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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Feels like the first time: Tips for First Timers at #SAPPHIRENOW #ASUG2018 @SAPPHIRENOW

With over 500+ ASUG sessions and several more on the SAPPHIRENOW show floor, it can be a little intimidating for a first timer at 2018 ASUG Annual Conference (co-located with SAPPHIRENOW)

What should you do? Where should you go? For me, I always make time for the ASUG sessions, as ASUG offers customer-driven content.

First time to 2018 ASUG Annual Conference SAPPHIRE NOW – what do I need to know? Or perhaps you haven’t attended the conference for several years…on today, which is exactly 20 years from the day I first attended ASUG Annual Conference  1998 in Toronto, I thought I would share some suggestions.

Start planning your agenda now.

Waiting to go onsite at the Orange County Convention Center can be scary, so plan your day ahead of time. Have back up sessions in case your first choice session is full.

I recommend starting to plan your week now. Search the session catalog keyword or filter by technology, session type, or technical level to find sessions.

Wear comfortable shoes

I know one year, Danny Pancratz, ASUG Education Director, shared that he had walked over 17K steps and it was still early afternoon!  It is a long convention center.

Wear a sweater

Yes, I know, Orlando in June will be super-hot, super humid outside. But inside the convention center it is really cold, so pack an extra sweater.

Reusable Water Container

This tip came years ago from fellow ASUG volunteer/SAP Mentor Jim Spath. SAP doesn’t offer bottled water, so the water will be in containers at various stops on the show floor and outside ASUG sessions.

Write a post-trip report

After each session, write down a few things you learned and want to follow up on afterwards

Complete the survey immediately after attending the session

Speakers depend on your feedback to improve and value you feedback.

So I haven’t registered….

SAP has a convince your boss letter to download today

Explain that you will be a more valuable asset to your organization by attending SAP’s largest user conference.

Consider a June 4th ASUG Pre-conference session

Time is running out on a few sessions. I am most familiar with this one:

Hands-On Data Visualization and Dashboards with the Designer Edition of SAP Lumira and SAP Analytics Cloud, in Orlando on Monday, June 4th:

  • Kick off the week with Hands-On Data Visualization and Dashboards with the Designer Edition of SAP Lumira and SAP Analytics.
  • Get a comprehensive overview of SAP Analytics Cloud and Lumira Designer
  • Learn How to integrate the designer edition of SAP Lumira and SAP Cloud Analytics into an existing SAP software landscape
  • How to use the designer edition of SAP Lumira and SAP Analytics Cloud to create compelling visual stories on premise and in the cloud
  • Detailed, hands-on exercises with SAP Lumira, designer edition
  • Detailed, hands-on exercises with SAP Analytics Cloud

Register now!

Spaces are filling up so register soon.

Power…where is it?

Sometimes it is hard to find power; I recommend packing a portable power strip

Social Media

Follow hashtags #ASUG2018 #SAPPHIRENOW; you can also follow @ASUG365 and @SAPPHIRENOW


Read past attendee blogs

Here are a few of my own:

Day 0 

Outside the lines

And one by the great Jelena Perfiljeva

A Day of Pleasant Surprises

My promotional video:

See you there? What tips did I miss? You can also attend this ASUG Conference preview webcast on May 16 Deep Dive Preview of ASUG BI/Analytics/BusinessObjects Sessions at ASUG Annual Conference


See part 2 here

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      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva

      From my experience, I'd add: book the hotel as early as possible and don't rely on the shuttle bus being there on time or at all. There are not as many hotel rooms available around the convention center in Orlando as in Vegas and any hotels within walking distance are booked very fast.

      The shuttle buses have limited space and can be very slow. Also if your hotel is one of the last stops there might not even be any space left on the bus. Hotels can usually arrange for car service and you could look for some carpool buddies to share the ride with.

      Most importantly, smile and try to have fun! 🙂



      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Excellent - thank you for commenting, Jelena

      Author's profile photo Tom Cenens
      Tom Cenens

      Thanks for sharing Tammy, it reminds me it might make sense for me to order a SAP Mentors sweater in terms of preparing. As well as packing my battery pack and I was thinking about getting a SIM card also to ensure I have mobile access throughout the conference, outside, at the Hilton, in case I run out of the WIFI range somehow.

      I was looking for a blog post by John Appleby but I couldn't find it back where he was discussing about travelling items such as a silencing headphone, suitcase etc. I remember it was an interesting read but unfortunately, I cannot find it back.

      Author's profile photo DJ Adams
      DJ Adams

      Was it this one, Tom?


      How to travel like a pro – 10 tips for frequent flyers


      Author's profile photo Tom Cenens
      Tom Cenens

      Yep, that's the one 🙂

      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao

      Excellent tips Tammy! Thanks for sharing! So we've even had ASUG Annual Conference in Toronto, eh?! Wow that would be a nice location in the future!

      As for tips, I would add that while you're at SAPPHIRE, try something different! It means getting out of your comfort zone, but that's usually where the interesting things happen! Imagine the stories you can tell and blogs you can write after! Here are some examples:

      • Speak to some of the exhibitors - yes, besides give-aways and tonnes of knowledge, they also host some of the best receptions, pre- and post concert parties around town. If you haven't attended these at SAPPHIRE before, then it's time you have a conversation with these partner exhibitors. Great networking opportunity!
      • Take a pedicab - these bicycle cabs can be seen zipping along International Blvd and will surely give you a different perspective of Orlando than the usual taxi and hotel shuttles. Even though they have covers, I would recommend skipping these in the event of storms or heavy downpours.
      • Introduce yourself at lunch - most of the time, you just want to eat your lunch, head off to another session, and expect everyone else already sitting at the table to want to same thing. Come on now! It only takes less than a minute to hear everyone's name and find out where everybody's from. You'd be surprise what other things you have in common besides sitting at the same table and attending the same conference.

      So, this tip and examples are for attendees who don't already do these things (my bias for extroversion). If you already do, great! And remember to rescue the wallflowers!

      Author's profile photo Douglas Cezar Kuchler
      Douglas Cezar Kuchler

      Jason, Unfortunately I can not be at SAPPHIRE this year but I absolutely loved your suggestions here.


      Contrary to you, I've a strong bias to introversion and I can see how your tips can help me going outside my comfort zone with minimal pain.


      Thank you for sharing,




      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao

      Hi Douglas, I won't be at SAPPHIRE this year as well, but I hope others will benefit from Tammy's and others' tips.

      I tried to make my points specific to SAPPHIRE. I can also see how many of the tips shared above can be applicable to preparing ourselves for attending other events and conferences as well. Hope to see and meet you at an upcoming SAP event, and see you in action. (That's a subtle offer to keep you accountable). 😉