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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Planning for A Really Big Shoe – Behind the Scenes ASUG Volunteer Weekend – ASUG Annual Conference

Borrowing from the late great Ed Sullivan

AC_Logo_black_lores.jpgPrimarily the ASUG Volunteer meeting held this past weekend is to review and plan for ASUG Annual Conference, which this year is June 3-5 in Orlando (co-located with SAPPHIRE NOW).

Other things happen too at this meeting, including webcast planning, planning influence activities, planning chapter activities and more.

As this is the fourth or fifth year that I have helped plan conference, I try to take a step back and ask, what could I have done better?

Looking back, it is the usual – I wish I would have had time to look at and incorporate everyone’s feedback into ASUG Annual Conference.  Some of that fell short this past week as I spent extra time shoveling snow around my house.  I look forward to the day when I am not *dreaming* of these spreadsheets.

The call for abstracts was open the week of December 2nd, officially closed on January 10th, and was extended to January 14th.  This resulted in over 2,134 abstracts submitted in total.  Of this, Lumira shows us the top 5 topic areas submitted for abstracts


Top 5 Topic Areas of Abstracts submitted

BITI and BI are sharing the HANA Technology track, so overall between BITI and BI received 39% of the overall submissions.  I also believe BITI had sessions classified in other tracks, so the percentage could be more.  Therefore the teams cannot wait until meeting in January to plan session selections.  A lot of pre-planning occurs ahead of time.

So from January 15-23 time was spent reviewing abstracts and determining what may have been missed. Did

enough customers submit?  Was a topic or roadmap missing?  Did the abstract get classified in the right topic area?

I am grateful to ASUG HQ for obtaining a planning room the day before the volunteer meeting for both BI and BITI teams to begin work.

Day 1, Friday

Organize the abstract labels and place the desired abstracts on post-it notes

Then post them on the wall (see below for BITI image) to schedule


Photo of BITI Planned sessions by @ASUG_Michigan

Day 2, Saturday

Continue with Day 1 activities and discuss abstracts selected, not selected

Other teams come around to see what has been selected, and what is not selected

At the end of the day, manually transfer the session numbers to spreadsheet

Also during this time

Discuss upcoming webcasts and which team will do what


Photo by Isabelle Nuage, SAP


While the conference begins on June 3rd, it really begins for ASUG on June 2nd.  On this day ASUG will have (subject to change) pre-conference sessions covering BI, HANA, SuccessFactors, Solution Manager, and more.  So save the date today

Note of Gratitude

Special thanks to our ASUG volunteers who spend their own time on ASUG without pay or expectation. The same holds true for great SAP points of contact Ingo Hilgefort, Peter McNulty and Ina Felsheim

Finally I am grateful to SAP Mentor  Joyce Butler for coming extra early on Friday to help.  Thanks to all the ASUG volunteers who helped this weekend.

Everyone was working towards the same goal – provide the best content possible at ASUG Annual Conference.  The planned content is excellent – see you there, maybe?

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      Author's profile photo Ina Felsheim
      Ina Felsheim

      It's great to work with such a seasoned, influential team!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Indeed I will see you there - I am looking forward to it!  I'm fortunate that my abstract was one of the 2,134 accepted (along with my copresenter Yacouba M'baye).  Thank you for all that you do for ASUG, and I hope we can meet in person while there.  You'll find me lurking on the industries campus for Sapphire, and at ASUG I'll definitely be at Session Code 3909, "ArcelorMittal Mines shares Managing a Global, Cloud-based BI on HANA Implementation"