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Author's profile photo Susan Keohan

Are you ready for ASUG/SAPPHIRENOW?

In less than 5 days, thousands of people will converge on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando,FL.  Their main goal will not be to meet Mickey Mouse, unless he is an expert in SAP, and I think those fat fingers would hinder his configuration or developer activities.  No, their goal (and mine!) will be to learn as much as is humanly possible in 4 days – to attend sessions, to network, and to have fun in the process.

Those of you who have attended ASUG in the past know that it can be a little overwhelming at times.  There is so much to see (Exhibition Floor, SAP Pods, etc) and so much to learn (there are probably over 1000 sessions of all sorts to choose from).  So I hope these few tips will help you get the most out of your trip.

1) Before you go (like, today) log in to the SAP and ASUG web site and access your registration.  Check out the pre-conference events if you haven’t already.    And from the landing page, build your personal agenda.  You will have to log in using your email address and password (the ‘Remember Me’ checkbox isn’t quite working), but from there you should be able to search the entire conference by your favorite keywords.  For example, mine would be ‘Workflow’.  Check the sessions you know are must-sees and add them to your personal agenda.  You may also want to include the ‘nice-to-have’ sessions.  And, if  you’ve already made arrangements to meet up with some people, you can add these as ‘personal appointments’ to your agenda.  All set?  Let’s move on.

2) If you are using a calendaring system that uses ICS files, you can download your agenda into an ICS file, and then upload it into your ‘regular’ calendar.  I use Outlook, and at first, I was irritated that my normal calendar was not merged with my ASUG events.  I found these simple instructions to get all my ASUG events into my regular calendar (http://www.timeatlas.com/5_minute_tips/general/merging_microsoft_outlook_calendars)  Check?  Done.

3) Bring your business cards – or have some made up!  With online services like Vistaprint, you should be able to have your contact info ready to hand out in time for the conference.  You will be swapping cards faster than 8 year olds hopped up on Mountain Dew at a Pokemon Festival.  On each card you receive, jot a note about what the conversation was about.  I’ve often returned from ASUG with a stack of contacts – and no idea why.

4) Bring a personal water bottle.  It’s important to stay hydrated in the Florida heat, and by bringing your own bottle, you can refill as often as you like.  Instead of bottled water, there will be water bubblers from which you can fill your bottle.

5) Bring a camera or other device in case you want to capture some special moments with old or new friends. Post the results on ASUG.COM or SCN.

6) Lots of people will advise you to bring a sweater or a light jacket because it will be cool in the convention center.  I’ll be wearing either my SAPMentor shirt, my ASUG Volunteer shirt, or my Speaker shirt, and they are all warm enough for me.

7) A lot of attendees will download and print the presentations prior to the conference.  Personally, I don’t like to print and carry all that paper.  I’ll download the sessions I am attending, review them, and try to make a one-page note to myself on points that I think I need clarification on.  I just refer to that during the presentation and make notes as appropriate.

8) Although you will no doubt be receiving many special invitations to many special events,receptions, etc, it’s important to be selective about what you accept.  Prioritizing at these events is key.  Refer back to your agenda for the Must-See events.  And remember to save some time to visit the SAPPHIRENow show floor during breaks from your educational sessions.

9) Download some Santana for your MP3 device.  Why not?  Get psyched for the concert!

10) Perhaps the most important piece of advice you will receive?  Bring comfortable shoes!  Bring two pairs, if possible, and alternate.  If you’ve never been to ASUG/SAPPHIRE you have no idea how much walking you will do – or even sprinting from one great session to the next.

 

See you there?  I hope so!

Sue

 

PS: Oh, got kids at home?  When you gather goodies from the Show Floor, remember you need to bring it back.  I once shipped the goodies home separately.  The kids were really disappointed when they attacked my suitcase and found only dirty laundry.  Think about it.

 

PPS:  The Twitter tags are #ASUG and #SAPPHIRENOW.  Stay tuned for breaking news using these tags!

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      2 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      I WAS all ready to go and all excited...I say...WAS....started a new project with an agressive timeline and had to cancel my plans. Doh! Have fun for me and can't wait to here all the reports back about it. I won't miss TechEd...I swear!

      Thanks for the blog!

      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan
      Blog Post Author
      Hey Chris, sometimes work does interfere with our plans - I am sorry to hear that you won't be in Orlando.

      HOWEVER, don't forget - people can also submit their own presentations for ASUG at SAPTechEd in Las Vegas.  The link for submitting ASUG presentations is below:
      http://www.sapteched.com/speakersite/home.htm?PT=asug_2d08c45269e

      See you in:
      a) Orlando
      b) Las Vegas
      c) the Twitterverse

      Sue