User groups are one of the best avenues for meeting like-minded building and design professionals, networking, and learning new skills in BIM and CAD technology. However, aside from regularly attending meetings, are you making the most of your user group membership? Here are three things to try to help increase your participation and maximize your membership.
Sign up for a free AUGI account.
AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) is an independent organization that is recognized by Autodesk as the official Autodesk user community. Similar to other associations, AUGI provides many user benefits such as forum access, online learning resources, and connection to other users. With a free AUGI account, you also get a free subscription to the AUGIWorld publication, participation in surveys and feedback regarding Autodesk product changes, and access to their Career Center. AUGI is a great channel for learning about other user groups and best practices, as well as promoting your own group and sharing your experiences.
Get the scoop on new product releases.
One of the best ways to leverage your user group membership is by keeping on top of new product releases. With new Autodesk releases happening every year (and also minor updates occurring within the year), it’s hard to keep on top of all those changes. However, did you know that many user groups host their own “What’s New”-themed meeting during the May to August timeframe? These meetings usually feature a guest speaker from Autodesk (or one of its partners) who presents the highlights from the latest release—all within industry context.
Share your expertise and present at a meeting.
As the name implies, user groups are designed for and by users. So, one of the best ways to maximize your user group experience is to participate in this collective experience by presenting at a meeting. Many users often face the same challenges as you, and your real-world experience and solution may be more valuable than you think. Work with your user group hosts to brainstorm topics and get an idea of the expectations for a presentation.
What other user group best practice would you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments!