Earlier last year I had thought about starting up a SharePoint User Group in Hartford because there really wasn’t one already. There was a .NET developer’s group, but it really did not focus on SharePoint. After attending a Boston Area SharePoint User Group meeting, I started wondering just how much work it might be to run a successful user group. I ran across a blog post by Eric Harlan which really gave me a great foundation.

As part of my own desire to help give back to the SharePoint community I compiled a list of partners that have User Group programs which to be quite blunt – provide you with discounts, free stuff, evaluation copies of books, etc. Although the knowledge gained & beer afterward are fantastic – it really feels great providing additional educational opportunities to our members.

The list below is in no special order – all have been fantastic to work with and I really do thank their support of the community.

Pluralsight – http://www.pluralsight.com/training/community/sponsorships
Pluralsight hooks you up with up to 24 1-month free coupons to their expansive CBT library of awesomness. They also sent some t-shirts, pens, and random schwag.

O’Reilly – http://oreilly.com/ug/
O’Reilly lets you request up to 3 evaluation copies per month from their giant library of amazing books, and also gives you a discount code that you can share with your members.

APress – https://www.apress.com/index.php/gcalendar
APress allows you to request evaluation copies of their books.

Pakt Publishing – http://www.packtpub.com/user-groups-registration
Pakt also allows you to request evaluation copies of their books – they will also promote your user group on their website.

Wrox – http://www.wrox.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-311026.html
Wiley media allows you to request evaluation copies of books, they also provide special pricing for user group members/leaders.

Lynda.com – http://www.lynda.com/home/usergroup.aspx
They provide one free membership so that you can play some of their videos during one of your meetings and a discounted price to share with your members!

If anyone else has some more partners they’d like for me to add, please do so in the comments!