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I confess – I like conference give-aways. I like giving them away, and I like receiving them. I think of them as a sign of appreciation – no more.  After a few desk-moves this year, I was amazed by how many of these T-shirts, bags, squishy balls and key chains I’ve accumulated over the past few years. Some of my colleagues prefer to collect conference badges.

 

Recently though, I’ve received some push-back when I propose give-aways for conferences like SAP TechEd and the SAP BusinessObjects User Conference. I heard: “…not advisable, given these economic conditions…don’t want to set wrong expectations….” Yes, this makes sense to me. I’m sure many (including conference-goers) would appreciate a demonstration of corporate social responsibility.

 

So this year, at TechEd, we’re doing something new, but we’re also keeping some things the same.

 

New this year, we are supporting the projects of Tree-Nation, to help fight climate change by planting trees in areas of the world most affected by desertification, water scarcity and low agricultural output. For each of you attending Insight Night at TechEd 2009 Phoenix and Vienna and Process Design Slam at TechEd in Phoenix, we will sponsor the planting of a tree through Tree-Nation, in your name. Depending on how much support we receive from Phoenix attendees, we will consider expanding this to the Vienna event and beyond.

 

Please use the following links to sign up for the RIA Hackers Night, Process Design Slam or Insight Night at TechEd, and support the Tree-Nation project:

 

Now for what we’re keeping the same – we will continue to award TechEd attendees for participating in our challenges. Notice I said “award” rather than “give away.” That’s because there is some effort involved, but hopefully, the take-away for you goes beyond the award.

 

Last year, roughly 800 attendees at TechEd spent 5-15 minutes creating an Xcelsius dashboard for their very first time, and received a cool Bionicle or Star Wars toy for their effort and accomplishment.

 

This year, the SAP BusinessObjects Community team hosts Insight Night at TechEd 2009 Phoenix and Vienna, where you get to submit a business challenge to us. If our Demo Team selects your challenge, they will develop a prototype solution that will be presented at Insight Night in Phoenix and Vienna. The Demo Team has kindly offered to present an award to those TechEd attendees in Phoenix and Vienna who have submitted a business challenge for Insight Night. For the submitter whose challenge is selected for their solution demo, the Demo Team has something even more special for you!

 

Good news! The deadline to submit your challenge for Insight Night has been extended by 1 week to Oct 5, 2009! I will keep the sign-up opened for those who just want to attend Insight Night in Phoenix (Oct 14, 7:30pm) and Vienna (Oct 27, 8:30pm).

 

SIGN UP HERE to attend the event and submit your business insight challenge.

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