On the PHPClasses.org blog today there's a new post from Manuel Lemos looking at user groups - how to keep them alive and what you can do to rekindle a faltering group.
PHP was spread by its users. Over time PHP user groups have been doing an extraordinary job in promoting the PHP communities everywhere, so local PHP users get more support in their local idiom and progress faster in their careers as PHP developers. Many PHP user groups organize meetings and events that help PHP users learning more and make valuable contacts that they often use to get in touch with more experienced and helpful PHP developers.
He mentions a big challenge for keeping groups alive - leadership shifts and dwindling membership - and something the PHPClasses site offers to help advertize groups all around the world. If you're looking for a group in your area (most of the coverage seems outside of the US right now) try their user group directory.