I’ll admit, as excited as I was to head to Orlando for SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference, I had an equally-exciting ulterior motive to getting back to the Sunshine State: I grew up there and hadn’t been back since moving away 17 years ago! So the humidity and heat weren’t a surprise to me, and neither was the scramble to make sure we all ate lunch—I’d been warned beforehand by pretty much everyone in the company that has been to a SAPPHIRE in previous years.

What was surprising was just how big and energetic and lively everything was! From the moment I descended the escalators to catch a bit of Bill McDermott’s opening keynote, I was transfixed by the sheer size of SAPPHIRE. You could easily get lost down on the show floor, and I did at one point on my way to lunch.

But there was much, much more to this event than booths, green suits, and sports superstars. It was a celebration of all things SAP, from the now-familiar SAP HANA, to SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner’s keynote, to the launch of exciting new ventures such as SAP Leonardo. (I can imagine Emma Watson’s Hermione scolding us. “It’s Lay-o-nardo, not Leo-nardo!”) And while we don’t have books on it yet, dear SAP PRESS reader, we are hard at work identifying authors to pair up with and topics to publish on!

Perhaps the most exciting portion of this experience was getting to launch two brand-new books that week, a second-edition SAP Fiori tome and our first foray into SAP Hybris—both of which were hot sellers and drew lines of potential readers flipping through display copies. And while I didn’t get to scurry back and forth to specific sessions on any topic—SAP Hybris, SAP Leonardo, or otherwise—I got the equally important experience of interacting with many of our authors and even more of our readers!

SAPPHIRE wouldn’t be half as great without the people—okay, it wouldn’t be great at all. And I met so many people—readers that had some great questions, great feedback, and some great stories! Their friendliness, even those who had been to 14 SAPPHIREs before and were perhaps amused by my wonder, was welcome and made 12-hour days and sore legs much more fun.

The authors, too, that I got to meet—most of them for the first time, although we’ve communicated digitally—were so friendly and helpful and excited to be there! (I’m looking at you, @marciaelainewalker!) Thanks to all of you for stopping by to say hi and get your photo taken at the booth!

I could go on, but to keep this short(ish) and sweet, I’ll instead leave you with a video of our experience in Orlando. Let me know what you think of it in the comments (and feel free to subscribe to us on YouTube; more content is coming soon!).

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