When Mark Finnern and Marilyn Pratt invited me to present ‘Workflow for Suits’ last year at TechEd, I was very excited. Among the other community day offerings, I thought the chance to get technical people and business people together to try and talk the same language would be great fun. And since it was taking place in Las Vegas, well, I had to bring my own special touches… Workflow for Suits ended up taking shape as sort of a game, and the prizes were flashy blinky bunny ears.
Since the audience was 97% male, the bunny ears were quickly stuffed into backpacks or briefcases (and presumably, brought home to kids). But one attendee was quite happy to wear the ears, and we’ve maintained contact ever since. Besides feeling like I’ve made another friend in the SAP world, I’ve found that this is just one example of how incredibly valuable your Community Day connections can be.
Katherine Corn of Bridgestone Firestone was the attendee who was proud to wear the ears, and TechEd 07 was her first TechEd experience. Of course, during the next 4 days, we were both very busy with our Tech Ed Sessions, so we actually never connected again in Las Vegas. However, over the past 10 months, we’ve Linked each other in, and traded emails back and forth about workflow, family, kids, and other things related to Life. Katherine is relatively new to SAP, but her enthusiasm spilled out into our various conversations.
As an ASUG Program Chair, for the Workflow and BPM SIG, my duties are focused around the planning and execution of the Annual Conference. And the post of Workflow and BPM SIG Chair was empty. The SIG Chair is responsible for scheduling webcasts, providing newsletter bits and pieces, and ensuring that we (ASUG) are talking to the right people in Walldorf. It is simply too much for one person, which probably explains why there are two positions!
Anyway, as they say in my geographic location, “Light dawns on Marblehead”… Would Katherine be willing and able to volunteer for ASUG ? Could this be a match made in… well, Las Vegas? And after a few more phone calls and email exchanges, Katherine said ‘Yes!’ (with management approval; thank you folks at Bridgestone).
We are both energized at the prospect of working together for a cause we feel so passionate about. Katherine brings a whole new fresh perspective, communication skills, and new ideas! We’ll be working on a WF/BPM survey, which we want to share with our friends at DSAG, scheduling some fine webcasts, and learning and networking even more.
So here we are, rarin’ to go. A partnership forged out of mutual interests, which could never have happened without Community Day.
Think about it…I wouldn’t trade the bonds that I have forged at face-to-face events for all the facebooks in the world.
What about you?