As mentioned in my last blog post, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the ASUG connection at chapter and national events many times. And after attending these incredible events with so many friends–old and new–I wanted to take this opportunity to share it with others who may be joining our community. That’s why today’s ASUG 101 blog post is all about how to sign up for and get the most out of the next ASUG meeting hosted by your local chapter.

Finding the Next ASUG Meeting Near You

First things first: finding an event. Log in to ASUG online for a full listing of all national and regional events: In some instances, depending on the chapter, you may have the opportunity to select your breakout sessions during the registration process. Review the options and hone in on what most interests you–this is the key for really getting the most out of the sessions. From the viewpoint of the event organizers, it lets them know how many people are interested in each track so they can accommodate the crowds with the appropriate room sizes and ensure speakers are set up for success.

After selecting and registering for the event, you will receive a confirmation email that will include a link to the agenda. Personally, I like to print out the agenda and bring it to the event. (Not to worry if you forget to bring a hard copy–there are always copies available at the registration table.)

Making the Most of the Day

Now, here’s an especially important tip for your next ASUG meeting: Get there early! When you arrive, sign in and pick up your name tag. Wear that name tag–it helps everyone! Maps of the venue are generally provided. (If you did not register in advance, you will still be able to attend.) This time period before the meeting officially starts provides a great opportunity to network with CIOs, SAP managers, SAP users, and SAP partners in the industry, all while enjoying a cup of coffee and maybe a light breakfast, too.

The meeting begins with a local board member sharing general logistics for the day. They’ll talk more about the keynote and breakout session topics, plus announce the date of the next meeting. Sometimes the board member will take this opportunity to talk at a high level about a national topic of interest that affects our industry. Following the opening comments, the keynote speaker is introduced. The keynote always covers an overarching topic that’s of interest to the entire SAP community.

Following the keynote, a mid-morning break once again provides the opportunity to network. Remember to bring your business cards!

After the break, the education tracks begin. A mix of speakers bring their own experiences and areas of expertise to the table during the 1-hour breakout sessions. SAP customers share their stories, while SAP partners may present on an industry hot topic, client success story, product feature, or other relevant area.

At lunch time, I suggest you try to sit next to a new face. It is a great opportunity to learn about different SAP customers’ challenges and successes. These events really do offer a learning opportunity for everyone.

Sponsors of the events are your ASUG partners. Partners/sponsors have the opportunity to present their offerings during the track sessions, or they can choose to exhibit only at the meeting. Business cards are collected during the day in fish bowls at the sponsorship tables for a chance to win prizes that are drawn at the close of the day network session. (If you’re at a chapter event that we are also attending, you’re likely to find us and Simply ILM, a Vortex affiliate company, set up with a stand alongside other event sponsors!)

I suggest everyone take advantage of the end-of-the-day networking session. This is a great time to wrap up and share once again your SAP challenges and successes with your community users.

In closing, I highly recommend you attend the next ASUG meeting hosted by your local chapter! ASUG’s mission is to facilitate education and connections in the SAP ecosystem and to continually expand and provide support to those in its network. The ASUG community is bound together by shared experienced, challenges, and successes. You have so much to gain by joining in on the conversations and presentations that take place at local chapter meetings across the country. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn for news on upcoming events that we’ll be attending–I hope to see you at an upcoming ASUG event soon!