It started around 5-ish years ago when I was searching for a group that shared common interests as me, but no matter what I could not find anything related to Azure here in Iceland. 2-ish years ago I then figured again if there was some group available here in Iceland that was related to Azure, but the only thing I could find and be very active was the SQL group and VMWare group but no Azure, so I decided to just create one. Well, it was not the best decision because I was also in University trying to finish my BSc degree and also working full time. Anyhow a year ago I created the Facebook group and started my first steps in creating the Azure User group with Microsoft in Iceland where they sponsored the conference room, meals, and beers.
After the first meetup, I sent out an advertisement that who would be willing to help me with this group, I got a great response and had 8 members on the Azure User Group board, but still, only two were active so I decided to compress the group to only two, but more were interested and willing to provide their time to help with the group so I decided to add two more and was a good choice.
Now we have been active for almost 1 1/2-ish year and have had two MVPs come to Iceland to have a lecture and many more having lectures remotely. We have meetups every month and on average we have 30 people attending, which is great because most of the guys who I have talked to that are apart of user groups in other countries they say that 30 people is a lot, I’m not sure how many people come to meetups in other countries, but we have also streaming for people who cannot come and we have at least 20 persons viewing the stream at the time of the event.
I sent messages to companies in Iceland if they want to be apart of the meetup and sponsor the event. We have gotten nothing but a positive response and every time they sponsor both conference rooms, equipment to stream the event and also give us something to eat and drink. In return, they have a 15-minute window where they have a sponsor message.
We have the next two months planed and one of them is planed as a woman only lecturers, where all the time the lecturers are men and we wanted some equality in the group where women can also shine with their knowledge and wisdom. It is very hard to get Azure women speakers in Iceland or even globally so if you know one please let me know.
So what is the group about anyhow? Well, the main focus of the group is to provide information about Azure technologies and how companies can use this technology, but also teach and give ideas to it admins and developers who share interests in cloud technology.