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Author's profile photo Jim Spath

Packing for Virtual TechEd 2021

For attendance at SAP TechEd in the past, I would have arranged my ticket months in advance, booked travel and lodging already, and be going through my gear trying to decide what I need to have on the road and what can be left behind. But last year that didn’t work out at all, and I didn’t have the spare capacity to attend even one webcast from a TechEd presenter. This year, I’m a bit more energized, so here are my packing ideas and thoughts.

First, the registration process must be done. Previously, an external site/vendor would collect money (or coupons), which required a separate ID from the standard SAP profile. This year, piece of cake, nearly entirely due to the free admission but partly due to connecting event attendance to the SAP Universal ID.

When I signed up in October, I did need to supply personal data, which triggered this tweet:

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The *required* binary gender/salutation prefix choice was a little cringe-worthy. I’d prefer an option to leave this out.

]

On a positive note, SAP recognized this and in short order, fixed it.

Hey, Jim. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I shared your feedback with the team, and am happy to report the field has been removed completely from the SAP TechEd registration form. Thanks! – Dianna, SAP Social | ‘cc @JelenaAtLarge @se38 @MatthSteffen

Maybe I’m special, as others had commented on this without a reaction, but maybe it was just the proverbial camel’s straw.

 

On to the schedule!

In prior events, I’d search for keywords, presenters, and other criteria to add sessions. Then, as now, the keynotes would be blocked off automatically. Then, I’d need to cross-reference the content I wanted to see with other activities (not lunch as such, but that too). And sometimes, think about the travel time from one place to another. With virtual events, that travel time goes to near zero though the fact that you’re home adds a layer of chores that could be ignored when away.

 

I’ve battled agenda builders that wouldn’t allow overloaded time periods, or that would not clearly display where one might have unfilled time blocks, or that didn’t integrate well with calendars such as the business/home or parallel events managed by third parties. The sapteched2021/portal/page/calendar site doesn’t have too many issues. Though I would hand my ABAP Detective hat up if I didn’t find something that could work better.

  • Can I import an invite or create a custom time block (to accommodate external events)? Not that I can tell.
  • Are my booked session automatically added to my Google calendar? Yes, that works great.
  • Can I see the empty spots on my schedule? Yes, with a little zooming.
select * from sessions;

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

Short sessions don’t fully display with this one-hour-block resolution, but one can hover over the timeslot to see what’s in it. Otherwise it just shows the time period.

A serious plus is the automatic timezone adjustment for the attendee, so at least you have a chance to not book times when you should be sleeping. Which I did.

 

 

Last comment on the agenda view (for now) is about unavailable sessions. The wait list is clear enough for those presentations with limited resources for feedback and tests, but I wanted to add one session that had neither a full or an available status.

Under the “Learn More” tag, the only clue I have is “Session Type: Partner Interview which maybe I’m not?

Last thought: I didn’t think to pack snacks for the event but SAP sent some of us influencers boxes of chips and snacks. It’s a nice idea to promote some inclusion across the distances. Mine has coffee beans, which I’ll really need if I try hit a session at 0200 hours my time!

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