A few months ago, I blogged about Why (and How) You Should Become an SAP TechEd Speaker. I’m not going to reiterate how great and personally as well as professionally rewarding it is for the speaker. Many community members have responded to that post and shared that it’s a dream and an important personal goal for them.
SAP TechEd: View from the keynote stage
I think SAP should revive the great tradition of calling for proposals and filling SCN community sessions in all TechEd locations. I went back to the original blog posts by the incomparable Christina Miller. From 2007 to 2009, she published a series of calls for proposals, announced the winners, kept encouraging folks, and reported from behind the scenes of SAP TechEd. Have a look:
- Don’t Let Anxiety Keep You from Speaking at SAP TechEd
- SAP TechEd ’07 Call for Proposals
- Call for Proposals Now Open – SDN and BPX community sessions at SAP TechEd 2008 Las Vegas
- Winning SDN and BPX Community Sessions at SAP TechEd 2008 Las Vegas
- Now Open: SDN and BPX Community Session Call for Proposals at SAP TechEd 2008 Berlin
- The Winners Have Been Chosen – SDN and BPX Community Sessions at SAP TechEd Berlin
- Behind the Scenes: SAP TechEd 2008 Berlin
- SDN and BPX Call for Proposals at SAP TechEd 2008 Bangalore – Now Open!
- Calling for Sustainability-Focused Session Proposals for SAP TechEd 2009 (Note: I wasn’t particularly fond of the narrow focus of 2009’s call for proposals, but narrow is better than nothing.)
- SAP TechEd 2009 Call for Proposals: Sustainability
This beautiful initiative has provided great motivation, encouragement, and reward to many community members. Look at the list of winning sessions and how many of these names are still active community members and contributors. Doesn’t this indicate a sustainable effect?
SAP listens to the community
SAP’s own CMO Jonathan Becher says that SAP has turned around the megaphone and listens to the community (and amplifies voices from the community for others to hear, too, I should add).
Community initiatives such as the SAP Mentors program and the SAP HANA Distinguished Engineer Program make it a point to recruit non-SAP employees because that adds credibility and relevance. I think the same argument holds true for SAP’s big conferences, which would also profit from more community participation.
What do you think?
Have you attended a community session? Did you like them? Would you submit a proposal? Have you presented at a large conference, and what effect did it have on you?