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Author's profile photo Jonathan Becher

Behind the scenes at SAPPHIRE NOW

25 years ago, the first SAPPHIRE was held in a Philadelphia hotel conference center with 180 people. Tomorrow we will kick off SAPPHIRE NOW with an expected 20,000 people from 81 countries attending in person and another 80,000 people experiencing the event online.

As we put on the finishing touches, it’s worth pausing to reflect on the sheer scale of the event and what it takes to pull it off.

The space is big – REALLY BIG.

  • The show floor covers the size of 16 American football fields or over 20 FIFA regulation football fields.
  • 12.5 miles (22 kilometers) of carpet

There are a LOT of people here.

  • We need 31 hotels to house them
  • 312 motor coaches will be used for shuttles to the convention center and concert event
  • 25,000 gallons of coffee and 144,000 sodas were ordered
  • 15,250 lbs of meat/fish/chicken were ordered for lunch (and 19,000 pieces of whole fruit to be healthy)

We started with an empty conference hall on May 3rd. 38,600 person hours to install later we have the completed show floor experience – this is purely the hours spent by the crew building the space and doesn’t include the hours to plan and create the content you see on the floor.

The installation of the event is mind boggling.

  • 27,000 feet of trussing
  • Over 1.2 million pounds suspended from the ceiling
  • 12,000 sq ft of projection screens
  • 5.2 miles of Fiber Optic cable install for video broadcast
  • 111 tractor trailer loads of production and design equipment (a line almost 2KM long)

It’s going to be a great show.  Join us online at

Follow me on twitter: @jbecher


Nearly blank canvas

2 build.JPG

Laying the ground work – Literally

MLT hard hats.jpg

Safety first! My marketing leadership team and me with Bob the builder party favor hard hats. 

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