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This morning I woke up very early… I probably woke up earlier than I needed to but I have found in life there are two types of people: those who live on the edge and arrive at airports with seconds to spare and those who build in space for all eventuallities.

I am in the second group so I find myself waking up at 3.50 GMT 10 minutes before my alarm went off getting ready doing my last second checks before the car arrived to take me to the airport. About 30 minutes later the driver rings the door bell. I almost flipped my lid as our door bell is loud and I didn’t want everyone else getting woken up.

Arriving at the airport with time to spare I got through the whole rigmarole of security and managed to even get frisked. I should have removed my belt. The metal in it set the security guys a little nuts. 

I ran into a work colleague who was also heading over to TechEd and by co-incidence we were sitting next to each other on the airplane. So we had a little bit of a clueflight happening. Due to bad weather in Vienna we were held at London for an hour before we were permitted to take off. I saw fellow mentor (#42) Mike Prokara tweeting about being held on the tarmac. I couldnt see him on the plane and the puzzle was solved only when we met later that we were on different airlines.

Arriving at Wien I navigated the overground and underground train systems and got to my hotel. The streets around were a little empty and all the shops where shut. There was only one conclusion – a public holiday. After freshing up at the hotel I headed over to the Messe where the final touches were being made ready for a barnstorming couple of days.

All the pods were getting prepared. Vendors were putting the final touches on the displays and in some ways it did feel a little like the night before Christmas.

The SAP Mentors got to open some presents early with Mark Finnern presenting the rugby jumpers to those who had not been to Phoenix and then we had the ear of Hervé Couturier who gave us an encouraging report from the conversation from last year on progress within SAP on Open Source amongst other topics.

We then had the chance to suggest ways that SAP could improve. This is valuable time that is appreciated by the Mentors and it was a great session.

There are a great many people coming to TechEd tomorrow and a great many talks. The challenge is to pick and choose the sessions that will maximise your benefit but it doesn’t stop there. What will you bring to the event? What chance encounter will you have? I continue to believe that the greatest benefit of these events is the networking. I once heard a motivational speaker say: “You will be the same person in 5 years except for two things – the people you meet and the books you read.”

I would encourage you this TechEd to take a few moments of the time while you are waiting in a queue for that oversubscribed hands on session or grabbing a coffee in the clubhouse to chat with the people around you.

What are you waiting for?

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