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  • Phil Martin

CWG Virtual Conference 2021

A few days ago I received an email from the CWG about the upcoming virtual conference. It is happening from 17 to 28 May 2021. If you are a member of the CWG, you have probably also got the email.

If you have no idea what I am talking about then you are probably thing - Who, What is the CWG?

What is the CWG

It is a unique User Group, with the full title of Configuration Work Group that had its origins back in 1993.Check out the history from their website - it is interesting.

But is actually a lot more than a User Group - it is a VC community. It is a community that I am very grateful to. I think I joined around 2005 and went to my first conference in 2007. That was a big deal for me as the trip from Melbourne Australia to Marco Island in Florida was about 33 hours. But it was really worth it, and I have been to many conferences since then. I have presented a variety of topics, including how I approached VC Models in various situations and companies.

I have made many friends and contacts, including great help in the early days from the eSpline guys, Steve Schneider, the ELogic guys and SAP Product Managers when I was still very green. But importantly I learnt how to construct VC Models well. It took me a while to work out the good practices from the not so good, but it all helped form the foundations for my online VC Essentials Course.

Presenting at the CWG Virtual Conference

What I really like to see is how companies use VC and their different approaches and problems they try to solve. It is not easy to talk about your own work, but the feedback is invaluable. I am certainly not the best public speaker and for me, it is not a naturally comfortable thing to do.

However the satisfaction you gain from it, and the sense of contributing to the community is well worth the stress. Some of you are natural presenters and so do not think much of doing it, but some of us are not. But whatever the case - give it a go.

The advantage of the virtual conference is that you have the option to pre-record your presentation. So it is not live, and so you can prepare and practice, delete and start again until you are happy with it. Most presenters are using Powerpoint and that has the ability to create a movie of the presentation with you in the corner with audio. Much like using Zoom, and this can possibly be used to create your presentation as well by recording it. It is likely the CWG will make available some instructional content on how to do this.

Before you get into developing your presentation you need to submit an abstract. The link is here They are normally approved as there are no constraints with a virtual conference in most cases. The deadline to have the presentations submitted is 1 May 2021.

Developing your presentation normally starts with what your topic is.

It can be hard to define the topic sometimes,

  • a unique way you solved a problem,

  • how VC applied to your industry,

  • things that are difficult to do,

  • how you manage VC Models,

  • challenges of migrations to S4HANA or the AVC

It is suggested that a presentation is around 25 - 30 minutes. But in a virtual conference, it can be a lot shorter if that suits your topic, or longer if it is more complex. But most attention spans are around 25 minutes so that may be a good target length.

Live Sessions

In the second week, there are live sessions. Normally these are a Q and A format where you can ask questions. Sometimes there are live presentations as well. Often SAP may demonstrate new functionality in these types of sessions. So if you have a topic you want to present live, then this may also be possible. I think the Board may still be getting clear in their minds how this week will work..

A Thank you

If you do not know, the CWG is run by volunteers. If you want to know how it is structured there are links on the site like this one. There is a tremendous amount of effort that goes into running the CWG and the conferences. In these COVID times, they have been forced to pivot a few times on how things are done. Often this has been on short notice and making the best use of the resources they have.

I just want to add my Thank You to the team at the CWG, and hopefully, we can all support the conference by putting together some presentations!

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