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Whoever said training can’t be fun never trained in Las Vegas.

“The best training is almost always going to be hands-on,” big data-crunching statistician and best-selling author Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) said in the Harvard Business Review Tuesday. “Getting your hands dirty with the data set is ... far and away better than spending too much time reading.”

SAP TechEd 2013 attendees can get their hands dirty with data during 30 hours of innovation and collaboration at InnoJam.

SAP partners, customers and others around the world are preparing to get down and dirty this fall at SAP TechEd 2013 (@SAPTechEd) -- metaphorically, at least. The premier technical education conference for IT architects, administrators and developers will kick off in Las Vegas next month; move to Amsterdam in November; and wrap up in Bangalore this December.

Silver will kick off the SAP TechEd season in Las Vegas as the guest keynote speaker. He’s no stranger to data, having correctly predicted the 2008 presidential election in 49 of the 50 U.S. states. He has since been published in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and more.

Silver’s keynote on Monday, Oct. 21, will launch a week of competition, education and outright data geekery at the Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center. Following a concert Thursday night by rock band Imagine Dragons, the event will end with breakout sessions on Friday, Oct. 25.

What Is There To Do in Las Vegas?

Opening for Silver will be a 30-hour collaborative innovation-fest where you can join forces with fellow SAP partners, customers and mentors to create a brand new application. InnoJam (@SAPInnoJam, #InnoJam) starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday and officially ends at 5:30 p.m. on Monday -- 15 minutes before Silver’s keynote.

“You could be working through the night, and SAP will provide you with the food and drink to keep you fuelled for what is truly a great bit of fun,” thomas.scaysbrook2 said in his guide for TechEd neophytes. “The best solution/app will go forward to compete at Demo Jam.”

Often hailed as “the ultimate developer competition,” Demo Jam (#DemoJam) gives SAP customers, partners and employees an arena to demonstrate new technologies and applications. Demo Jam will pit InnoJam finalists against each other on Oct. 22 in front of a live TechEd audience, which will determine the winner.

SAP TechEd will offer more than 1,000 hours of training on SAP technology, and SAP Communities has videos showcasing many of the SAP TechEd speakers. Meanwhile, Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (@ASUG365) will provide more than 100 hours of customer-led educational sessions, influence opportunities and ASUG SAP Mentor sessions, which is a great way to gain insight from real-world customer experience and know-how.

Sometimes only a data geek superhero can save the day. You may meet a few at SAP TechEd.

And enemies of dark data can join a league of crusaders looking for insights and hidden meanings within dusty and derelict repositories of unstructured data. Bring your data to Las Vegas and share your story with the Data Geek (#DataGeek) superheroes of SAP Lumira’s Data Geek Challenge (@SAPLumira). Or did you think I was kidding about the data geekery?

How Do I Follow What’s Happening?

Click here to register for SAP TechEd 2013 in Las Vegas. Whether or not you’re there next month, stay tuned to SAP Business Trends, where I’ll be blogging and making videos from the event.

Let me know if there’s a session, booth or anything else you’d like to know more about. Do the same for tim.clark during his coverage of SAP TechEd in Amsterdam from Nov. 5 to 7.

And vote for which of us should cover SAP TechEd in Bangalore from Dec. 11 to 13. Feel free to tell us how we should get our hands dirty.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher. Like this story? Sign up for the SAP Business Trends newsletter here.

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