I'm having a very difficult time finding a place to have a user group meeting that doesn't cost a fortune. The hotel meeting rooms are out because they won't let us bring in food. The lowest quote I've received so far was about $1100 for 35 people. We've got close to 75 members. I've requested the membership to ask their businesses to host that has gone nowhere.
The other issue is that the two local VARs so hate each that it makes using them as a resource out of the question. I don't have the money to afford to do this on my own and I don't think asking for dues is an option.
This is not a problem with Autodesk user groups because they are run by the VARs and I hate to say it but, they're better at running them.