Happy Birthday, Office 365 User Group in Hamburg

Do you remember what you did last …. in August 2017? I know, because I joined the Azure Meetup Hamburg Open Space on August 15th.
And there it was – that magic moment, when Björn told us: I won’t care for Office 365 topics at Azure Meetup as Azure is so big that we really have enough stuff to talk about with the Azure Cloud.

At the same evening I started that magic survey that made me register the Office 365 User Group in Hamburg at meetup.com. But this part of the story is something I already told you last year.

What happened in 2019? Where are we heading to?

This anniversary made me review last years article, you can still find it at http://themigrationwizard.com/one-year-of-office-365-user-group-hamburg/ . Let’s check some key facts

  • in 2018, year 1, we had 190 members. Today this community has 387 members, about 103 percent increased. Sounds good, yeah!
  • In average, more than 48 attendees joined our meetup events. This is a fact that is really great for me as an organizer, as we also have an average no show rate at less than 5 percent (!).
    Just as a comparison: SharePoint Saturday Bremen, one large conference near to Hamburg, has  about 95 attendees (once a year)
  • originally, we designed that meetup for one evening per quarter, as we were afraid to have no session offers. During the last year we did 8 events (not included the meetup at August 29th), so are near to a meetup every month. And it does not seem to bother our members, as they are getting more and more active. Awesome!
  • did I mention that an average of 48 attendees means that 13% of our community members are active each meetup? I looked at the member rates in other cities mentioned at office365hero.de and found that this is really a great rate as well
  • I’m really proud that we are really successfull with our inclusin activity. We don’t care if you’re male or female and I think it’s really great that, analysing the attendees list at meetup, we have an average of 15 women per meetup. Our sponsors care for rooms that have no barriers for people with disabilities and we even had the first english sessions during the last year. But this is something we still need to improve.
  • In 2018, I’m really proud that we ran our first Office 365 Developer Bootcamp. Tschacka!

All of that is really cool stuff that I’m really proud of. You rock, Community!

Please give credits to our sponsors

As an organizer of the Office 365 User Group in Hamburg you’re really blessed, as there is currently no problem to find sponsors. This is a fact that I’m really proud of, as rooms, food and beverage is really expensive.

I’d like to emphasize the commitment of Thinformatics and EOS Technology solutions at this point. Each of them supported us with 2 evenings, including room sponsoring, food and beverage. But we also do not forget the other sponsors, like

  • Otto Group, rooms and beverage
  • PHAT Consulting, rooms,food and beverage
  • Microsoft Germany, rooms and beverage
  • Bechtle IT-Systemhaus Hamburg, food sponsoring (2x!)
  • Nordakademie Elmshorn, rooms,food and beverage
  • The Migration Wizard, food (2x), meetup fees (2x)
  • Kramer & Crew GmbH, Cologne, meetup fees
  • Clemens von Blücher, give aways

Please give credits to them! Allow us to continue with sponsor slots, as they and their employees all worked hard to pay the costs for our meetups. They did pay the costs of avg 800-1000 EUR per evening, so we can make the Office 365 User Group meetups and events as a free event for you. Never forget who made that possible! This is why I wanted to mention that even before I mention our speakers.

Please say thank you, go to their boxes and talk to them.

Please give credits to our speakers

When I started the meetup I was really afraid. Will someone join us? How and from whom can we get sessions? I couldn’t imagine that speakers will travel to Hamburg from anywhere in Germany just to run a session at our meetup, and I was prepared to do a lot of sessions by myself. The good thing is that there never has been an issue with sessions, and the bad fact for me is that it’s hard to get a slot in my own user group.

I really want to say “Thank You!” to all that speakers who traveled to Hamburg to spent an evening with us. I feel really blessed that you cme to our community to share your experience and knowledge with us. While I want to thank all of them, there is two people who I was really glad to have in a more than special way

  • Ragnar Heil – last year in August, Ragnar did a session on WOL. The reason why I really want to emphasize is that Ragnar, back in the times when he worked at Microsoft, really pushed this community during the startup phase. So he is one of the pushers who made all of this grow
  • Sara Barbosa – this year in April, Sara joined us for a talk on Microsoft Flow and no-code automation with Office 365. This was the first session in english and gave a special push to our members list now that others recognized that we are not limited to sessions in german. Thank you Sara for breaking away that border.

Every Speaker gave a special taste to the evening. I cant tell you how lucky we as organizers are for the fact that you offered your session free for all who joined the meetup. In addition, a Thank You also goes to

  • Luise Freese
  • Mel Hessler
  • Michael Roth
  • Raphael Köllner
  • Clemens von Blücher
  • Marcus Etzel
  • Christopher Brumm
  • Andreas Schlüter
  • Thomas Stensitzki
  • Benjamin Konrad
  • Andre Schmidt
  • Martin Gudel

for offering their session to us, tarveling to Hamburg and presenting to our community. You rock, guys and girls!

Future prospects

Of course, looking for sponsors is one of the main thing. We are always glad if you can make an offer on rooms, food and beverage. With regard to rooms, we really want to increase the number of attendees, so we’re primarely looking for 50-70 seats with a presentation unit (beamer/display) in Hamburg City, between Burgstrasse and Altona, preferably inside Ring 2. The reason for taht is that we have more and more people from outside Hamburg, so we want to take care for a good connection via Hauptbahnhof so people can get back home safe.

Now as this is year three, we also are looking for sponsors for meetup stickers (about 100 EUR), one shot of community T-Shirts (less than 500 EUR) etc. so we can present us a little bit more with a touch of Office 365 nerds.

We still try to get closer to other Microsoft Cloud-related communities in Hamburg.

And I’m still always looking for speakers from tool vendors that can be used for migration, management, support (there are rumors that the headset sidenote by Marcus Etzel from HanseVision was really appreciated now that many plan to start using Teams as their phone), so technical talks about that are definitely worth offering them.

I really appreciate if you may visit us at one of the next meetups and I cannot wait for Meetup #13 next week.

See you soon! Take care!