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It’s the day before the ASUG pre-conference sessions so for me it is the day before ASUG Annual Conference.  Like Jim Spath says in Misses and near hits in Orlando 2014 – why I won’t be at ASUG/Sapphire Now, “I’m going to ASUG Annual Conference” which happens to be co-located with SAPPHIRENOW

I checked in today, and what is new is now they have self-check in tablets, where you scan your badge. Tip number one from me is to not scan your badge twice; that happened accidentally to me and I was sent somewhere else.  Tip number two is to check your badge – are you a speaker, exhibitor, attendee?  Make sure it is the right badge for you.

I also got a sneak peek (albeit not a very good one) of the show floor:

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I also made sure of where the SAP Insider booth is; it is always worth a visit during the conference.

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This is my 8th or 9th ASUG Annual Conference, and the same for SAPPHIRENOW.  I attended the two events separately in 1998 – ASUG Annual Conference was in Toronto, and the convention center, as I recall, was a short train ride away.  Back then, there was a night of dancing – can you imagine that now?  Then in 1998 I also attended SAPPHIRE in Los Angeles.  The highlight of the event was at the end of Hasso Plattner’s speech the USC Trojan Marching band came out and played.  Sadly, I remember his speech saying how he watched users copy and paste document numbers from FI – something many of us still do today – and how he wanted to get away from that.

I started attending ASUG forums in between; in 2002 I attended the Public Sector forum in Tampa and got instant help from an SAP product manager on a Funds Management issue we were having.  The trip saved us in aggravation back at the office.

Finally in 2007 (or 2008?) we submitted an abstract to present on our upgrade; at the time we were the only federal entity to successfully upgrade on a solution.  We were initially selected as an alternate.  Then good news in February of that year; ASUG BITI Volunteer Kristen Dennis contacted us to present.  It was a great experience.

The following year I formally became a volunteer and one of my role models was Jim Spath, who showed me the ropes of ASUG.com, how to organize Year-Round Community events, and kindly introduced me to the great Peter McNulty.  I’m sad that people like Jim who have worked so hard as a volunteer for ASUG aren’t coming this year, but as a trained accountant I understand funding.  I am also sad that long-time attendee and volunteer Cathy Kenlin is not coming this year either.

More tips:

1. Attend ASUG sessions to hear straight from the customers and their stories.

Yesterday I watched this oldie but goody from Jon Reed and Jim Spath:

It reminded me of the purpose of ASUG Annual Conference: to share customer stories

2. Walking Outside the Convention Center

Today, in an effort to meet my challenge listed in Susan Keohan Your mission, should you decide to accept it… – to walk 3000 steps outside the convention center.  I think I did it, but thanks to a Premiere Beauty Show there were pedi-cabs everywhere.  Be sure you are walking to the right, always, and be mindful of the pedi-cabs.

3. Frugal

It’s tough being frugal when a small cup of coffee inside the hotel costs $3.73, but if you are at a hotel near the convention center I recommend going to McDonald’s across the street where the coffee is still good, and a little cheaper.

Additionally, a bottle of water in the hotel costs $5; I recommend walking across to the Walgreen’s for cheaper water – I bought a big bottle of water at Walgreen’s for only $1.50.

4. Blog about the event

One of the reasons I wrote this blog was to support Your mission, should you decide to accept it… Marilyn Pratt mission to blog about the event.  Is this blog rich enough?  Not sure.

5. Check out Tips for Getting More Out of In-Person Events by Kirby Leong

Only thing I would add is bring a water bottle to refill from the water stations.

At lunch I read the program that this is the twenty-sixth SAPPHIRE.  That is amazing.

If you can’t be here in person, you can join online at Get the latest news from SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 | SAPPHIRE NOW

My final request is if you are here in person to encourage you to leave the show floor, and attend the ASUG sessions on the second and third floor.  See you around.

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  1. Marilyn Pratt

    I personally enjoyed your historical retrospective and as someone virtually attending this year was glad for your valuable reminder to join online.  While refraining from judging the value such a piece of content delivers to others, I’ll certainly credit it for the sapcc challenge and add a small *kaching* to the Susan Keohan Your mission, should you decide to accept it… – pot.

    Thanks for promoting the spirit of community giving and participation.

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