The ASUG Annual Volunteer meeting kicked off last night with a networking reception. It was a great way to see people in person, most of whom you normally exchange e-mails with or periodically speak to on the phone.
The main difference this year from prior years is this meeting is not to plan ASUG Annual Conference. The conference planning, for the most part, is done, with finishing touches to be determined.
The good news for ASUG Program Committee Volunteers is that this year ASUG is using the same abstract tool that SAP uses for SAP TechEd – and it is a big improvement. In the past tool, I had to download monstrous spreadsheets, join them with another speaker spreadsheet, and use Lumira for data cleansing. Happily the new tool has everything necessary built in such as filtering.
Also, back in 2008, ASUG “BI” (BW) received 100 submissions for ASUG Annual Conference; this year the number of submissions was five times the amount. To me, this shows interest in BI, BW and HANA and interest in the Enterprise Information Management area with over 50+ submissions. I personally want to thank everyone who took the time to submit abstracts; it is greatly appreciated. I wish we could accept so many more of them. Over 2200 abstracts were submitted.
ASUG Annual Conference has really grown over the years; looking back at when I first started volunteering in 2007 ASUG Annual Conference/SAPPHIRE had 15K attendees; in 2014 attendance was reported at 25K. It is a massive event that has grown over the years.
Why should someone attend conference? That was under discussion last night, and listening to responses included networking, hearing the latest and greatest from SAP, learning about future SAP roadmaps, and hearing customer stories.
Looking back at last year, ASUG reported a 50% increase in registrations for face-to-face events in 2014, compared to 2012. In 2014, ASUG had 400 webcasts, with 75 of them coming from the ASUG BI Community. ASUG also had 100 hours of content at SAP TechEd Las Vegas. In looking back at 2007-2008, ASUG had 130 webcasts. ASUG has really grown.
This year the agenda is focused more on ASUG Influence, how to make the community better, and year-round planning. Already the ASUG BI group has almost 20 webcasts scheduled for 2015 with 35 more in the pipeline.
I looked up the term “volunteer” on Google and it means “a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.” So this work is performed by volunteers freely offering their time.”
I am looking forward to the day’s agenda and activities.