Thursday, January 16, 2014

Do you Microsoft User Group or Event? Microsoft has got something for you (as in free stuff, food/venue sponsorship and more)...

Jerry Nixon - It’s all free! Here’s $500 for your user group, and all the swag you want, and free Facebook advertising. No catch.

Microsoft has a kind of love affair with its developer community. As a result, the Microsoft developer community worldwide is the largest and most cohesive community you could imagine. It was Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, who said, “Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers!”. That set the tone for the importance of and relationship with developers to Microsoft.


Microsoft Technical Community

The ways in which Microsoft supports local communities has varied through the years. Today, it’s 100% through technical communities (MSTC) and your local developer evangelist. MSTC is a site where community leaders can “register” their community group and schedule their monthly or special events. MSTC rewards community events with $250 sponsorships (twice a year), gobs of swag (for every event), and Facebook or LinkedIn marketing (for every event) – all 100% free. This sort of lush support helps simplify any community leader’s plate of work. If you aren’t using MSTC, you’re missing out.

Link to


NOTE: MSTC is not just for Microsoft user groups. It is for any user group that has an event or two discussing Microsoft tech like Windows or Visual Studio. Even groups that may only have a single Microsoft-oriented event in the whole year. MSTC is for you.

The MSTC Guide

There is no cost and no “catch” to MSTC. We’ve put it in place as a way to help leaders get the support that makes them more successful. Having said that, sometimes specialty web sites can be confusing to use at first. But I don’t want that to be a barrier for any community. As a result, I have put together a step-by-step guide in the form of a PowerPoint deck. I have attached it below along with some of the common questions around each step of the process. After today, there is no excuse – you should be leveraging MSTC for your group.

Let me sell you

MSTC has the concept of a qualified event. It means you host an event talking about Microsoft products like Windows and Visual Studio. Twice a year, you can request a $250 sponsorship for a qualified event. For every qualified event you can request $100 of LinkedIn or Facebook marketing. And, for every qualified event you get 50 “points” that you can spend in the swag catalog – which has books, pens, shirts, mice, keyboards, and even the Surface Pro. 


Let’s add that up for a typical Meet Up. Two sponsored events is $500 a year in money for venue, food, speaker cost, or whatever. $100 in advertising each month is $1,200 in annual advertising benefits. Then if points are worth about $.50 – which might be close – then that’s $25 per event or $200 in swag all year through. Add it together and it’s nearly $1,900 for your local, community group. And what does MSTC ask in return? Just register your event in their calendar – and in return your event will show up in the official MSDN, too. All for free.

  1. $250 food/venue sponsorship for any event 2X a year
  2. $100 Facebook/LinkedIn marketing for each event
  3. 50 swag points for each event & the swag catalog

In addition, MSTC typically has a special event or sweepstakes of some kind your group can take advantage of to earn money prizes or bonus swag points. Right now, MSTC is running the APPortunity Sweepstakes: “Publish a new Windows 8 or Windows Phone app, then enter the sweepstakes for monthly cash prize drawing of $1,000.”

No such thing as a free lunch

The reason there is no such thing as a free lunch is because, in the end, someone has to pay for every lunch. In the case of the MSTC lunch, you aren’t he person paying, Microsoft is. As long as your event is Microsoft-focused, then you are good to go. ...

If you're running a Microsoft related/focused/etc user group seems silly to pass this up!

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