How to start an Adobe User Group. Julio de Puigdorfila shares how

Ever wondered if you can tell if someone is genuine and ethical in the work they do? 

You can usually tell by the volunteer work they're involved in and the way they talk about the lessons their  parents taught them.

Julio and I (Adam Broadway), had the chance to talk recently about his life lessons growing up and also the process he went through setting up the first Adobe Business Catalyst User Group in Puerto Rico.

Listen here:

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

Listen and read this interview in Español

Starting our BC User Group.

How to by Julio de Puigdorfila -

Why I Created a Adobe BC User Group

My business partner, Scott B. Reynolds, has been an Adobe User Group Manager for years and currently runs the the Hartford Adobe User Group. He has created a place for web professionals to learn, network, and exchange ideas. I thought it was such a great community resource, that I decided to do the same thing for Business Catalyst in Puerto Rico.

There are specific things I needed to do to get started. Adobe first had to approve the group as an official BC User Group.  I contacted Aaron Houston, Community Manager for North America.  Scott already had a working relationship with Aaron, and introduced us.  I met up with Aaron at AdobeMax and talked to him about the idea.  He told me that to be certified as an official BC User Group by Adobe I had to meet a set of requirements, I had to:

1. Secure a venue

I wanted to secure a safe and professional venue with ample room and a projector.  I approached the local office of New Horizons Learning Center and asked them if we could use their facilities after hours to host our group meetings. They said that we could and since it was after hours it would be free of charge.  You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help you if you only ask.  

2. Recruit members

I set up a site and invited all of my friends and professional contacts I thought would benefit from this type of community.  We had 7 people in our first meeting and had 14 confirmed for our second.  Recruiting people to start a group can be hard work; you have to motivate people to take time out of their busy days to come and listen to you.  With every meeting though, recruitment becomes easier, your group members become convinced of the value the group provides and they themselves begin to recruit more members.

3. Apply for Adobe User Group (AUG) status

This is very straight forward, your Community Manager walks you through this step.

4. 30 Day Trial in AUG Program

During this Trial Period, all you need to do is keep your Community Manager apprised of your efforts.  Let them know about your preparations for your meetings; tell them how your recruitment efforts are going; show them that you are proactive and committed to creating a solid User Group.

5. Fill out the AUG Info Form

Again, a straightforward step that your Community Manager can help you with.

6. Hold 1st Meeting

This is the most exiting part - it’s what all of your hard work leads up to.  During my Group’s first meeting I went over our group objectives and asked for topic suggestions from our members.   The group was very motivated and it really was a great experience.

7. Contact Adobe Community Manager about meeting

In my case I wrote a short e-mail to Aaron Houston and summarized how the meeting went (it went great!).  I let him know how many people came, what we talked about, and what our goals were for our next meeting.

After the end of your trial period, if you’ve completed all the steps, you are confirmed as an official AdobeBC User Group.

After Approval

Running a group requires a good deal of work and it’s real commitment.  As most things that are difficult to do, the rewards are many.  In life you get what you give, and sharing your knowledge is great way of giving.  

Good Reasons To Start A Group

This type of group benefits everyone. Both web professionals and business owners learn and discuss how Business Catalyst can help accomplish their goals more efficiently.  And, you get to improve your public speaking, make new contacts, and continue to develop BC skills.

A Bad Reason To Start A User Group

Business opportunities might be a serendipitous byproduct, but shouldn’t be your principal motivation. The minute you start thinking about personal profit, the entire feel of the group goes out the window.  People will pick up on your intentions and they will stop going.   It’s important that you keep a generous and altruistic attitude towards your work with the User Group.  You get what you give, so just trust that good things will happen.


Reach out to Julio and Scott at: Adobe Business Catalyst User Group in Puerto Rico.

In Adam's last Blog Post:

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