During the 1990s, I spent ample time at local user groups focused on Windows NT, Mac OS, NetWare and even IBM's OS/2. Now, that old local user group model is getting new life in the managed services market. Here's how.
In addition to national and global MSP conferences, regional MSP events are popping up all over the place. For instance, N-able showcased one of its MSP Elite Partners at a recent event in Philadelphia. And companies like ConnectWise are connecting the dots between (A) regional meetings (B) newly formed local user groups.
According to a press release that hit the wires this week:
ConnectWise recently launched a series of regional user groups across North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. The highly interactive two-day events expand on ConnectWise's commitment to create a partner community where solution providers can improve their companies through business education and best practices.Translation: Successful and aspiring MSPs want local peer interaction, and vendors are trying to assist that effort.
For user groups to thrive, they need engaged audiences who are committed to some sort of industry change or movement. They need commonality and critical mass. The best user groups push far beyond technology and dive deep into business. And the user groups jump back-and-forth between face-to-face and online forums.
In a year or two, I suspect MSP user groups will take on a life of their own. MSP software companies won't need to aggressively organize or promote regional user group meetings. The users will gather on their own -- face-to-face and online. Google Maps will drive users to their local groups.
And one other thing: The success (or failure) or regional user groups will directly correlate to the success or failure of the MSP software providers themselves.
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