The countdown clock says it is 5 days to SAP TechEd in Las Vegas – yikes! It is upon us. There is so much to look forward to at SAP TechEd, as always, that I am already concerned that if I am not careful in my planning, I will miss something really fun and informative. In fact, it is inevitable that I will miss great opportunities, since that human cloning thing has not worked out yet. However, I do have a personal agenda, and here are some of its highlights:
1. ASUG Education Sessions
Yes, number 1 on my to-do list for SAP events is to hear from other customers. ASUG presentation sessions are where you will get the unvarnished good, bad, and yes, sometimes ugly, of implementing and supporting SAP solutions from the customers who did it and have to live with the results long after the consultants are on to the next project. When planning your personal agenda, look for the ASUG icon, or search the session list for one of the ASUG Source types. Sharing the exciting news of ASUG Influence and solution enhancements resulting from the collaboration of customers and SAP is also an important part of my TechEd experience; if you are not familiar with what we do in ASUG Influence Councils, I invite you to attend SIS250 or any of the other ASUG Influence sessions.
2. Expert Networking Sessions
The evening networking sessions are fun but so huge that it can be challenging to meet someone who does what you do there. The Expert Networking Sessions are small and informal gatherings near the show room floor where you can meet others who do what you do or are interested in the same solutions. The session might be on a specific topic, it might be an open forum, or it might be mostly a getting-to-know-you connectivity event. I am hosting two of them, one open forum and one getting-to-know-you. If you have not added any of these sessions to your agenda yet, I urge you to go back to the agenda tool and look for them.
3. Evening events
DemoJam is always fun and suspenseful – will they get it to work? will they finish before time is up? – and of course the concert is always a highlight, but other evening events are also worthwhile. Last year I participated in the Women in Technology Design Thinking event, and I am really looking forward to the return of the Design Thinking event, with its focus on the role of empathy in design thinking. If you were lucky enough to register before this event filled up, be sure to attend; trust me on this, you will be glad you did. Not familiar with Design Thinking? Watch an SAP TV video on it.
4. SAP TechEd Live
Last year I was a panelist on two SAP TechEd Live sessions; this year, I am scheduled to interview TK “Ranga” Rengarajan, SAP Executive Vice President for Intellectual Renewal. These interviews and panel discussions help bring the TechEd experience to those not able to be with us onsite; those in attendance can watch the sessions live, but no worries if you miss a session, you will be able to find the recordings at SAP TechEd Online.
5. Meeting up with friends old and new
Even if I didn’t attend any sessions at all, I would look forward to the opportunity to reconnect with my fellow SAP Mentors, my fellow ASUG volunteers, the great folks who support the TechEd speakers and my fellow speakers, and my new connections in the Who’s Coming? network. If you are a first timer, or coming back to TechEd after a few years gap, be sure to sign up there and expand your personal network by following up with a face-to-face meeting. You can hang out with your pals from the office any day.
Yes, of course, the hands-on sessions are fun and great learning opportunities, but everybody knows that. I hope I have given you some ideas for making this year’s TechEd a great experience.