Ping Identity User Groups are user driven, Ping supported. Sid Sidner our Community Evangelist and myself work hard to coordinate user group meetings to occur whenever, wherever and however our users want them to. The program is on its second year and has already grown to 10 cities with over 150 members. Ping has unique users which results in uniquely awesome user group meetings. Check out the top reasons to join one.
1) Learn something new: Ping staff (typically Regional Solutions Architects) are on hand at every meeting to present on topics requested by meeting attendees and to answer any deeply technical questions that arise. Though, the greatest resource may be the Ping users who are present. Often A-HA moments occur when one customer describes their Ping implementation and another customer realizes that the same implementation would benefit their company.
2) Networking: When it comes down to it, Identity and Access Management is a niche field. Ping User Groups are one of the few places that IAM professionals get together on a local level on such a regular basis. They are a hotspot for meeting industry peers who may turn into friends, mentors or maybe even co-workers.
3) Free swag: It wouldn't be a user group meeting without free stuff, right? Ping User Group meetings always offer some kind of free gadget. Last year it was a Ping red pedometer. You'll have to catch a meeting to get your hands on the latest and greatest piece of Ping swag.
4) A personal experience: Due to the nature of our products and because the Ping User Group program is still young, the meetings are cozy and personal. Average meeting attendance falls right around 10 people, which means you'll leave knowing everyone there.
5) Problem solving: Take advantage of the highly technical crowd that Ping User Groups attract by coming to the meetings with your most top-of-mind problems. Those problems that you and your team have been pondering for weeks can possibly be solved in a matter of minutes with the joint brain power of the users in attendance and Ping staff.
6) Be heard: Ping staff are not only present to answer your questions, they're also there to listen closely to everything you say. We take copious notes at each meeting that are brought back and broadcast to the people who need to hear them. Your suggestions will be heard!
7) It's fun: As is true with all Ping events, Ping User Groups are a good time. The meetings are hosted wherever our users please, typically a bar or restaurant or corporate venue with a casual atmosphere. Mix that with a group of smart fun people and you get a worthwhile event.
If you're interested in joining a Ping User Group, check out our current directory. If you're interested in becoming a User Group leader or in starting a group in your area contact Ping Community Evangelist, Sid Sidner (firstname.lastname@example.org).