In February of this year I took a new job and we moved to Duluth, MN to be closer to my wife's family. One of the things that I'd noted while researching the area, was the presence of a well established meetup surrounding web development. I saw they had monthly meetings and a surprisingly a large number of members for the size of the local area. I also noted the absence of any formal meetup centered around the .NET technology stack. Having served for a short period on the board of the North Houston .NET User Group, I felt that the community could benefit from a similar organization.
At work I'd mentioned to a coworker the desire to start a .NET user group in the local area. I was directed toward another co-worker who was also wanting to formalize a group around .NET. After a few months of throwing ideas back and forth, we finally decided that the best way to get it off the ground was to set a date and have a meeting.
I tasked myself with setting up a basic web-site http://www.duluthdnug.org/, and putting our information out at http://www.meetup.com/Duluth-NET-User-Group/. It feels mildly redundant to do both, but we figured having a website couldn't hurt when it comes to the matter of obtaining sponsors. I did some research and found http://www.ineta.org/ which "maintained" a listing of .NET user groups. I say "maintained" because upon submitting our user group for listing, I was notified that INETA is dissolving. Bummer! Next step was to submit information about our group to all the companies I could find online that offer user group sponsorship, Jetbrains, APress, elastic, etc. Our workplace was gracious enough to provide a conference room for the meetup. With all that in place our group is official as it gets!
We are headed into our third meeting next month. Our first meeting had 6 people, our second had 10 and now the total group membership is 24 members. We look forward to growing the group within the next year!