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ASUG Annual Conference – Work Better Connected

Next week is ASUG Annual Conference, co-located with SAPPHIRENOW in Orlando, Florida

This year’s theme of ASUG Annual Conference is “Work Better Connected”

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This is my 5th year on the ASUG Annual Conference Program Committee and at this point I ask myself “have I done enough”?  Next week we will see.  As ASUG Volunteers, we are measured on the attendance counts at our sessions.  If attendance is low, then next year we may not obtain as many slots. So as Volunteers we have promoted our sessions, asked our speakers to help promote sessions, and I hope the content is good enough.

It really takes a village of volunteers to look at the presentations, provide feedback to the speakers and then follow up.  If you are a speaker, I encourage you to follow the deadlines provided, read every single e-mail, and promote your session.

This year we had no speaker cancellations in the program area I work – and this is strange.  It is good because the schedule doesn’t need to be updated.

On Monday we kick things off with the a sold-out ASUG Pre-conference session with Visual BI’s Ingo Hilgefort.  Ingo is the master at creating in-depth exercises and slides that you can take with you.  He always senses when you need help.   The last pre-conference I did with him he helped me with SAP Lumira.  Now I look forward to more in-depth help with SAP Design Studio from him.

On the ASUG side we’ve written these promotional e-mails to go out as well.  Is it enough for attract people?  As ASUG Volunteers we tried to follow the survey responses and obtain roadmap sessions and customer stories.

I invite you to join us on the the third floor of the convention center.  I’ll be in rooms S330F, S330G, S330E, S330H Tuesday-Thursday.

ASUG Annual Conference Planning – a Look Back

For the past two months ASUG volunteers have been planning ASUG Annual Conference (to be held in Orlando, May 5-7) which is co-located with SAPPHIRENOW.  In some respects, it was made easier this year because of a new abstract tool that lets you easily filter on sessions.  In previous years, I was downloading to Excel, merging speaker files with abstracts and then using Lumira for data cleansing before the team could review the abstracts.

What also went well this year is ASUG had a speaker tips submission webcast.   This, in my opinion, lead to higher quality abstracts – a nice problem to have.

Of course there is never enough time to review everything in the time allowed.  Given that there are over 2200 abstracts submitted and roughly only 400 can be selected, and if you are in a lucky track with almost 500 submissions, the job is tough.

Earlier in the month I read Andy Steer, CTO/CMO of itelligence UK, blog about their conference planning. They are crowd-sourcing their conference’s agenda.  I looked at their survey and I wondered if ASUG could do something similar.  Perhaps for smaller scale conferences, not ASUG Annual Conference, given the scale.

I will be very interested to hear how the crowd sourcing goes for this conference.