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I saw this on Twitter (probably due to their time warping algorithm updates) today and thought I’d share a few veteran tips:

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i need some help on how to organize my first #SAP #TechEd  in Barcelona. 608 workshops and i want to attend all of them! Any suggestion from the veterans like @JelenaAtLarge or @frommikki or @casertz  ? Save a poor n00b! 🙂

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https://mobile.twitter.com/SMilesi81

As it turns out, Simone is not really a N00B [ https://people.sap.com/simone.milesi ]; he was member of the month not long back: https://blogs.sap.com/2016/08/01/simone-milesi-scn-member-of-the-month-august-2016/  Doesn’t matter though, as the tips that follow are from my perspective and attendees should adjust to suit their style.

  1. Overload your agenda. I’ve hit conference session planners in the past that would not let you schedule two things at the same time, but the more recent style allows this, and should alert you if you’ve double or triple booked.  Maybe you go to your top choice at 10AM and find after a few minutes you’re not getting what you hoped. Don’t be afraid to skip out to the second choice.  As a speaker, I wince when this happens but audience should be where they need to be not where the speaker needs them.
  2. For TechEd, pick 2 hour hands on, not 4. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but since there are so many other things going on at the same time, locking yourself in one room for half a day minimizes the breadth of your learning. Good hands-on sessions fill up so the window of opportunity to sign up may have already gone, though you can wait in line in case of no-shows for a topic you really need to pick up.
  3. Get to the conference early, and look for people to chat with. If there’s a pre-conference day and you can be in town, go there even if you aren’t registered. Introduce yourself to speakers and attendees (and even SAP Mentors, who are very approachable).  For a slide talk, sit as close to the front and to the center aisle as you can, to better sense the speakers nuances.

 

Hope to see you in Barcelona!

 

p.s. some links to my past posts:

and this is me on the right should you wish to say hi… beard’s a bit longer now.

pps I have grown to detest keynotes.

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4 Comments

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  1. Simone Milesi

    Hi Jim!

    Thanks for the the suggestions!

    And yes, i’m a n00b, a big, proud n00b at his first TechEd: when you’ll see a not-so-young one, staring around with his jaw dropped like a kid in Lego store, well, that’s me! 🙂

    i’m enjoying the good tips you shared and the support from the community via Twitter: it’s something amazing and really heart warming!

    Ps.

    i think people will have to endure my hyperexcited attitude about this for a while: you know, kids, lego store…

     

     

    —EDIT—

    Not time warp, i received in my night (14 hrs ago) the mail from Craig Cmehil  about the result of the lottery for the TechEd Tickets 🙂

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    1. Jim Spath Post author

      Awesome about the lottery!

       

      I highly recommend building your agenda, then posting it somewhere (maybe in a blog series…). This helps peers find you, and may be easier to follow than appointments on a mobile, particularly if you also have day-job or client/customer/vendor meetings to juggle as well.

       

      (0) 
  2. Jelena Perfiljeva

    https://people.sap.com/simone.milesi , I’ll just piggy-back on Jim’s blog here. As Jim correctly noted, pick shorter hands-on sessions and then plan your days around them.

    There are some practical agenda-building tips in my older blogs (link and link). I second Jim’s suggestion to post a blog with your own agenda as it can help others with similar interests.

    In addition to hands-on sessions, I give preference to the 1-hour lectures (you can filter by type in the agenda builder) and look for ASUG or Mentor sessions or for the familiar presenters. Some sessions might have slides included, which I find very helpful because it’s hard to describe a session accurately (and attractively at the same time 🙂 ) in 2 sentences of the short description.

    Not sure about Barcelona but in Vegas some sessions are recorded. I skip those purely for logistical reasons. If I can watch a replay why spend valuable in-person time? Also I usually don’t schedule to attend sessions that run on the shop floor as they can be very noisy and crowded. I do just browse them if I happen to be nearby but don’t make a point to run there from another floor.

    I also make sure to include an hour for a lunch break and avoid just running around chewing a cold sandwich. This is time to recharge and to catch up with an old friend or meet someone new.

    Good luck and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as for everyone the TechEd experience is exactly as good as they make it to be. 🙂

    (2) 

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