group has its own character and personality that comes from the members. Los Angeles is a mecca for dreamers who want to change the world and I see our members as powerful, creative, and generous. So far we have not had trouble keeping the conversations lively and I love the fact that everyone feels comfortable enough to express their opinions.


Share us tips that make your User Group success
Promotion and growing membership is a challenge so do not be afraid to ask for help from any Salesforce ohana you meet.
I tagged Gillian Bruce on our meetup tweets and she came to our first event and has offered to come to other meetings on occasion. I  just recently met Peter Coffee at the Force Academy LA and asked if he would speak at a meeting.  He said 'yes" (schedule permitting of course). So don't be shy. Invite and they will come!


What would like to see your User Group in the future? 
I would love for Los Angeles WIT group to become a  mentoring resource for women who are interested or just starting out in a Salesforce career. It would be fantastic to see women helping women succeed in their careers with no strings attached.


One last thing you would like to share with the community
Don't be intimidated to think you need to be an MVP or have thousands of followers on Twitter to start a user group or a group on the Success Community.  Don't be afraid. Other Ohana is eager to hear what you have to say. 













Simplysfdc comment: Thanks for sharing on Los Angeles Women in Tech User Group, and great to see more and more user group sharing their experience. But, I love this quote Los Angeles is a mecca for dreamers who want to change the world!






Monday, June 12, 2017

Daniel Peter - Bay Area Salesforce Developer Group

This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

From San Francisco Bay Area, Daniel Peter - Salesforce MVP, and Bay Area Salesforce Developer Group leader would like to share with us how Salesforce Developer Group in Bay Area is doing!





Hi Dan, tell me about yourself, which Developer Group you lead, and are they any co-leaders in your group?
My Name is Daniel Peter. I’m a Salesforce MVP with 22 Salesforce Certifications. I’m a Lead Applications Engineer at Kenandy

Currently, I’m running Bay Area Salesforce Developer Group group solo, with the help of amazing Salesforce people like April Nassi, Jessica Langston, Regina Walton, and Mallory Leggere.


How do you become Developer Group leader? would you share your journey when starting your the group?? 
I started the North Bay DG in Sonoma County, CA in 2013 since I was living in Sebastopol at the time. This was a really cool group with some interesting industries (like the wine industry) that use Salesforce. I passed the torch on this group to Jason Curtis when I moved closer to San Francisco in 2014.  

In 2015 the Bay Area Salesforce Developer Group in San Francisco was in need of a new leadership.  David Schach was running the group at the time, and he took a job at Salesforce, so he could no longer run the group. This has happened more than once with that group!

Shannon Hale and I both heard about the group needing new leadership, so we took it on as co-leaders. I really loved this group and would drive an hour to attend sometimes before I was living in the area, so I was excited to contribute to it.  Eventually, Shannon had to step down as her company had her traveling out of the Bay Area quite a bit.


How often your group meetup?
The last Wednesday of each month.



How long have been your group established?
I believe this was the first DG ever established, and I think it predates the formal DG program as we know it now.  It goes back to 2010 on meetup.com. The early meetups were held at the Salesforce office in San Mateo. This even meetup traveled around to other locations like New York and San Jose because it was the only meetup at the time.  


How big is your user group member, and how many members attended the meetup in average?
There are 2,774 members of the group.  A typical meetup will get 75-300 RSVPs and about 50% of the RSVPs actually show up.  Since it is a free event, there is a high drop-off rate. Fortunately, we plan for this, so we typically end up with a full house.

In a nutshell, we get about 100 showing up.  Here is a graph our growth over time.  The blue arrow is when Shannon and I rebooted the group:




What have you learned as a group leader?
I’ve learned that our group members are incredibly talented, and I love having them present topics. It always amazes me. I have learned how to plan and promote events. I have improved my public speaking skills. I have learned that there is tremendous value in getting developers together “just to hang out”. You never know what conversations will flow.


What do you love being a group leader?
I love the networking it brings. I have met so many people leading the Bay Area Salesforce Developer Group. I love being able to create something that gives value to others. When they thank me for a successful meetup, it feels great to have been a part of it!


What do the challenges become a group leader and how to overcome it?
It is always a challenge coordinating everything. I’m a developer, not an event planner! Getting the speakers and the dates to line up, and having enough lead time to promote is always a challenge.
The best way to overcome this is to brainstorm with others for ideas well in advance and try to get a big roadmap built out, even if it is rough.


Tell us what is unique about your group
We are located at Salesforce HQ!  This means we have easy access to many Salesforce employees as guest speakers. This makes for great content.  We are also the oldest, and one of the largest groups. However many other groups have grown to be our size now, so size is no longer that unique.


Share us tips that make your group success
We follow a pretty regular formula, that seems to work great: 
30 mins of networking, with food and drink, 15 mins announcements/news/jobs, 90 mins of content. Networking and taper off at the end. And of course, some short breaks sprinkled in for grabbing a drink or hitting the restroom.  

In addition, you need to strike a balance between surveying the group for topics, but also pushing them topics they might not have thought of.  Some of the best topics are ones you didn’t realize you wanted to know until you heard about them.


What would like to see your group in the future? 
I think once a year or so it is nice to tackle a social issue or soft skills area instead of just talking code every time. Last month we had a Women in Tech meetup which brought a huge number of new women attendees into the group. Coding is important, but it’s not the only topic important to Salesforce Developers.

I’m looking forward to doing something like this in the future. Also, it would be super cool if we could have a meetup at the top of the Salesforce Tower on the Ohana floor in the future!



One last thing you would like to share with the community
Follow us on Twitter: @ForceDevMeetup
Subscribe to our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/BayAreaSalesforceDeveloperGroup 


...and if you are ever in the San Francisco around month end, stop on by.  You can even be a guest speaker!



















Simplysfdc comment: Thanks Daniel for sharing Bay Area Salesforce Developer Group, that's awesome to be in the same city with the HQ !!








Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Eric Dreshfield - Midwest Dreamin' Salesforce Community Conference

This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

Eric Dreshfield - a familiar name in the Salesforce Community, he is Salesforce MVP, Southern Indiana User Group leader, blogger - the Kevin Bacon of the Salesforce Community, and the founder and leader of the world biggest Salesforce Community Conference - Midwest Dreamin'. He would like to share with us his journey on starting Midwest Dreamin'.




Hi Eric, tell us something about your, which user group does you lead?  
I've been a Salesforce user since late 2009. After spending a day or two on the road every month to attend user group meetings in cities like Chicago, Cincinnati and Indianapolis, I decided it was time to start a user group in Southern Indiana, with our first meeting taking place in May 2010. 

There were 5 people who attended the meeting in addition to me. We met monthly at first, and slowly saw the size of the group grow to about 15 people. I still lead the Southern Indiana User Group today, and at its peak, the average attendance is about 25 people, with one meeting playing host to over 35 attendees.


You are also the leader and founder of Midwest Dreamin' Salesforce Community Conference, what make you interested in starting this conference
I was unable to attend Dreamforce in 2010. The company I was working for did not have the budget to send me, since it was the first Dreamforce event for anyone at the company, those in senior management and those in more the technical roles were given the opportunity to attend. 

I watched what I could online during the event, which back then was very little - the keynotes were live streamed, and I followed on Twitter. After the event, I talked to some of my colleagues who did attend, as well as members of the Salesforce Community to learn more. Somewhat selfishly, I decided I wanted to bring a bit of Dreamforce to me, and in early 2011, the idea for Midwest Dreamin' was born.




How often this conference? How was the journey when starting Midwest Dreamin'?
Midwest Dreamin' is an annual event. The first was in 2011, in Louisville, KY, and was attended by about 100 people. Midwest Dreamin' did not happen in 2012 or 2013 (for a number of reasons) but people kept talking about it, asking me when I would be holding it again.

In late 2013, I decided it was time to really make it happen again. I reached out to members of the Salesforce Community who were either user group leaders or MVPs in the Midwestern US to see who else wanted to help organize this event, as well as to ask the Community two specific questions:
1 - "If a regional "super user group" event was to happen, and couldn't happen in your home city, where should it be held?", and
2 - "Would you be likely to attend such an event?" Chicago was the overwhelming response to where the event should be held, and a nearly unbelievable number of people indicated they would attend.


How big is the attendees?
Midwest Dreamin' saw 100 attendees at its first event in 2011, and has grown to nearly 800 attendees in 2016, with an expected 850 to 900 for 2017.


What have you learned as the leaders of Midwest Dreamin'?
Every year Midwest Dreamin' takes place is a learning experience. As the ecosystem grows and becomes more diverse, the event needs to provide content that attendees will find interesting and engaging...but it goes beyond simply having good breakout sessions, it also includes making sure keynote sessions and speakers are timely and relevant to community conversations. 

And since this is so much more than a user group meeting, we also need to consider how to improve the event year after year from not only the attendee perspective, but also the speakers AND the sponsoring partners.


What do you love being Midwest Dreamin' leaders?
I think being a member of the Midwest Dreamin' core team helps me enjoy doing more of what I'm most passionate about within the Salesforce Community, and that's connect people to others who can help them solve a problem or gain more knowledge. I say it all the time, For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.


What do the challenges become this leader for such this big event, and how to overcome it?
It was a big personal risk to organize the first Midwest Dreamin' - I had to believe that I would be able to find sponsors to help cover the costs of the meeting, and I had to believe that other members of the Community would be willing to attend the event. 

I took a chance, found a venue willing to work with me on an unproven, first-year event with no upfront money to hold the space. 


Tell us what is unique about Midwest Dreamin'
While most people consider Midwest Dreamin' the event that started all the regional community-led events, it really wasn't the first one. There had been an event called "Dreamforce To You" event in Florida for a year or two before, as well as "Snowforce" in Utah. 

Both of these are what I would call the start of the regional, community-led events. I think Midwest Dreamin' simply got more attention from the Salesforce Community, as well as Salesforce (the company) for two reasons, it was held in Chicago (2014 to date) and the event got Peter Coffee to provide a keynote address in 2014, and has been fortunate to have Peter return every year since.


Share us some tips that make your group and conference success.
The one key thing I can point to that makes Midwest Dreamin' a success year after year is the group of people helping me lead and organize the event. 

In 2011 it was small enough I could do everything myself. It's way too big now for that. Over the years the following people have played key roles in making the event a success: Denise Carbone, Andy Ognenoff, Jim Carbone, Jen Nelson, Leyna Hoffer, Dale Ziegler, Nick Lindberg, Samantha Safin, Susan Thayer, and Natalie (Regier) Gunther

Any undertaking that you want to succeed, needs to have a great team working to make that happen. Midwest Dreamin' has had a great team year after year. Additionally, the success of the event could not happen without the support of all the sponsoring companies who put faith in the event, that it would deliver value to their companies. 

Another component of the event's success is the people who have presented at the event. Great content requires great speakers, and the Salesforce Community is absolutely full of those! Finally, no event could happen at all if it were not for the people who attend the event. All the planning in the world won't make an event a success if no one attends, so to all the great people who have attended Midwest Dreamin' since 2011, thank you very much!  


What would like to see your Midwest Dreamin' in the future? 
It's both exciting and terrifying to think that Midwest Dreamin' could cross the 1,000 mark on registrations this year. As the events grow year after year, it becomes more and more challenging to make the event a success, but I'm confident that with the great team of people on the Midwest Dreamin' team, the event will continue to thrive for many years, no matter how large it gets.


One last thing you would like to share with the community
If you haven't already registered for Midwest Dreamin', what are you waiting for? Watch our website http://midwestdreamin.com and follow Midwest Dreamin' on Twitter @Midwest_Dreamin to stay up to date on the latest news about the event.









yay, I found myself there!


See more past Midwest Dreamin' photos here and here!


Simplysfdc comment: nothing beat community event, "by the community, for the community", Eric you are simply awesome, thanks for everything you do for the community!!!









Monday, June 5, 2017

Lauren Touyet - Salesforce Ireland User Group



This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

Today, we have Lauren Touyet from Ireland, the leader of OhanaCoffee and co-leader of Ireland User Group, she would like to share with us how great is Ireland meetup.




Hello Lauren, tell us about yourself, which User Group you lead, and how many co-leaders in your User Group?
I started off with Salesforce back in 2011 and am now 2 times certified and I currently work for a partner DocuSign as a Senior Business Systems Analyst. 
My hobbies are Salesforce! I found and lead OhanaCoffee a virtual meet up for the community


https://twitter.com/SFOhanaCoffee

 I am a co-organiser of Surf Force and a co-leader of the Ireland User Group, there are 2 leaders of our group Bartley Doyle and myself.




How do you become User Group leader? what does your journey become co-leader? and what make you interested in accepting the role as group co-leader? 
I had been attending the user groups for nearly 2 years and had presented at 2 meet ups. Salesforce loved how passionate I was and how much I loved to talk about Salesforce that they asked me to be a leader! 
I became a leader in Oct 2016 just 1 week before Dreamforce 2016, when I got to Dreamforce I went to the State of the Union and instantly started connecting to other leaders and getting ideas on how they ran their groups.


How often your group meetup?
We meet once a quarter and meet for some ad hoc meetings like the Dreamforce Outpost, Lightning World Tour, our next ad hoc is Lightning in a Box on July 12th. 


How long have been the group established?
The group was founded in 2013 by Bartley Doyle my co-leader, but I didn’t find it until 2015 when I was looking to meet others who worked with Salesforce.


How big is your user group member, and the average number of members attended the meetup? 
We have over 400 on the Communities Group however for the meet ups the numbers vary depending on the time of year we get a steady 30-40 people ranging from Admins to Devs, business users, and new customers. 


What have you learned as group leader?
There is no shortage of help and Ideas from the community and it is important to get feedback from the members and act on the feedback!


What do you love being User Group leaders?
I love getting to talk to the #Ohana and help others – our user group meeting last night I did an unplanned presentation on Trailhead as we had 2 customers who were new to Salesforce and asking where can they get training. Being able to connect people to the wider #Ohana also makes me so happy! 

I experienced impostor syndrome (http://www.mostlycloud.com/blog/how-trailhead-helped-me-tell-my-doubters-i-know-what-im-doing) early in my career and didn’t have the support of the community as I didn’t know it was there, what really motivates me is making sure every salesforce user in Ireland has a place they can come and get advice.


What do the challenges do you face a User Group leader and how to overcome it?
Trying to get speakers and picking relevant topics for a wide section of people can be tough – if anyone reading this wants to talk at our next meet up just let me know!


Tell us what is unique and special about Ireland User Group
We don’t just talk about releases or new products we talk about actual problems we have faced and how we have solved them – you’d be surprised how many people say, “I had a similar issue and now I know how I can solve it”.


Share with us some tips that make your User Group a success
I think it is the same for all user groups! Swag! The Salesforce Community Loves Swag!


What would like to see your User Group in the future? 
I really would love to see more users attending and maybe some people from Salesforce America come over to Ireland and present to us!


One last thing you would like to share with the community
The Community is amazing I have never seen a community so close even when not close geographically! I have met some of my best friends on the community and know everyone has my back – it’s a fantastic feeling.
















Simplysfdc Comment: wow OhanaCoffee, Surf Force - seems like you have all the cool stuff and fun of the community. But, only for people from Salesforce America? come on, we are #Ohana, not just America, kidding ;)

Anyway, I love the photos with Ireland flag, they definitely awesome!






Thursday, June 1, 2017

Simon Gascoigne - Sydney Salesforce User Group


This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

I would like to introduce our first champion from Southern Hemisphere Simon Gascoigne, co-leaders of Sydney Salesforce User Group from Australia.




Hello Simon, tell us something about yourself, which User Group you lead, and how many co-leaders in your group?
I have been involved with Salesforce for over 10 years both as a customer and more recently a partner. I co-lead the Sydney Salesforce User group along with 3 other co-leaders.


How do you become User Group leader, and what make you interested in accepting the role as a User Group leader?
In 2015, I was asked to take part in a rebooting of the user group by Salesforce MVP Peter Chalmers. As an active member of the community for many years, I was keen to give back. Very early in my Salesforce journey, I was lucky enough to spend time with fellow customers at several events (pre-dating the user group program we now know). 
The openness and willingness to help of attendees at these meetings really sold me on Salesforce as the place to be. I am really keen to bring that to everyone. We now have a word to put on it, our Ohana.


I heard something about ‘Down Under Dreaming’ in Sydney, what is that and can you share with us?
We had been watching with interest as Mid West Dreamin' and the events that followed around the world like London Calling caught fire. We are really keen to bring a community led Salesforce event to Sydney. 
We are excited to be hosting our event at Taronga Zoo overlooking iconic Sydney Harbour. We are putting together an amazing agenda and are thrilled that Erica Kuhl and Peter Coffee will be joining us. Early bird tickets are now on sale! http://www.downunderdreaming.com/




How often your group meetup? And how long it have been established?
One of the things we wanted to achieve when we rebooted the user group was regular meetings, so we have a meeting monthly. The roots of the user group go back many years but in it's current rebooted from is around one year. 


How big is your user group member, meaning the number of members attend for the meetup?
Depending on the meeting we normally have 50-200 attendees. 


What do you love being a User Group leader?
The people, our Ohana are very special. Someone saying they found value in a session is all we need to hear to know it's worth it.


Any challenges to run User Group and how to overcome it as a leader?
Finding suitable spaces for the size of our group can be very challenging. We just do our best to come up with different solutions.


Tell us something unique about your group
We were very proud at our end of year celebrations last year that we were able to raise 10,000 AUD for charity. This was due to the generosity of our sponsors and members. To have over 400 people attending was impressive in itself, but seeing the money raised was truly inspiring.


Share us tips that make your User Group success
As mentioned before meeting regularly, working to get engaging speakers and varied topics. Not being afraid to ask for things! We are fortunate to have had some amazing speakers from Salesforce come to our user group because we asked.


What would like to see your group in the future?
We would like to explore chapters that cover verticals in more details as part of the User Group. For example, Financial Services. Allowing those members to meet as well during the year to focus on their vertical while still being part of the main group. Also to look at Satellite groups in Greater Sydney.


One last thing you would like to share with the community
Please get involved with the community, I guarantee you will get out more than you put in! Be it online in the Success Community, on Twitter, at you local User Group meeting or by joining us in Sydney for Down Under Dreaming on Aug 29th! 














Simplysfdc comment: it is really awesome you guys able to raise AUD 10,000 for charity. But, seems like you guys party more then Trailhead sessions, I kid :)

Hope the first Down Under Dreaming in the next few months will succeed and benefits for the community.