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  Then this one probably won’t help either.  {code:html}All the blogs{code} are different.  That’s the great part about reading blogs.  Do you have people you like to follow?  See if they wrote a blog, and try to read it.      Really – the sessions talk for themselves.  www.sapteched.com  (http://www.sapteched.com).  Don’t just read the blogs and decide, take the time to look at the sessions that are offered.  Then take some of the information from the blogs into consideration.  h3. We HAVE a limited budget.  My firm really can’t send me.  I’m sorry.  I’ll miss seeing you there.   So keep up with the blogs, twitter, facebook.  That way you will get some of the information.  There will also be some podcasts that you can see.  You will not completly miss TechEd. Maybe next year your firm will have the money to budget for Teched.  Do read some of the other blogs.  They will give you some solid ways to ask your boss to send you to Teched.  (Of course, I hope this one helps, but it doesn’t directly tell you how to ask your boss.) h3. English is not their first language  Again good point.  BUT can you speak more than one language fluently.  I sure can’t.  The longer I stay in a session, the easier I find it to understand.  If you completely cannot understand the presenter, then leave and go to a different session.  That is the nice thing about Teched. So I’ve successfully talked to myself about Teched.  I can think of a lot of points that are good ones.  I hope I’ve addressed some of them.    For me teched is a highlight of my year.  I love it! h3. Another point – sorry I couldn’t resist image
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  1. Sylvia Santelli
    I thought of another reason, perhaps you aren’t a fan of the host city, like Vegas. Pull a “Jim Spath” and go to Bangalore or Madrid.

    Bottom line, stop with the excuses! =)

    Love the approach on this blog. I think you provide much perspective and value to our community as a Mentor. Thanks for this fun blog.

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Another thought – If you don’t like Vegas, that’s OK.  (I like Vegas, but do not get the time to really enjoy it.)  Teched keeps me VERY busy.  There are many evening events.  I rarely have time to do much of anything in Vegas except Teched related things. 

      That’s the awesome thing about Teched – it keeps you busy and learning.

      Yes – I agree another solution is going to a different TechEd.  But look at the argument above – too far away.

      Ah – but some of the excuses are valid.  At least An event people they are to the person that has them.  That’s what makes it interesting.  A different perspective on a great event!  like you and I love.  BUT there are people who don’t like it.  We just don’t hear from them.  I think sometimes they are just worried we will be totally defensive about what they have to say.  Not so – SCN is pretty open.  However, I do like my debates.  So bring out your reason for not going.  😉  And I may counter it with why you should go!  Bala and I had a pretty good debate about it last year.  Side note:  He went, and loved it.

      I’m hoping to generate some debate from the people who don’t go for reason XYZ!  Of course, I love to hear from the pro-teched group too.  Because then I get to agree.  Also you’ve heard reasons that I haven’t.

      Michelle

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      1. Stephen Johannes
        My biggest gripe about Vegas is the indoor air quality.  However I have found that the where the sessions are held they don’t allow those activities.  You can also get from your room to the sessions without having to walk in the casino floors themselves in some cases.

        The other gripe is that area that we stay in tends to be aimed at high-rollers.  The good part is that within and nearby there are moderate priced shopping/dining for those of us who don’t want to break our personal budget or corporate expense account for those meals that aren’t provided by the conference.  You may just need to walk a little further, but you can even find a Walgreens with normal prices on snacks just outside the event location.

        The only other plus with Vegas though is you don’t need a car(everything can be reached via taxi or walking) which is a big savings when going to an event for a week.

        Take care,

        Stephen

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  2. Stephen Johannes
    For many folks not near the west coast but live in the United States, that flight to Las Vegas can be a long one.  Just keep in mind there are several attendees and speakers that spend up to a day or more in travel to attend the event.

    My counter argument is get a non-stop flight to the event(they are cheap), load a tablet up with some movies and Angry Birds and enjoy the flights.

    Take care,

    Stephen

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      You hit upon one of my pain points.  Vegas is a LONG flight for me.  I live in Michigan.  Enjoy travel?  Are you nuts?!!!  That’s the one thing I hate.

      I can sleep on planes, but I find that it isn’t good sleep so I don’t fly on the red eye.  But that could be good for some of you.  Take the flight where you’ll be sleeping most of the time.

      The flights are long, there can be delays, some of us have to get a connection. 

      I live in Hickory Corners.  It small.  I can drive to a better location for direct flights, but that would take around 3 1/2 hours or double the price to go.

      So for me this is a valid reason.  YUCK!  I hate long travel.  My counter is the content, the networking, the event itself.  It is worth the travel.  Another thought bring a good book.  Digital or just plain old paperback.

      Or get ready for the fun!  Print out the schedules from the Teched site.  Figure out where you are going / when.  Read more of the abstracts, you may change your mind.  I know you don’t think this will take time.  But I never have enough time to hit all the sessions that I want.  Good planning – that helps me get to the ones that are high on my list.  I plan and plan and then throw out my plan.  🙂

      Any other ideas on things to do on long flights?  Tense travel?  How about being crammed into that dreaded middle seat.  You gotta hate that.

      Michelle

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      1. Stephen Johannes
        Lots of simple ways to avoid the middleseat:
        1) Book Early – If the airline has assigned seating and you can still pick early this is the best way not to get a middle seat

        2) Pay the fee – Yep if the airline charges a small fee for preferred seating in coach, pay the fee out of your own pocket.  It will be worth the hassle you save.

        3) If not elite sit in the back.  If you don’t have elite status then pick your seat in the back of the plane or in the zone that boards first after the road-warriors board.  You will have better luck with carry-on space and a more pleasant boarding experience.  You will only lose 10 or 15 minutes when you land by doing this and since you have to check luggage it does not really matter.

        4) Last Resort – Ask the gate agent.  For those airlines with assigned seating get to the airport early and try to move this upon checkin or talk to the gate agent.  Be very nice and do not get upset if they say no. 

        In terms of things to do a tablet can be a magical device. For those of you who don’t own a tablet: I also recommend paperback books, ipod or mp3 player, or a window seat.

        Connections to me are the worst part of travel, so if possible avoid connecting through places at peak times.  If the cost/time is the same consider alternate places to connect to avoid the stress of a large hub.

        Take care,

        Stephen

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  3. Marilyn Pratt
    After close to 20 TechEds worldwide, I can’t begin to count the many times I heard someone say: “that one last session, that one interaction, that one conversation, that one demo, that one meetup, that one dialouge.. was worth the price of admission” I’ve heard this so many times over in reference to some piece of information someone had been really spending inordinate amounts of time looking for, a connection with another expert who would be a great resource to take back virtually, access to certain contents, executives, knowledge that one normally wouldn’t get easy access to. I heard this from people traveling great distances to get to TechEd, I heard this from people for whom Teched was a local event. As a former technical consultant, a former ABAP instructor and now as a community advocate, I can say that the event has become an integral part of doing work.
    PS. what I love most about this community (and the event)is encapsulated here in this blog, Michelle. We don’t shy away from things that are imperfect or from having a real debate around them. I <3 your approach because it brings real conversation.
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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Good counter on “I’ll have to work harder to catch up on work when I get back”.  Wow!  That is another great reason for not going.  Add to it “I’m in the middle of a project with tight deadlines.”

      Really for me there is not a “great” counter for this.  As you said, Teched is worth going to.  It is an amazing event.  However, there is that life / work balance.

      As always we do a bit of juggling with that.   I know I hate to work long hours, and miss family time.   I’m a developer, of course, I have to do this sometimes.  But why would I do this to myself – make myself work those longer hours?  I would say read some of the other Teched blogs too.  They have a ton of information. 

      Personally – I’m a bad person to ask.  I told my boss I’d be willing to take vacation to go to Teched.  Lucky for me, I didn’t have to.  It would have been a fairly hefty bill for me to pay and losing that vacation time would have been rough.  I’m glad it is “company time”.  That means they pay for it.  I will work those longer hours when I get back, because I love Teched so much.

      Again – I think this is a valid reason.  Another thought try doing some work after the sessions are done or when you can’t find something that you want to go to.  It will be hard.  Nearly impossible.  But that is another way to get work done.  Plus for me there is a long travel time.  There’s some time where you can get work done too.

      Think about the things that you will learn.  They may very well help you work smarter and not harder.  Plus that problem you’ve been struggling with – you may find the answer.  Again that helps balance out the time.  You may have spent days, and someone helps you – it now becomes hours.

      Your right – of course you usually are.  I hear nothing but good comments from the people that come – but what about those who don’t?  Honestly, they don’t know what they are missing!

      Thank you for the comments – and look forward to some more conversation!

      Michelle

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  4. Chip Rodgers
    OK, you convinced me — I’m going to skip TechEd this year.

    ……

    Hmm… Ouch, that hurts.  Can’t do it.  Gotta be there!

    Ugh… that was a painful 30 seconds.  Never mind… You can’t convince me!  I’m going!  Looking forward to seeing you in Vegas Michelle!  Thanks for the fun (and informative!) blog!

    Chip

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      I look forward to seeing you too.  We usually see each other in passing!

      Well – I can’t convince myself not to go.  What a fun event!  But I would like to know why someone wouldn’t go…   There are really some good reasons.  The best being that their company just can’t afford to send anyone.

      By the way, I don’t think you count.  You have to be there!  HAVE being the key here.  I don’t think you get to enjoy all the fun stuff.

      Thank you for the nice comments,

      Michelle

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  5. Tom Cenens
    Hello Michelle

    Love these kind of rant blogs you create.

    The attendee can make a difference and contribute to the success of TechED.

    Having the right attitude to start of with is already important to make it worthwhile.

    Kind regards

    Tom

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      That is a good one.  My reason for not going is that I don’t want to go, but my company is sending me.

      Oh boy, talk about the possibility of a bad review when that person gets back from Teched.  That would be a problem.

      And then next year when the company is trying to decide whether to send someone they remember the bad comments.

      If that is the case, I hope the person that wants to go does some research to share with their company.

      I hope anyone thinking about going to Teched reads about what to expect.  It can blow your mind with all the crowds.  But, it may not happen.   So you are right the attendee can easily make a difference to this teched and the future people that are thinking about going to teched.  (Those at their work and those who they talk with in the SAP world)

      Great point!

      Michelle

      Thank you for liking these rants!  I do like writing them.

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  6. Bala Prabahar
    Michelle,

    I remember us having discussions on this topic last year. I didn’t plan to go last year. I decided to register probably 2-3 weeks prior to the event last year. This year I registered immediately after my TechEd proposals were rejected (I was hoping to register as a speaker). What happened? Why I registered so much in advance this year.

    1) Participation in SCN helped me meet people such as you, Marilyn, Tammy, Vijay, Jon, Mark F and others during Innovation Weekend and afterwards during TechEd. As a result of that, I became a speaker this year in Inside Track 2011. And participants who attended my session LIKED it. I felt really happy and looking forward to the next speaking opportunity.(I wish I could go to Philadelphia Inside Track but will be busy with work. Last week I(with my son) went to Palo Alto,CA to attend Mobility Innojam. SAP Mobility InnoJam – Palo Alto, CA discusses the details. I’ll Blog on that soon).

    2) I was having doubts about my ability to speak and you showed a great deal of confidence in my speaking abilities based on our interaction last year in TechEd. And probably that was one reason why my 2 proposals were approved for Inside Track 2011 event. That was an eye opener. Last week again I did a great job of presenting our mobile app in Palo Alto, Ca.

    TechEd and SCN helped me come out of my comfort zone. They’re trying to change me, my behavior, my personality. I was happy in my small world/zone before. Why change now? Why come out of my comfort zone now. I don’t want to attend TechEd for that reason Michelle.

    Michelle, it was real pleasure meeting you in TechEd last year and Inside Track event in Chicago this year. Going forward, I’ll attend at least one SAP event every quarter. TechEd every year? Definitely.

    Best regards,
    Bala

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author

      Another great reason!  I don’t want to change.  I guess if you don’t want to change Teched would be a hard place for you to go.  However, even if you don’t want to change, you will meet contacts.  (I’m doing a presentation on “older” techniques.  There are others out there like that.)  Also Teched may change your mind.  Change is good and constant.  You hit one on of my “hot” buttons!  I try to convince my own team of this.  Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.<br/><br/><Smile.>  I’m glad I changed your mind last year.  I enjoyed meeting you.  Change your behavior – yes.  That’s what Teched is for.  Your personality – I hope not.  I like your personality.  I love your debates.  They make me think.<br/><br/>Woohoo!  I’ll see you again at Teched!  I can’t promise to go every year, but I sure do try to get there. (SIT that was a vacation day for me.  You too, being an independent consultant you had to take time off.)<br/> <br/>I really need to create a follow up blog about the results of our survey for the Chicago SAP Inside Track.   It was a success!   Why?  Because we had a great group of speakers.  I was NOT surprised that Bala was one of them.<br/><br/> <br/>BTW – I’m not sure I belong in that group of notable people.  But I’ll take what I can.  Thank you.<br/><br/>For you and anyone else reading this.  Keep putting in those proposals for Teched.  I was turned down many, many, many times before I got to speak at one.  I still put in more than one proposal in the hopes that one will get selected.  I think I just wore them down.   There are no guarantees that you will get to speak next year even if you spoke the year before.<br/><br/>I try to speak to the beginner crowd and hope to give them and the “older” group like me one new tip.  It’s great learning new techniques that I’ve forgotten about.  It’s fun to learn how somebody else used them.  So really for a developer – I am in their comfort zone – mostly.  I do step outside once in awhile.<br/><br/>But I hope I addressed the reason…  In my long reply.  If not read the next paragraph.<br/><br/>I don’t want to change.  Yes, it’s valid.  Some people do their job and do it well.  Over expectations a lot of the time.  Change would mean a slowdown in how they do things.  Change means a learning curve.  Leaving your comfort zone is NEVER easy.  SO:<br/><br/>I would say change or eventually you will be left in the dust.  SAP itself is using the “new” stuff.  How can you expect to avoid it?  If you are a business analyst it is critical that you know what is available to support your business.  BPX must know from a high level what they can do.  Configuration.  That is changing with SAP levels.  You can do more configuration.  That means less request for custom code.  You can change and ask for different things.  Better things that your business customer will love.  Developer.  Well that goes without saying.  There is so many more tools that we can add to make us more flexible, and make our ability to meet requirements easier.  The new techniques will pay off once you get a repository of “things” – anything new – you can use them and then watch how fast you can develop things.  Then you can spend time on the “fun” stuff.  BASIS – Bala’s favorite – How can you avoid the new things?   You have to stay up to date in order to keep the system running well.  The new tools will help you with that.  The old tools are still valid in a lot of cases – so don’t lose them.  Management?  They HAVE to understand from a high level what we can do.  They are the people we have to convince to let us take longer to develop something.  I would say this group would get the least from Teched.  Assuming they trust their people.  They can just listen to what their people bring back from Teched.  So I’d have a harder time convincing them to go.  Consultant / Independent?   Oh boy – you better know the new stuff. If you work here, I’ll be asking you to use them.  So take a step out of your comfort zone.  You don’t want your skills to grow old.  Then you won’t get those jobs.<br/><br/>I always seem to write a long reply to your comments.  I love it!<br/><br/>Side note:  I attended one of your sessions at SAP Inside Track.  I am not a BASIS person.  But you explained things so well that I understood – at a high level.  That means I now know what our BASIS group can do to help me out.  I’ll be asking for it.  (Table Partitioning- I don’t know how it works, and really I don’t have to.  I just know it’s out there.   We have an AS/400 it will be interesting to see what they can do with that.)  I also have Bala’s presentation to help.  See http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/events/SAPInsideTrackChicago-+2011 for a link to it and all the presentations.

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      1. Bala Prabahar
        You wrote another blog.:). Sure Michelle. I’ll keep submitting my proposals for TechEd. Of course I’ll submit for Inside Track and ASUG events(local) as well.
        Frankly speaking, I like Inside Track events, specifically Chicago event. It was well organized, lot of food, great training rooms.
        Thanks for your kind words regarding my session and personality.
        I look forward to seeing you in TechEd.

        Best regards,
        Bala

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  7. Ioan Radulescu
    Cute.
    For me, it’s too far though. I’d rather have techEd in Germany… where it belongs (Bangalore also appropiate but again too far). Spain is a weird choice for a tech gathering.
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      1. Stephen Johannes
        Vegas is not as weird for a US based event, given the number of cities that could host the event with the expected number of attendees.

        Take care,

        Stephen 

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      2. Michelle Crapo Post author

        I second Stephen, it can hold a lot of people.  (Boy did I write that sentence – I’m strange in the morning.)  It is also about location.  Vegas is an adult playground.  There is a lot to see and do.  So more people will come / go just for the location.  Of course, we lose people too!  But I think someone told me there was always a better turn out in Vegas.<br/><br/>Glitz and Glitter.  What’s so bad about that?  OK – I can see this point as well.  I’ve read Jim Spath’s blogs.<br/><br/><Sigh.>  Some of these reasons do make sense to me.  Personally, I would go wherever it was held in the US.  (If I can.  There are limitations based upon budget dollars for me as well.)  If I could make it happen I would go out of the country too!  Long flights and all.  But there are those that will go because of the location.  I don’t blame them.  There are a lot more things to do, more restraints to choose from, and of course gambling.  If you don’t mind losing some money.   I always lose.  I still gamble a little while I’m out there.<br/><br/>Vegas – even if I hated the location.  I weigh the benefits vs. the location.  Learning and networking would be at the top of my list.  I think I would still try to go.  OK – I know I would still try to go.<br/><br/>Take care,<br/><br/>Michelle<br/>

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Germany… where it belongs????  Oh no – you didn’t write that!!!  Those are words that force me into a debate.  I love Teched, and many, many others in the US do as well.

      There are a lot of people going to Teched in the States.  We go for many different reasons – you can find them here or in other blogs.  Why not Spain, the US, or any other country?   We all have SAP installed at many different companies.  I’m sure SAP picked locations based upon the number of people that will go to Teched.  Plus the number of SAP installations.

      Why not in Germany?  I wouldn’t be the one to answer. I have no idea why you don’t have one in Germany.  Do you have a similar event that you go to?

      As for too far to travel.  That to me is a valid reason.  For many it is too far to travel.  That is too bad.   I wish everyone could make it here or to a different Teched.  They are so many reasons why…

      So this morning – I’ll have to debate!  Why the US?  Hopefully I’ve somewhat answered the question.  Although some SAP person may be able to answer better.

      Why Las Vegas?  That is because more people go to Teched at that location.  I am not really sure why.  I would want to go in any location – that I could get to.  I would probably not get to Germany, Spain, or actually just any other country.  It would cost too much.  The flights would be long.

      So I hope I’ve made a good argument?.

      I hope this blog is cute, funny, entertaining, interesting, or one that makes you think.  If it has done any of those things, it was a success!

      Thank you for the comment,

      Michelle

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      1. Ioan Radulescu
        /smiles:yeah you made me smile. i’m a little sore because this year i was looking forward to it (as it was the first year i could afford it as a freelancer) but it’s not in Germany this year. Vegas is known for entertainment not for software in my opinion so it bears no resonance to me. it’s like having a lan party on a meadow, in the sun.
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        1. Michelle Crapo Post author
          I don’t blame you.  I wouldn’t be happy if Teched wasn’t in the US this year!  I’m sad that you will miss teched, I love your comments, and would like to meet you in person.

          I like the party analogy.  I think Teched is a big party.  One that is an open invitation.  But you have to pay to get into the party!  It isn’t free.

          In Las Vegas?  How else do you get people to come?  You need the meadow, the sun, to entice them to come to your party!

          You are right – Las Vegas – well it is a long flight for me!  They had it in Phoenix one year.  That was another long flight for me.  And they found that less people went.  Less people = less money = maybe not even covering the cost of the party!  Because SAP has paid a lot to have our superstar entertainment (Speakers at sessions that are from SAP – people like me we don’t get paid.).  The Teched event has to have some great music!  (Session content)  SAP has paid a lot for our dance floors (Laptops for hands on.)  We have paid a lot for the nice location. (Las Vegas or other location session rooms.)  So we have to have the party people show up.  If we don’t, meeting fun people is not possible, paying our bills may not be possible, and at the lowest level we need a lot of people for better profits.  The Las Vegas location in the US is debated a lot, you can read that in Jim Spath’s blogs.  But as long as I meet a lot of people, learn something, and go to a lot of hands-ons.  I really don’t care where in the US it is located.  I’ll be there if I can.

          And so the location in the meadow in the sun is important.  The superstars and session content are important.  But it is all about location.

          I wish there was a Teched in Germany.  To me it makes sense, but I don’t even work for SAP.  Actually I wish there were Techeds at locations that are good for everyone to go to.  That’s not possible.

          But what is possible is an SAP Inside Track.  It is put on by the community.  A person like you!  It will be local to you – you will work on the location.  It is free to people who attend.  Speakers do not get anything except the fun of speaking.  So take a look at our Inside Track WIKI.  If you need any help, I can help from a distance. (So I won’t be much help) I’m sure there is someone in Germany near you who would be a co-organizer.  I know you have some great “superstars” in Germany.  Maybe you can get one of them to speak.  No – it’s not like Teched.  There is only the amount of speakers that you can get, location that you have with a limited budget.  But it is fun.  It is like a small mini-teched.

          http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/events/SCN+Community+Events

          Sorry about the long reply.  I just feel bad for you!  I would be so sad if Teched was not in the US.

          Michelle

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      2. Tobias Hofmann
        that said, can we have a TechEd in Rio de Janeiro, please? As much as I like to go to Las Vegas, I too don’t like to travel almost 24 hours and be treated as a 2nd class citizen when passing the immigration.

        br,
        Tobias

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        1. Michelle Crapo Post author
          Maybe someone reading this can help out.  Rio de Janeiro sounds like a fun location to me!  -Of course then I get to say the flights are too long and it would cost too much!

          Point to you.  We can’t have them everywhere.  As much as someone like me would love to see them everywhere.  THe speakers that have to go to all the Techeds would hit me over the head.  Talk about jet lag.

          See you!

          Michelle

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    2. Pablo Casamayor
      Ioan Radulescu
      Member since: Jun 17, 2008
      Total points: 10

      i´m sure some spaniards with more recent membership than yours and more total points wouldn´t agree with that.

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        1. Michelle Crapo Post author
          Mmmmmm…  It will be interesting to see how many people will go to it.  21 percent!  Wow and I thought the US was bad.  Our unemployment is going up daily.  Not good.

          Maybe the unemployed will be able to go?  I doubt it, but it would be a good place to meet perspective employers.??

          I doubt what I’m writting is true but I will wonder about Spain.

          Hope to see you at Teched sometimes – and nice to talk with you via SCN.  You have some good questions to add to a debate!

          Michelle

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        2. Tobias Hofmann
          Isn’t it rather a nice move by SAP to host TechEd in Spain? I’m sure an event of the size like TechEd will create at least some jobs, even when they are only temporary.
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        3. Michelle Crapo Post author
          Well – finally – I understand the debate.  I’m slow sometimes.  It’s either Spain or Germany for Europe.  I wasn’t thinking that way!

          Since I’m not headed that way – I can’t really give a great comment.  Me – without words – not normal.

          I guess the debate will rage between the two location.  It will be interesting to listen about the turn out.  That will tell the tale.  I am sorry you are missing out on a great time!

          Michelle

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