on 03-20-2017 12:06 PM
Hi Users Groups Leaders! I am hoping to get your personal feedback on why you decided to be a leader for a users group.
What personally drives you to volunteer for this position? For example, do you get personal satisfaction in helping someone learn something new?
If you don't feel comfortable commenting on this thread, feel free to email me your responses.
Thank you for all your time and effort to make users groups successful!
on 03-20-2017 12:28 PM
I help with an in-house group. While SAS conference proceedings and the Communities forums are helpful, there are questions / problems / concerns specific to how SAS is installed here at work, and how SAS is used here. We have an Office 365 group with about 500 members. It's amazing to see how quickly most questions posted to the group get answered.
on 03-20-2017 12:56 PM
That's awesome @SuzanneDorinski!
I'd like to know what motivates you to take the time and effort to help with the in-house group versus just being a member of the group and attending meetings.
on 03-20-2017 03:43 PM
Yes, I get personal satisfaction in helping someone learn something new. In order to have a LUG someone has to help with the grunt work, so I'm glad to, sort of paying it forward.
on 03-20-2017 03:50 PM
Second that. I've learned a lot from conference papers, or from questions others have asked. I'm willing to help out where I can.
on 03-20-2017 04:00 PM
on 03-21-2017 10:54 AM
Thank you for giving your prespectives on this. It's nice to hear and see the underline theme being about paying it forward!
If anyone else would still like to give me their feedback, please feel free!!
on 03-21-2017 11:11 AM
I initially volunteered to serve as a section chair at PharmaSUG because it was the only way I could reliably guarantee that my then-employer would approve my trip to the conference. They felt the business case was stronger if I were presenting or otherwise involved in organizing the conference than if I were simply attending.
As I got more involved, I found I actually got more out of the conferences. In particular, the networking value skyrocketed. I had previously found it difficult to make meaningful connections as an (introverted) attendee. Working on the conference committee for PharmaSUG, MWSUG, and SAS Global Forum improved both the quantity and quality of the relationships being built.
When I began consulting independently about 5 years ago, having a strong and robust professional network became an absolute necessity. In fact, I don't know that I could have made the jump to independence without the connections I made through my involvement in SAS user groups. All of my work has come from word-of-mouth, but several of my best contracts (including my very first one) developed out of relationships forged while serving as a user group leader.
on 03-22-2017 08:39 AM
Here are some of my reasons:
I hope this helps.
on 03-23-2017 08:12 AM
I agree with many of the motivations that others have mentioned. But to be honest, I think the final motivation for me to join the BASUG Steering Committee was guilt.
Early in my career, I benefited tremendously from UG meetings (in particular NESUG and SUGI). I learned a ton about SAS, and the SAS community. That networking led to a job offer at an employer who encouraged me to contribute to meetings, and I learned just as much from presenting as I did as an attendee.
When NESUG folded a few years ago, it was a wake-up call for me. I realized I had been benefitting tremendously from the hard work of many many volunteers from the first "generation" of SAS programmers, many of whom were approaching retirement age. Other than participating iin online communities, I hadn't been giving much back to the SAS community. Having lost NESUG, I didn't want to risk losing BASUG as well. I benefited so much from UG meetings, thanks to those who came before me, I wanted to help those coming up now.