This was the major theme of today’s orientation session at the Financials 2011, HR 2011, and GRC 2011 conferences at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
For the first time ever, attendees will access all their conference materials online…right here, on Insider Learning Network. So far, the response to this innovation has been overwhelmingly positive. Many customers joined Insider Learning Network prior to the event, while others joined today upon checking in for the conference. A few past attendees found it somewhat confusing at first, looking for the printed handouts and CDs that were distributed at previous events. However, most customers have indicated they like the idea of being able to just download and save the presentations they are most interested in, rather than having to constantly navigate a CD with hundreds of sessions on it. Others appreciated the efforts SAPinsider is making toward going “green” by eliminating thousands of paper handouts.
Perhaps the most significant benefit is the pre- and post-conference access that Insider Learning Network affords. One week prior to the events, all attendees received an email with login information that enabled them to view presentations before they arrived in Las Vegas, enabling them to review the content ahead of time and choose the sessions that would be of greatest value to them. The materials will be live for 90 days following the event, so customers can get them at any time. There’s no longer any need to worry about losing or damaging a CD and losing the valuable content present
ed at the conference.
Another way SAPinsider is trying to make attendees’ lives easier is by offering an electronic, personal agenda builder. Customers are able to electronically browse sessions at an agenda builder kiosk, choose the ones they wish to attend, and print out their own personal schedule, saving hours of browsing the conference guides and trying to find the right sessions. It’s even possible to download the message to a smartphone.
Attendees at the orientation session learned about dozens of networking opportunities available through post-session Q&A periods, moderated customer discussion forums, one-on-one face time with the speakers in the Ask-the-Experts pavilion, and special industry- and topic-related networking tables at breakfast.
In addition to these activities, SAPinsider has completely redesigned its registration and information area to make it an easy, central hub to meet colleagues, browse the popular SAP PRESS bookstore, build their personal schedule, and meet with the conference staff. A large screen hangs in the center of hub displaying a scrolling Twitter feed. The Insider Learning Network kiosks are busy all day with customers browsing conference materials and learning about membership. Best of all, the hub is adjacent to the exhibit hall and many of the session rooms, significantly reducing the wear and tear on attendees’ feet as they navigate the conference center.
If you're live in Las Vegas, I'd love to hear how your conference experience has been so far. Please feel free to post any comments, and in the meantime, stay tuned for more news from Las Vegas!