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With registration and housing announcements soon to be made about SAP TechEd09, many of you may be thinking “This year? Not gonna happen.”.  Let’s face it, everybody is cutting back on expenses.  But I challenge you to do some background investigation, identify those strategic areas where you can bring real benefit to your company, and present your case to management.  Remember “Asking is the beginning of receiving” (Jim Rohn).  And, with a thoughtfully prepared plan, you may be surprised by what you receive.

First off, obviously, go to the SAP Tech Ed web site, located here.   Check out the previous years’ offering of educational sessions.  Perhaps you are interested in Business Objects, or Composition Environment, or Business Process Management.  Drill down and get the session details.  Will more education on your area of expertise help your company?  How can it not?  Won’t your C-levels be able to make smarter decisions more quickly if they have the right information on hand via Crystal Reports?  Is an upgrade in your near future, and won’t your company save money by exploiting new functionality?  Compile a list of the sessions (starting with last year, I know) that can benefit you and your company.  Match these to the initiatives currently in place.  Talk to colleagues to see where they need help as well.  Is someone struggling with how to model procedures in CE?  Is there a developer who really needs to learn more about user interfaces?  Identifying co-workers who can also benefit from your attendance at TechEd can be helpful in pleading your case.

Of course, the real memorandum to management will need to have the actual sessions that will be conducted at TechEd09, but I found that just looking through last year’s sessions gave me more ideas.  And when the schedule is published, you can easily Google ‘Conference Justification’ to get a load of different formats for your request to management.  So prepare your memo, state your case, and justify your love.

SAP TechEd is all about the education – with 2-4 hour hands on sessions, plus lectures, plus customer stories (well, in Phoenix anyway) partnered with ASUG (The BITI Group rules!).  Not to belittle classroom training – because it definitely does have its merits.  But one co-worker put it this way: “I get more out of meeting people face-to-face who are facing the same issues.  Then we can really throw around ideas and brainstorm.”

And don’t forget, plan on arriving on the afternoon before the conference for the community-driven Community Day, which is being put together by the movers and shakers of the SAP world.  Okay, well, just those people who are so passionate about SAP and the Community that we are willing, no eager, to restore the incredible networking opportunties that might otherwise be lost. 

I can definitely state this.  The entire process of putting together a list of intended educational sessions, investigating past sessions, and working with your colleagues can be an educational process, and that is what it’s all about.

While you are at it, why not tell us who you are, and what floats your boat over on the ‘30 Seconds’ wiki.  At SAP TechEd in Phoenix, we will be having a new awards initiative, in the time-honored tradition of the Razzies.  For us, this will be the inauguration of the #SCNotties.  Guaranteed fun!

So, are you up for it?   Remember, this is a challenge!

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8 Comments

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  1. Former Member
    Well said Susan!  We hear it from attendees all the time at TechEd and in spades in our post-event surveys.  TechEd is more than worth the price of admission.  So this year, in addition to the great ideas you mention here, we will be publishing an “Executive Letter” that’s exactly what you’re suggesting — a suggested letter to help you justify your trip to TechEd this year for your senior management.  Watch for it in early July!

    We look forward to seeing everyone again this year in Phoenix, Vienna, Bangalore, and Shanghai!

    Best regards, Chip

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    1. Susan Keohan
      Post author
      Thanks Chip.  I will look forward to seeing the letter, and the finalized agendas.

      On a different note, perhaps my lead-in should not have said ‘is it money in the bank’ – more appropriate to say ‘money under your mattress’ 😉

      Cheers,
      Sue

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  2. Former Member
    Well whatever you said is truth but if you see from management perspective, it is huge cost for them to justify (~$2500 elsewhere and ~$400 in India) and  for few lectures and 2 hands-on.
    You can attend full classroom training in this cost (atleast in Europe/US).

    Just see the difference in price for TechEd in India and Europe and from my calculation it is cheaper to attend in India.
    TechEd Registration – 250 Euro.
    Return Flight – 700 Euro (economy)
    Hotel – 100 Euro per day (maximum)
    Food – 20 Euro per day.

    Maximum it will goto 1800 Euro if you plan effectively.

    Regards,
    Gourav

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    1. Susan Keohan
      Post author
      Wow, Gourav,  Thanks for pointing this out.  I couldn’t see the registration fees for Bangalore.  Well, all the more reason to attend, right??
      Although for me, it would probably cost more than 700 Euro to travel 🙂
      Thanks,
      Sue
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      1. Former Member
        True, If you are in india then it is worth to attend specially when registration fee is only Euro 250/- (last year, this year registration is not open yet). From US you can get cheaper ticket as well. Look for great deals offered by many airlines.

        Regards,
        Gourav

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  3. Thorsten Franz
    Hi Susan,
    I couldn’t agree more. The concreate work of attending SAP TechEd is immense. No matter if you work on a strategic or architecture level or as a developer in a very specialized field, say, HR Payroll at a customer with a 4.6C system – you can always bring something back home from TechEd that’s worth the money.
    I haven’t missed a single TechEd in the last over ten years, even in times when money was very tight, because I was always able to point out several valuable sessions to my boss that had concrete applications to running projects.
    Cheers,
    Thorsten
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