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SAP TechEd Las Vegas is coming in just over a week. There will be a vast amount of people there and I have a horrible suspicion many people do not yet understand the most important aspect of this conference.

This information is both vital for attendees and also for the presenters. I would be guilty of a horrible crime if I did not prepare both sets of people for the expected behaviour at this conference, and indeed at any SAP (or any other IT vendor) conference you should happen to attend in the future.

There is something that needs to be done, something vital to the future of the entire universe, when presenting material relating to any sort of IT activity or strategy.

As an example, I was just reading the half year results to June 2017 of UK Insurance company “Legal and General”. They had two slides about applying technology – to improve customer experience and to innovate.

We all want to do this, and tell people about this, and this company did it so well, that I will summarise the slides in a table, as follows:-

ROBOTICS Robots, Six Sigma, NPS, Instant
CUSTOMER FACING Customer Centric, Digital Principles, Unified Digital Brand, Data Driven
BIG DATA Data Modelling, Algorithms, Amazon Alexa
PLATFORM Single Customer View
BIOMETRICS Facial Recognition, Heart Beat Recognition
AGENTS Artificial Intelligence, Chat Bots, Virtual Reality, 3D Modelling
BLOCKCHAIN Disruptive Force


Amazingly, I did not make any of that up. The half year results are a matter of public record.

All I have done is remove the filler words, leaving the focus area and the all important BUZZWORDS.

This brings me to the two cardinal rules of IT conferences:-

  • The presenters must use as many buzzwords as they possibly can. 10-20 per speech is good, 10-20 per slide and you have reached “keynote” proportions. This year if, as a presenter you can work in the phrase ONE MILLION TONS OF BANANAS or anything to do with Goats you will win ten billion dollars and a place in the immortal buzzword hall of fame. You lose points if either of those phrases seemed forced, they have to flow seamlessly from the context of whatever it is you are talking about.

  • As an attendee / conference delegate you are honour bound to react to these buzzwords. It is rather like a UK pantomime where if a character says “OH YES HE DID” the audience has to shout “OH NO HE DIDN’T!”

  • For example, everyone in the audience has to shout “YES MICHAEL!” when either UBER, TESLA or a SELF DRIVING or ELECTRIC CAR is mentioned. This is in honour of the seventies TV show “Knight Rider”.

  • It would be really difficult to make up rules for the other buzzwords, though I am of course open to suggestions, this possibly deserves a wiki, unless of course WIKI is a buzzword all of its own.

  • As a compromise I would advocate everyone just waving their arms in the air and shouting “WHOOOOOO!” every time a buzzword is said. A Mexican Wave would be good, but maybe hard to organise.

To help you I have prepared a Bingo chart of buzzwords, just to let you know what sort of thing to expect. In the past the idea was to print it out and cross the words off as they are said, now you would want some sort of app based buzzword bingo, possibly with artificial intelligence so it could predict the buzzwords the speaker will say and cross them off for you in advance.

In any event, here is the Bingo chart:-

I am sure you will be able to make up better ones yourself, but this is just to start you off.

See you all in two weeks’ time!

Cheersy Cheers