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It’s All Right.  By the time 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 23 rolls around, we know you’ve spent a long week Workin’ For A Livin’ at SAP TechEd && d-code.  You’ve put your Heart and Soul into training, networking, and learning.  Step by step, rung by rung, you’ve been climbing Jacob’s Ladder, and in a Perfect World, you’d have a Couple Days Off.  But instead, we’re Stuck With You – and you with us – until those flights take off on Friday.

But It’s Alright.  Really. We’re happy to be Stuck With You.  Because we’re taking a trip Back In Time to The Heart of Rock and Roll — when it was Hip To Be Square — with Huey Lewis and the News!


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The band really needs no introduction.  They’ve sold more than 20 million albums worldwide since forming 35 years ago from two rival bands in the San Francisco Bay Area.  They’ve had 19 top 10 singles on the Billboard charts.  All five albums they released between 1982 and 1991 — Picture This (1982); Sports (1983);  Fore! (1986); Small World (1988); Hard At Play (1991) — reached the top 30 on the Billboard 200 album chart and have been certified Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum.  And they’ve written and performed such classic Top Ten Hits as The Power Of Love; Do You Believe In Love; If This Is It; Doing It All For My Baby; and I Know What I Like (in addition to the classics noted above.)

They’re Grammy winners, Academy Award nominees, and they deliver a phenomenal live performance.   Unlike a lot of the AutoTuned artists dominating the airwaves, these guys can really sing!  Just check out these clips of a few of their a capella renditions of some early rock and roll classics:

So dig into the back of your closet for your favorite eighties attire, and wear it proudly, because we’re celebrating #ThrowbackThursday at SAP TechEd && d-code.  Acid washed jeans.  Double-layered Izod shirts with popped collars.  Members Only jackets.  Rubber bracelets.  Anything neon.  Jellies. (Personally, I’m still beating myself up over getting rid of my beloved baby blue fringed cowboy boots.  Maybe I can find some on ebay, or Zappos.)  Even your favorite vintage concert tee will do.

We’ll have a VJ on hand before Huey Lewis and the News take the stage, to get you in the mood with some of your favorite old videos.  Let us know if you have any requests in the comments section.  I’ve asked the team to look into wine coolers and Tab, but we’re not sure we can get either of those in Las Vegas in 2014.  So tell us what your drink of choice was back in the day, and maybe we’ll surprise you with it!

Those of you who have been regular attendees of SAP TechEd in the past may be thinking that this approach to the celebration night is a departure for us – and you’d be right. So I’d like to share some insight into our thought process.

A few months back, we sent a follow-up survey to those of you who attended SAP TechEd Las Vegas last year.  We wanted to find out if you’re still finding the information you learned at the conference valuable, several months down the line, and if so, how you’re accessing that information.  We wanted your input about some new ideas and changes under consideration for this year’s program.  And we wanted to get a better sense of your taste in music and entertainment.  How important is the concert to you as a part of your overall SAP TechEd (&& d-code) experience?  Are there other types of activities you’d prefer instead of a concert?  And what kind of music do you want to hear?

Honestly, I was a little surprised by the results.  Only 37% said the concert was an important or very important part of your conference experience.  34% were neutral on the subject, and 28% said it was not very or not at all important to you. That being said, if we’re going to host a celebration night, the majority of you agreed you prefer a concert with an original artist as the entertainment of choice.  Your musical tastes also vary – but are definitely skewed towards Classic Rock, Pop, and Alternative (69%).

Our takeaway from the survey was that we could make some changes to the celebration night format – within certain parameters.  Keep the concert – but look beyond the “SAP TechEd-style band” of recent years.  The team brainstormed.  We checked into the availability of a variety of artists.  We narrowed down the list.  And we couldn’t decide which approach to take.  So we called on the SAP Mentors to participate in a confidential poll.  We asked them which of 3 choices they thought the SAP TechEd && d-code audience would most enjoy – and 50% picked Huey Lewis and the News and a #ThrowbackThursday celebration.

Personally, I’m excited about the choice, and I hope you are, too!

Follow Huey Lewis and the News on Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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