The Anaplan Community exists to connect individuals to each other and to provide access to the knowledge, experts, and resources they need for the Anaplan platform and all things related to connected planning.
One of the key ways we do this is through our User Group Meetups and their accompanying virtual spaces.
Meetups are the backbone of Anaplan's User Groups. These in-person events occur periodically throughout the year, hosted by customers in cities around the world. Each meetup provides the opportunity for deep-dive discussions, customer stories, Q&As, and social happy hours with other Anaplanners. Attendees can also expect to see demos of new platform features or exclusive peeks at the future of Anaplan during a roadmap presentation.
Some of our User Group Leaders (usually members of Anaplan's Customer Success team) have shared their tips for first-time attendees. Eliot Offutt, who leads our Chicago group, said, "Feel free to bring your Anaplan successes and challenges to the group! You will find real-world insights and ideas from other customers in your area to help address challenges and they will love to hear about your success."
Ryan Kohn (Toronto) added, "Don’t just talk to the people from your organization! One of the best parts about these events is the ability to meet other Anaplanners and learn about what they are doing on the Anaplan platform."
"User Group Meetups are a safe place to ask questions, share opinions, learn, and network," says Jonathan Etkin (New York). "They are not sales events; they exist to increase customer-to-customer communication, as well as customer-to-Anaplan communication. Participate! More dialogue leads to a superior Anaplan platform for all."
Among respondents to our post-event surveys, nearly 96% of past meetup attendees say they found the events useful and 98% plan to attend the next event! Anaplan customers have hosted more than 30 of these meetups in 2018, and we plan to double that number in 2019.
Be sure to continue the conversation before and after a meetup in one of the virtual User Group spaces on the Anaplan Community. We currently offer 24 different region-based discussion boards, and the list is growing; we've added eight new groups in 2018 and more are on the way. Each provides a dedicated forum for members to network, share resources, and interact about their planning challenges and victories.
Texas User Group Leader Vicky Ascencio shared about the kind of support she sees occurring in these spaces: "Don't be afraid to come with questions or want to talk something through with fellow Anaplanners. People love to help and hear what others are doing." These spaces are the perfect spots to ask your fellow Anaplanners for advice or even arrange an offline coffee chat to network or talk shop.
Dora Varhaniovschi (Benelux) emphasizes that User Groups are "for users by users. It’s a platform for them to bring forward content that they feel needs attention. It can be anything from a project they’ve completed and feel very proud of or something they are stuck at and would like tips and tricks from outside.”
Now is an exciting time to be a part of a User Group. If you haven't yet joined one, it's easy to do so. Just visit our User Groups page, click on the one nearest you, and click Join the group. Use the Start a topic button to introduce yourself and initiate a conversation with other group members. If you don't see a group that's located conveniently close to you, use our form to request a new group in your region so we can work to establish one.
As with most things, what you get out of a User Group depends a lot on what you put into it. Bhavik Vashi, leader of multiple User Groups in the Asia Pacific region, says, "Joining a User Group, and ensuring you get the most out of it, is all about intent and engagement. If you are very clear with your peers about what you’re looking to get out of the Community and you can commit a certain (realistic) level of participation and contribution to the group, there is a high chance that you will love being a part of a User Group and derive a ton of value from it!"
Be sure to check our list of upcoming meetups and make plans to attend if there's one happening near you. If you would like more information or have any questions about User Groups, please leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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