Running a user group was not in my thoughts prior to 2011. I joined Orlando PHP Dec 2010, but there was an hour commute. Then Daytona PHP started back up, and I was thrilled. Except they had 1 meeting and fell apart.
I planned on starting Daytona PHP on my own, but due to waiting for the OK from my then employer to use their conference room and then deciding to move to California, I put that idea to rest.
I started looking for a PHP Group in San Diego and was surprised to see that one did not exist. It became my goal to start it up (well start it up again, there used to be one). I had everything in place before I even moved.
Running a user group has to be one of the most satisfying experiences I have had in a long time. The people are great, and I have been very lucky to find members that want to be part of my team and co-organize. I was lucky to find a host that would provide space and pizza for the group.
We have had 3 meetups so far, and there have been a few regulars, which tells me something is going right.