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TechEd Day Two Where Everyone Is Grumpy

Waking up on my own at 5:30 am – gotta love the time zone advantage. It’s 8:30 am “my time” and normally I would’ve been on my way to work already. But in magical Vegas I have plenty of time to make full use of the magnificent hotel bathroom and a special vanity area that makes me feel all grown up and lady-like.

At 6:45 I’m already heading to the ‘continental breakfast’, totally cool and professional. There is no need for a map today as lots of other hungry TechEd participants are confidently moving in the same direction. Lots and lots of hungry and grumpy participants. I’ve only been living in a Southern State for a couple of years, but I’ve so gotten used to everyone being nice and smiley all the time that this picture just seems very odd to me. I know it’s early but would it kill you to smile to the staff? They got up waaaaay earlier than you did.

Continental breakfast (raise a hand if you know which continent it’s from – I have no idea) is served in a room the size of the Yankee stadium. The crowds are efficiently directed to the different food stations. The Mentors must have partied really hard last night since I see only one familiar shirt somewhere on the other side of the stadium err… room. And still no one smiles even after breakfast. Unbelievable.

Today I head to the area reserved for the Mentors to take a seat that’s rightfully mine and say hi to Mark Finnern noticing that he is very tall (isn’t it amazing how one could be a great person all around, but the first  thing that comes to mind is – holly smokes, he’s so much taller than me!). There is an actual DJ on stage who is spinning some pop hits and having a good time. Well, at least that makes two of us. 

The Keynote finally starts and again I can’t stop thinking how much more I’d like to see it delivered by Hasso Plattner. Sigh… The note does not bring any revelations. This year it’s all about HANA (yet again) and even the last year’s darlings Cloud and Mobility are almost taking the back seat. Most interesting thing is actually to watch the reaction of the crowd. Where the Mentors and SAP people go “yay!!!” the rest of the room is like “uhm, whatever”. A bit of disconnect, it seems.

Next on my schedule are some Expert Networking sessions that are happening in the “lounges” on the main showroom floor (this is a humongous room where all the exhibitions are). The lounges are not actually separate rooms but just small areas with a few seats. On one hand the idea is great – anyone could join by just walking by and there could be as many or as few participants as the space allows. But on the other hand it’s difficult to hear your presenter when there is another session happening literally a couple of feet away. Still these are good session and at least they involve some real life experts and are only 30 minutes long.

IMG-20131023-00079.jpgBefore lunch I take a looting expedition around the exhibition hall to get as much free stuff as the airline regulations for carry on would allow. I’ll take that pen and that… I have no idea what, but it’s free and it means I certainly need it, thank you! In my defense – I don’t just scoop up everything and show genuine interest for the exhibits whenever possible or at least use my best Southern charm and “aaaw, my 4 year old would love this!”. By the way, my own special award for the cutest TechEd swag goes to the stuffed platypus from Revelation Software (see picture). How cute is that?! I also have to shamelessly plug my friends from Oxya who are a major TechEd sponsor this year. Mel (Melchior du Boullay) is one of the best Basis guys I’ve known, so they totally deserve all the success. Come and meet him at their booth if you’re here at TechEd.

The lunch is being served and the food is surprisingly good. Once again I’m amazed by the people working at the event – masterfully directing human traffic, smoothly refilling the stations,  picking up trash. Their service is almost invisible, which only speaks for its high quality. Don’t their deserve a smile and a thank you?

Finally almost everyone seems to be in a better mood after lunch and I’d love to get some more free stuff but have to run to the hands-on session ‘ABAP on HANA’. Inside I feel disappointed immediately because there are two participants per laptop. Arrrgh… This makes it a “hand on” session at best, might as well have just watched a presentation. It doesn’t help when in the middle of the session we are starting to get ‘maximum number of connection reached’ errors and eventually everyone gets kicked out from the server completely. Trouble in the IT paradise, ha-ha. Like the star students, my partner and I finish all the tasks an hour earlier and take off leaving someone else a chance to get their hand(s) on HANA.

Much to my relief, there is some serious dinner served at the optional Networking Reception. Some adult beverages are also being poured, which probably contributes to making the next event (Demo Jam) a lot of fun. I have to refrain from overindulging though because I’ll be called on stage as a former member of the month together with the fellow MOMer Samuli Kaski. There is no tiara or an ‘Oscars’ style speech involved, fortunately, and we manage climbing up the stairs and walking the few steps successfully and hopefully don’t look too awkward standing there on stage. I believe there might be a recording of this glorious event – check it out and let me know because I’m too terrified to watch it.

The Demo Jam emcee is awesomely hilarious and most demos (or jams?) are entertaining as well. I cheer as loud as I can for Felipe Chirinos and ‘Drums Analytics’ but he is a runner-up. I don’t like saying “everyone is a winner” because we all know this is just not true, but there are certainly no losers at this event. It’s a perfect way to end the day. Is there a chance to see more smiles tomorrow? I’ll be watching you, TechEd…

Continue reading to Day Three blog

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  • Hi Jelena Perfiljeva I am really 😆 while reading your blog. You have some special skills of writing which most of the people don’t have. I have never seen this much emotions in any blog 🙂

    So you got an award without saying a few words like they say in any award show “Thanks to my whole team and Thanks to my family and …….” I feel like they should give at least 10 seconds to speak in mic to everyone who comes on stage. I will try to find out 2nd day Demo Jam video on youtube or somewhere else where they put TechEd videos. Thank you for sharing day by day updates 😉 but it would be more nice if you share some pictures as well.


    • Unfortunately I didn’t bring my “good” camera and cameras in both my phone and iPad mini are not very good, especially in low light. I’ll try to post the few pictures I managed to take, but they’re far from spectacular.

  • But she DID share a picture and what else could have hold up against that plushy thing?! If I was at TechED, that one would absolutly be in my loot, too. ^^ 

    Continental breakfast (raise a hand if you know which continent it’s from – I have no idea)

    I think, they are talking about the old continent, so Europe. ^^ Because in Great Britain (not on the continent) the breakfast looks a lot different.

    Your blog really takes me to Vegas and TechEd. But I wonder if you’re alone most of the time there? I would have expected that you have at least one familiar face by your side walking around the floor there.

        • Depends on available options. Like Pen, Diary, Laptop bag or may be some laptop if there is any 😀

          By the way paper clip is male kinda thing? 😯

          • Lolzzz 😀

            You are absolutely right. Women can take anything 😯 and once I saw a video on facebook about it which made me laugh 😀

            Pen, paper clip and diary are somethings which males and females both can take away happily but thank God they put paper clip their not the Hair bands or lips sticks etc 😉

        • You might be surprised but the loot at TechEd is really not as massive as I was expecting. Your badge gets scanned and you get one souvenir (which could be a pen or a tin of terrible mints). Some exhibitors have drawings of iPads and even laptops, but it’s just a few pieces a day for thousands of people and most don’t make it easy to win. E.g. you have to be present to win at 5:30 pm, but many sessions run till 6 pm. Not that I’m complaining (I already got a free admission) but it’s hardly raining gifts here.

          • Some exhibitors have drawings of iPads and even laptops,


            I literally read that as “drawings” like in “drawn picture of a laptop or iPad” and I was like “woah, they went the really cheap way!”. 😆

            Well, with so little good stuff to take away I guess the hunt is on. ^^ Just to compare with your colleagues and friends later what everybody could grab that is actually cool and useful. *g*

            To meet the people I connected with here on SCN would be one of the big pros for me to go to a TechEd some day (and Vegas!). I looked at some infos yesterday and then saw the price for the pass. I need to start some saving… 😀

            I hope today the smiles started to come out. I mean, why would everybody look so grumpy there? It’s like they were forced to be there or what? :/

          • Some exhibitors have drawings of iPads and even laptops,


            I literally read that as “drawings” like in “drawn picture of a laptop or iPad”

            Same here 😀

            “errr, thanks, but can I rather have a real one?”

          • That reminds me of the (paper) notebooks of a company that sells notebooks and those (paper) notebooks looked in the design like real notebooks (with ports drawn in on the spine of the book and everything).

            So it wouldn’t be so far off if they give away drawings of laptops. If those were cool concept art thingys, I wouldn’t mind. 😀

    • Yes, “continental” breakfast is definitely European, and definitely not British. Although all of the different countries that make up “the continent” have different ideas of what passes for breakfast anyway. I think the French come closest to the standard “continental” breakfast? Maybe.


      • It’s a good mix, I guess. As long as you have coffee and some kind of bread with something like jam or cheese or ham to put on there, you have your Continental. *g*

        I’m a big fan of the British/Irish Breakfast BTW. ^^ Just without the black & white pudding and I don’t need the tomato. 😀

      • Continental breakfast at TechEd consists of cereal (like Kellogs), fruit, bagels with cream cheese and pastries of various ethnical background. If I remember correctly, the continental breakfast at a hotel in Berlin was totally different, so maybe the actual translation is “not what we normally eat on this continent”. 🙂 The “American breakfast” includes things like pancakes and eggs with bacon (AND, not OR). It’s a heart attack on a plate, essentially.

    • Thank you for all your support, Steffi! I am just by myself here, but far from being lonely (other than sometimes alone by choice). I don’t hesitate to ambush random Mentors when I see them and just like we, Southerners, do strike the conversations with complete strangers. I’ve also met here in person many people I’ve already known from SCN, so this feels almost like a family reunion sometimes. 🙂

  • I have to admit your observations have made myself among others really feel like we are there.   I think the only other person who used to write Teched Blogs(for Las Vegas) like this was Jim Spath.  Thank you so much for sharing and I’m enjoying your observations.

    Hopefully a few more people will smile also 🙂 as huge events like Teched aren’t possible without the armies of people in those support roles 🙂 . 

    Take care,


          • I’m nowhere near as good a writer as Jelena. And I’m not good at writing on the go – I much prefer to let things sink in for a few days and write stuff up when I get home. There are others who would do a much better job, I’m sure.

            Are you not going to Amsterdam, Steffi?

          • No. TechEds are not on my list (yet). :/ Maybe next year, if everything falls into place.

            And aww, Steve. Don’t say that! I think you’re a very good writer. And maybe this could be a challenge for you: describing what’s going on right during the turmoil of it all. To grab the fresh impressions and emotions by their throat and throw them on (digital) paper. 🙂

          • No. TechEds are not on my list (yet). :/ Maybe next year, if everything falls into place.                  

            Sad news indeed 🙁 You must get yourself to TechEd next year, though.

            And thanks for the encouragement. I’ll see how inspired I feel!