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Author's profile photo Jim Spath

Got your conference ears on? I do.

In a a week, we’ll be in Orlando for yet another gathering of the SAP tribe. As a veteran, what keeps me coming back for more? For new attendees, what should you look for? By now, if your email address is on nearly any ASUG, SAP, or partner list, you’ve seen a flood of content announcements.  I can’t possibly hope to top those; I’ll just give my bug’s eye view.

Down at the bottom of the post, there should be links to prior events.  I’ve blogged plenty at SAP conferences, and expect to keep doing so, gamification or not.  This post will focus on mobile tracks, as that’s one of my volunteer hats, though I’ll be chatting about infrastructure, technology, change, bug fixes, the SCN network, and more in Florida.

Firstly, my agenda.  I’m not sure what happened, but I could not find my grid for last year’s conference in the place I’ve been putting it for a few years –  Dennis Howlett tipped me off to that site years ago, and while it feels like it is beginning to atrophy, I’ll keep using it until they turn the lights off. I don’t rely on my corporate calendar, nor use something mainstream like Google for this kind of event. I feel like pulling in bits and pieces from various feeds manually gives me a sense of control that I would not otherwise have.  Gretchen Lindquist taught me to color code spreadsheets – that aids me to focus on specific planes when needed.



Wow, that’s almost readable at this zoom level. 

What’s inside?

For the sessions marked “Mobile Technologies”, those were picked as ASUG presentations, and are still on the agenda.  I’ll be moderating each of these to some extent, in fact all of the BITI Mobile Tech track except for one where I’ve got a Lounge session (Thursday at 3PM).  Can you easily find and add these to your agenda?  Mostly.  Let’s start with the agenda / schedule builder.

Somewhere like here:

(though that may not be your portal; I have too many pass keys).  Sometimes I get this.


But if you connect, set your filter to “ASUG Conference Sessions, you can then (sort of) filter by a track related to an ASUG Special Interest Group.  This method was easy years ago, then it became impossible, and now it’s, mainly improbable.


I’ve snipped a lot out of the image borders to get the main part clear and bright.  Hope that makes sense.  Hit search, and viola:

[x] In My Agenda


I suppose this may be easier for me, as I know many of the sessions I expect to find in the query results. If you’re unfamiliar with the SIG naming, and don’t have time or energy to search through the ASUG site, pick some that feel right and see what you get.  I’d say you could try the sample agendas, but they are not for me and I don’t know what to expect.  The last 2 digits of the session ID are (generally) the sequence through the conference schedule, with the first two being a room and/or track.  Mine (ASUG BITI Mobile Technologies) are the 06## ones.  So, why did I get others with the specific search I entered?


Here’s a slightly askew view of the agenda results, after I’d gone through and picked the ones I’m on the hook to moderate.  Hmm, not all 06##, and not all in the same room. The reason why sessions “off the track” appear above is due to the lack of parent-child record relationship in the event database. We’ve tried to clean these up; as information professionals it’s frustrating when the deployed tools for conference management aren’t at the same expert level as the software we run, not at the level of administrative quality we bring to our day jobs.

Lizard 2013



I’m showing the above shots to reflect on the behind-the-scenes work of getting the presentation slides uploaded, reviewed, double-checked, and clear of road side hazards.  It’s not a perfect system, but it works.  If you can’t find any slides, let me know.  I may not know where they are, but I can see where they should be.

Check dupes

Once you’ve got your agenda first pass saved (very important!), check for overlaps.   The instructions are clear, once you see them…


It’s the purple ink: “ Indicates overlapping sessions“.

Then you will find the asterisks you are looking for.


My advice, as usual:  leave these on your agenda.  Sometimes you need a plan B, or a recommendation for a colleague.

Right. Links.

Links to my peers’ stuff on this and other stuff (ASUG 2013/SapphireNow)

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas

      I was getting the caught exception last week too but not recently; good to know it wasn't just me.

      I like the suggestion too of overlapping sessions just in case

      Author's profile photo Jim Spath
      Jim Spath
      Blog Post Author

      "Caught Exception":

      My Agenda


      •    Go to the Sessions to view details and to add or remove a session.
      •    Sessions added to "My Agenda" are not reserved and do not guarantee you a seat.

      Indicates overlapping sessions

      Mach-II Exception


      Element AB.CONFROLE is undefined in SESSION.


      Extended Info

      Tag Context

      /home/webevents/weg/www/wegone/views/ab/ws/wsMyAgendaHOS.cfm (159)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/wegone/views/ab/ws/wsMyAgendaHOS.cfm (155)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/wegone/views/ab/ws/wsMyAgendaHOS.cfm (24)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/wegone/views/ab/ws/wsMyAgendaHOS.cfm (19)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/wegone/views/ab/ws/wsMyAgendaHOS.cfm (1)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/ViewContext.cfc (123)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/EventContext.cfc (465)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/commands/ViewPageCommand.cfc (95)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/EventHandler.cfc (91)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/RequestHandler.cfc (464)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/RequestHandler.cfc (414)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/RequestHandler.cfc (360)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/RequestHandler.cfc (257)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/framework/RequestHandler.cfc (123)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/bootstrapper/common.cfm (167)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/MachII/mach-ii.cfc (109)

      /home/webevents/weg/www/wegone/Application.cfc (53)

      Caught Exception

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      You are correct   I am typing on the iPad so forgive my "uncaught" typo 🙂
      Author's profile photo Kumud Singh
      Kumud Singh

      Hi Jim,

      Everytime I read your blogs related to such big conferences, I am amazed by the clarity you have before attending them regarding the sessions and everything else. I am saying this as I had a tough time deciding my agenda for TechEd last year. That was my first TechEd though. I am expecting I would improve while deciding the next one. Thanks.



      Author's profile photo Jim Spath
      Jim Spath
      Blog Post Author


        For me, the toughest part of planning my conference agenda is not now, it was in December and January as I looked at the session proposal abstracts.  Being a volunteer that helps pick the conference content, I get to review dozens of speakers and topics, trying to fit them into a limited amount of space and time.  And likewise, as I've committed to moderate the Mobile Technologies track, those sessions are automatically on my list for next week. It was even tougher when I was moderating Systems Management topics - we would typically need to go through ten times the number of sessions that could fit in three days or so.  For mobile, it's relatively easier, with maybe 3 times the number of possible candidate speakers than we have room for.

      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      Hi Jim,

      I am still trying to figure out how to best track where I am supposed to be.  But the truth is, I read the blog in hopes of seeing your 'conference ears'.  🙂


      Author's profile photo Jim Spath
      Jim Spath
      Blog Post Author

      Sue - I'm struggling with the limits on SCN avatars and images to get an "ears on" image uploaded.  But that's another post entirely.

      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      Fair enough.  The ears live on in my memory.