User groups and events in your region?


meeting1.jpg My blog post about Access user groups and events had almost 1000 visits in the first week. That's fine but I would be interested in some discussion and information from YOU:


Are there Access user groups or events in your region?
Do you visit them? If not, why?
How isolated are you as Access user/developer?
If there's nothing - How can we help you to establish sth?


Community building with Access isn't as easy as with, let's say, SQL Server, PowerBI or Azure that get new features every day, PR, support, IT budgets... However, many Access people are tenacious. So here is the situation in the German speaking countries:


A couple of regional user groups, mostly called "Stammtisch", which means a group of regulars meeting in a restaurant. Some are frequent and well organized with a 5-15 attendees per meeting and up to 30 people at their annual presentation events. Others have fallen asleep with very few meetings and attendees or even have ceased to exist.

There are also two virtual developer groups with occasional offline meetings.

As bigger annual events we have the German Access developers conference AEK and the Access DevCon Vienna. Both mentioned and linked in the blog post.


And now I hope to hear about your user groups and events.
Even if there's nothing in your region, it would be good to know as there is a lack of communication in the worldwide Access community.


The ever curious


4 Replies

There is a regular Access „Stammtisch“ in my area. - Big shout out to Martin Asal for relentlessly organizing it for 17 years now!

However, I rarely attend in recent years because...

  • It’s hard to get to by public transport. (I live in metropolitan area and have hardly any need for a car except to get to this meeting.)
  • There is no agenda for the meetings. If someone brings up an interesting topic, that’s great if not, there is just small talk and spontaneous discussions, which might or might not be interesting.

So, I conclude these tips for the aspiring user group founder…

  1. Set a schedule and stick to it. It’s ok to change it if there is evidence that this would suit more people, but do so rarely and announce it well in advance.
  2. Find a suitable location that is easy to reach for most people. If you decide on a café/bar/restaurant make sure it’s not too noisy. Ideally you can find one where you can use a separate room for you meeting. - Same rules apply to changing it as for the schedule.
  3. Try to set and announce an agenda for every meeting, even if is tiny. A short presentation, a topic for discussion, whatever comes to mind. This is an additional incentive to attend. Nevertheless, leave room for open discussion and spontaneous topics. You’ll probably be the one preparing that for the first couple of times.

Hi Phil,

yep, suitable location and announcing the next agenda are important points!

I could have written more about "details" like this in the blog article. However just with the basics it's been already too long for a blog post that I fear, not all visitors will read through completely. ;)


Karl, I guess the cause for people not reading the post is not its length. It’s rather that it deals with two separate topics directed to completely different audiences.


The vast majority of readers will be interested in finding out about an existing AUG or event, not starting their own. For them a list of the most important events and tips on how to find more local events and groups is important. – Mainly Tip 8 from your post, and only bits and pieces of the rest.


The other, much smaller, segment of your audience is people who actually consider starting a new group themselves. (Some people might transition from the first segment to this one after not finding an existing group.) For these people your post cannot be long enough. If they consider such an undertaking, they will be hungry for any information and advice they can get.

No, Phil, the target audience is (almost) one and only. My intentions:


Tip 2 is about doing a web search etc. to find a group. If people really find a good one, they attend, are happy, don't need much further advise, maybe the list of bigger events that follows later. The article was just a little incentive.


However, there are by far not enough Access user groups and events in the world. The vast majority will not find sth (or not sth that is really alive). That's why most of the article is about setting up or reviving, organizing and maintaining.


Certainly for all this the text is not long enough, due to the nature and format of a blog that I'm already stressing. Therefore tip 9 links Jono's paper of another 35 pages. That again is just an excerpt of his 500 pages book about community building.


Luckily, to avoid such a heavy necessity I conclude with tip 10 about support and advice here. :)