Sometimes when you start an activity it all starts with an gut feeling. From the results on the last Azure Meetup in August my personal takeaway has been like “hm… there is some audience looking for input on Office 365, but no one listens.”.
In the meantime I learned that there is several activity about Office 365 in general, but it’s still looking to me like no common meetup activity is happening in Hamburg, Germany. So I did this little survey to get a first impression if there really is no need and no request on doing that. The results really suprised me in some way. But let’s have a look on the results before interpreting them.
This survey does not mean to be representative; on the other hand, the result shown here comes from 192 participants that answered my questionaire. If these answers are not fake we should at least give it a chance.
is there a need for a cross-topic meetup?
I set-up a Microsoft Forms survey to get more information about that. The main conclusion at that point is to me, that noone answered the question “do we need a an Office 365 Meetup here in Hamburg” with a no as well as there was no answer like it depends on what your talks are about. When I put this question to the questionaire, I expected that “it depends” could be the answer of your choice as Office 365 contains so many applications. I don’t think that you will participate to a meetup that shows you more tipps and tricks for Excel or Word.
Obviously this is not what comes to your mind when you think about an Office 365 meetup. So I understand it’s worth to give it a try if I can find some sponsor for rooms, drinks and food, and great speakers to have good talks about Office 365 applications and related topics.
what is your preferred meetup frequency?
Currently I’m joining a lot of meetups because of my personal interest in many topics about the cloud, current Microsoft-based technologies and other current upcoming developments within the IT landscape. Some meetups like the Azure Meetup or C# / .NET usergroup meet on a really high frequency (monthly) compared to other meetups. But I also see no lack of understanding for an application-based meetup that occurs quarterly, like they do in the Skype for Business User Group.
This is why I asked you about your preferred meetup frequency. It looks like the vast majority preferred a quarterly frequency (orange) for that meetup. I need to think about that to get some kind of 3-month-windup work when I’d like to takeover a strategy from the Azure Meetup which summarizes some major news of what happened since the last meetup. Not sure what is the message here. For a first start, we should handle different meetups different with no connection from the one to the next meetup. What do you think?
The next question I asked is about a self-assessment. Most of you are currently working for an IT service provider, as an IT Consultant, a software developer or something else with an IT background (blue, about 60%). This is somewhat expected in the way that you need to move as fast as the Office 365 products are updated; so I feel you need the most updates on the products, concepts and challenges based on your own experience. Maybe you also need to learn from others about procedures and processes to satisfy your customers needs. And yes, there also may be some additional help required on how to interact with Microsoft, as some of the partner models don’t seem to be pretty easy to adopt for a partner?
My personal feeling is that we have the need to address some talks with technical guidance as well as some stuff on how your experience on working as a Microsoft partner is. Learn from experience is not only a good choice for the technical details.
Your personal level of experience
Now that we found out about what we should plan our talks content for, we still need to learn more about the level of personal experience in our potential audience. So once again I asked you about your average experience level with Office 365 applications. Once again, about 60 percent answered taht they are already technical experts (green) with Office 365. the next 30 percent answered that they are power users. The rest wants to learn more about Office 365, but does not classify themselves to be a power user or above.
When looking at the results I learned that I need a more precisely picture about developers and operations in my audience, so I would learn if this is about the functionalities and deep knowledge on Office 365 as a consumer or if it could be more interesting to provide more input on how to build your own products with Office 365 from a software developers perspective. After a few more talk to my friends in the community, I’m still not sure what this leads to. I appreciate if you tell me your thoughts.
Resumee – what does this lead to?
At this phase my primary concern is to let you know about the results, so we can start talking about that when we meet next time somewhere in a meetup break. At a first glance it looks like it’s worth to give it a try to start an Office 365 meetup in Hamburg?
Currently I’m checking if we have some speakers, topics and rooms, so we can have an initial meetup in later October or early November for a trial balloon.
If you feel you can deliver a good talk about some application like Teams, Exchange, some of the Sharepoint-based applications, security, software development, etc., let me know.