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 :)

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