How to host an SAP Inside Track! Easy step-by-step guide to build a community!
NEW STEP BY STEP GUIDE (WIKI) AVAILABLE HERE:
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An SAP Inside Track (SIT) is a local grassroots community organized event where SAP Community Network members come together to share knowledge and expertise and to network about SAP related topics. Often these sessions are web-casted and recorded to accommodate multiple time-zones.
Organizing an SAP Inside Track may seem like a big task, but with the help of this page and some SAP Community Network friends, it can be done with relatively little effort and with bigger impact. Below are some guidelines.
There are two things that are highly encouraged, for activity tracking purposes:
- Complete and submit the SIT Impact Form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Conduct post-event survey to participants to gauge the benefit of the event for participants. (example)
Tools to help you plan and organize the event (most of these are free)
Registration tools: EventBrite/Google Forms
Survey tools: Google Forms/SurveyMonkey
Social Media tracking tools: Keyhole/Hastagify/Hootsuite
- Connect and collaborate with a co-host (if needed)
Initiate a meet-up in your city with people who are willing to help you make the SAP Inside Track happen. You could check out SCN and connect with the topic leaders from your country.
Co-locate with a user group meeting is possible to increase attendance and support. For example: ASUG Chapter Meeting in North America.
- Select a date
Try to host the event when it is convenient for your target attendees; you can even host on a weekend or have a half-day or night event. Consider any other events in your city (trade fairs, festivals, etc.) which can be a massive impact on the hotel room. Have a look at the Events Wiki Space to see the dates of other already announced Inside Tracks.
- Select and book a location
Supplying conference rooms for an SAP Inside Track is an excellent opportunity for your employer to present itself in a positive way to SAP professionals. This is a strong argument if you want to persuade your employer to sponsor the event.
Check out with local SAP if no dedicated venue is already available for partners and social events. For example, in Belgium, SAP Belux and its’ partners have a great place called SAP Lounge.
- Fill out the SIT pre-event form so that we can keep track of how many of these events we are holding. This information keeps the program going and is also the mechanism to request monetary support for your event (Note: The monetary support is for food/room bookings/stationeries and not for travel expenses)
- Find one or more sponsors
One great SAP partner that you could reach out to is SAP PRESS which would provide 10% discount on all books for SAP Inside Track attendees as well as a few free books to give away during the event!
- Announce your SIT to invite speakers and attendees
Create a blog here to announce your SIT and to corral speakers, attendees, and even sponsors! A great example for content is here. (Suggested pre-event blog title format: “SAP Inside Track Milan 2015, April 10.”) You can also directly e-mail potential speakers and attendees too.
Create an EventBrite for registration. You can copy this sample EventBrite for your event. Remember to give them a reminder at least 2 weeks prior and a few days before the event.
- Promote the event through your network and social media channels (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.) – don’t forget to include the registration link and a hashtag (recommended hashtags are #SAPMentor, #SCN and #SITxxx where xxx stands for country or city).
SCN wants to support your event through the official SAP Community Network channels on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube . Please contact email@example.com to find out how to promote through SCN social media channels before, during and after to promote your success with the event.
As most local SAP professionals don’t know about these events (read: “Make local SAP aware that Communities and SAP Mentors exist and do matter!”), get in touch with local SAP employees to promote your event internally. For example, SAP Belux has internal newsletter called “TAM TAM” sent out every Monday internally.
If possible, you could also challenge local press, ICT specialized magazines, etc. to publish your invitation to the SAP Inside Track.
- Define your agenda
On your blog, include the sessions, the presenters, and the topic. To generate more interest for your event, post the agenda before the event so that people have a better idea of why they should attend your SIT. You can also put together more than one track per session for different interest groups. Remember to allow time for networking.
At the event:
- Make sure the directions to the venue are clear with signage at the venue directing attendees to the conference room.
- Consider and arrange IT support in case of problems.
Test EVERYTHING before the actual event; this includes: live streaming, recording, Wi-Fi, projectors, presentation slides, demos, and even power outlets.
Each room should have an assigned room host who is familiar with the technology and infrastructure in the room: loud speakers, phone, projectors, Wi-Fi, flipcharts, electricity, office furniture, air conditioning, lights, windows, and so on. The room host should be present and support speakers while they set everything up and get ready for their presentation. The room host should also agree on signals for “10 minutes to go,” “5 minutes to go,” and “stop” with the speaker and deal with any source of noise and unrest during the presentation so the speaker can concentrate on delivering the actual session.
Make sure most presentations could be done offline with a back-up copy on pen drive.
Test for the network protocols that are likely to be used in internet connections: RDP (for Amazon AWS cloud access), YouTube, and others. Ask presenters ahead of time if they are going to need any special internet connection that might be blocked by your local firewall.
Optional: Live Streaming & Recording Sessions:
If there are SAP Employees that are helping with the event. Get them to learn SAP Connect well and have a web camera and Polycom (if available) ready.
- SAP Employees opens the SAP Connect session
- Every presenter dials into the session and shares his screen
- Audio is called via the Polycom. Don’t forget to start the audio conference in SAP Connect too, otherwise sound will not be recorded.
- Start and stop the recording between the different sessions
If you don’t have an SAP Employee to help out, you can register at ustream.tv and use that for broadcasting and recording. Make sure that there is a person doing the recording and watching the chat, so that the online participants get a chance that their questions are answered. Caution: If using Adobe Connect, you might experience echoes and such; Test in advance and if available, use a Polycom.
Make sure there’s enough coffee and water for the whole day. If you’re serving lunch/dinner, make sure to take into account attendees’ dietary requirements.
- Designated photographer and blogger
Having a blogger and photographer makes it easier for you to promote the impact of your event in a post-event blog and e-mail to attendees and stakeholders.
- Social media activities
- Send the post-event form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Post a wrap-up blog in SCN to showcase the impact of your event. What came out from the discussion among the attendees and the speakers? What actionable insights did you get out of the sessions? What was done well and what could have been done better? Include the slides and recordings of the sessions.
- Highly suggested: Create a post-event survey to send out to attendees. Here’s an example. Feel free to add questions as you see fit.
Thanks & Good Luck!