SAP Tech Ed 2008 Las Vegas in Review: Jon Reed Interviews Marilyn Pratt

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif "Reflections on BPX Community Day, the Community Clubhouse, and other TechEd Highlights."
Podcast Interview Date: September 25, 2008
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In the second podcast in my TechEd in Review 2008 podcast series, I spoke with BPX Community Evangelist Marilyn Pratt and got her honest take on TechEd Las Vegas 2008. This podcast has an interesting interactive twist - at a few points in the podcast, Marilyn turns the tables on me and gets my own reactions to what we saw in Vegas. Themes of this podcast include: the increasing importance of BPX themes at TechEd, an assessment of BPX Community Day, and the "greening of SAP," one "bottom up" idea at a time.

In the first section of this thirty five minute podcast, we get into what a "BPX Community Evangelist" is all about and why authentic conversations are so much more powerful than "marketing messages."

Marilyn talks about why the Community Clubhouse was so successful this year, moving away from a "talking head" environment and more towards informal, dynamic "lounge conversations." In my opinion, this was a brilliant sleight of hand to get people talking in fresh ways.

The result was pretty amazing, including "organic demos" where a conversation would lead to plugging in a computer and looking at a new "mashup in progress" or what have you.

The next section of the podcast looks back at BPX Community Day and how it has become more structured while retaining an "unconference" feel. We then shift to a discussion of grassroots "greening of TechEd" and how an exchange with community member (and SAP Mentor) Jim Spath led to a plastic-water-bottle free TechEd. 

In the last segment of the podcast, we build on that discussion by learning more about what Jim Spath has planned for the Berlin TechEd Clubhouse, and we also hear about some intriguing and mysterious evening events including one that will involve some BPX certification gurus. Marilyn also talks about the "Cluetrain"-inspired idea of Craig Cmehil, who seems to be all over the innovative ideas for TechEd, to take a four hour pre-conference train ride from Frankfurt to Berlin.