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How to organise a local user group


Tips for hosting a local user group

Part of my previous global role as Customer Community Manager involves organising and hosting four International User teams meeting each year for both the APAC (Asia-Pacific) and EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) regions.

I’ve noticed we have lots of clients interested in attending both International User teams meeting and local User Groups as well.

Local User Groups are a great networking opportunity and the perfect way to get to know the other Oliver v5 Users in your local area. Local User Groups are organised by the users themselves, but Softlink is happy to help out in any way we can.

Would you like to organise a User Group in your local area? Don’t worry if it’s something you’ve never done before - as you’ll see, it isn’t hard to do. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

At least one month prior to the User Group

  • Decide on a time and date for your User Group.
  • Contact Softlink Marketing and ask them to send an email to the Oliver v5 users in your local area. You will need to provide the following information:
    1. Time, date and venue of the User Group
    2. Name and email address of the person collecting RSVPs
    3. Due date for agenda items (at least one week prior to the User Group)
    4. RSVP date (usually 2-3 days prior to the User Group for catering purposes)
  • Book a school meeting room or organise for the library to be closed so you won’t be interrupted during the User Group. The room should have access to a data projector, internet connection and speaker phone, as well as tea/coffee facilities.
  • Depending on your school, you may need to ask your senior admin staff for permission to host the User Group.

At least two weeks prior to the User Group

  • Contact the Softlink Support Team in your region and request they be available to answer questions:
    1. You will need to provide the time and date of your User Group.
    2. You will need to provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice so that Softlink can make sure a team member will be available to answer questions during your User Group (this can be either via phone or teams meeting).

At least one week prior to the User Group

  • Compile the agenda items and provide them to the Softlink Support Team.
  • Softlink Support will send a teams meeting invitation and instructions for connecting with your dedicated Support Analyst on the day.
  • Test the teams meeting software (as per the instructions sent by Softlink)
  • Send a confirmation email to everyone who has RSVP’d. You should provide them with:
    1. A reminder of the time, date and venue for the User Group
    2. Parking Instructions
    3. Sign-in instructions
    4. Agenda

The day prior to the User Group

  • Buy some biscuits for afternoon/morning tea
  • Notify the school admin staff that visitors will be arriving.
  • Create signage providing directions or organise several students to provide directions to the library/meeting room.

At the User Group Meeting

  • Spend a few minutes getting to know each other. Encourage attendees to get involved and share experiences.
  • Encourage the more experienced Oliver v5 users to offer assistance to new users.
  • If the Softlink Support Team are assisting, follow the teams meeting login instructions they have provided.
  • The Support Team will be available via phone or teams meeting 30 minutes after the User Group has started. This will allow the group time to get settled and grab a cup of tea and a biscuit.
  • Take notes so you can share them with the group.
  • Have fun!

Contact Details:

Softlink Support email for Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia – support@softlinkint.com

Softlink Support email for the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East and Africa – support@softlink.co.uk

Softlink Marketing email - marketing@softlinkint.com

Susan Gan, Past Softlink Education Customer Community Manager