Freeman, i4D / SAP


SAPPHIRE NOW is the global customer event for SAP, the German-based market leader in enterprise application software. It is an annual event where SAP unveils its latest technology, like its new intelligent enterprise software, along with new concepts and strategies. It offers an accelerated experience that over three days accomplishes business objectives that otherwise may take months or years. Customers learn about SAP innovations, engage in discussion and hear first hand accounts from other SAP users. SAPPHIRE NOW is SAP’s largest pipeline generating activity of the year.

This year’s event was completely rethought and redesigned with a customer-first, content-led focus. The goal was to connect with its target audience in more impactful and meaningful ways, to be more relevant to their business concerns. And SAP’s new intelligent enterprise software helped ensure it met that goal. Based on an understanding of its customers’ business challenges, the one million square-foot convention show floor provided an environment that was easy to navigate, where users could discuss those challenges and desired outcomes. A neighborhood approach encouraged thoughtful interaction. Customers and SAP executives led discussions. Customer showcases, selfie walls, interactive displays, electronic feedback stations, and soft seating to facilitate networking and conversation kept the spotlight on the user rather than SAP. This year’s SAPPHIRE NOW was warm and inviting. It was human.

The challenge this year however was that 6 weeks before ~25,000 people were turning up to attend the event, the content strategy needed to pivot to meet the adjusted business focus. This meant that the entire event ecosystem had to partner closely to ensure the event opened perfectly, reflected the evolving company strategy, satisfied the needs of the attendees and the goals of the business. The result was a flawlessly executed mega-event that received the highest attendee satisfaction ratings ever.

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