Having attended countless Sapphires events over the years, we can say one thing with absolute authority: SAP certainly know how to throw an event.
Sapphires are mega events. They are buzzing with keynotes, top speakers, industry sessions and deep dives into the heart of the SAP applications. If you are visiting Sapphire for the first time or you are a regular Sapphire attendee, the sheer scale of a Sapphire can be overwhelming.
With parallel tracks, over 25 industries, partners, ASUG and hundreds of exhibitor stands you need to allocate the limited time you have carefully and pack-in.
As Sapphire event veterans, we’ve got a fair idea of what’s worth doing at Sapphire. So, to get you started, we’ve put together a list of how to make the most of your trip.
1. Plan and prioritise
One thing’s for certain, if you fail to turn up to Sapphire with at least a basic plan, the day is liable to pass you by. How you get the most out of each day depends entirely on your situation. What you want to see, who you want to talk to will depend upon your role and the relationship between your organisation and SAP.
If you are a newbie then your day will be very different from that of a veteran SAP user or if you are in the process of evaluating or implementing SAP and asking “What’s it all about?”
Before you walk through the doors set aside a few minutes to decide what you want to get out of your day, take a look at the agenda to identify what sessions you want to attend, which exhibitors you would like to visit and leave some free time for exploring. A little preparation upfront will make all the difference to how much you benefit from being at Sapphire.
If you have visited previous Sapphires don’t do what you did last time, set yourself a new path to follow to make your visit most effective.
2. Go to the Keynote
Whether you have been to a Sapphire keynote before or not, it’s always worth attending. Plan to be at or near the auditorium five or ten minutes in advance to ensure you get a seat. If you miss out being in the auditorium find one of the satellite broadcasting areas or watch it on your smartphone.
The keynote sets the scene for Sapphire and for SAP over the near future outlining the latest technology and sharing of real life experiences of other SAP combines two of the key ingredients that make the day so useful: a view of the latest technology – and what’s coming next. Alongside the real-life stories of other companies similar to yours.
Whatever your reason for attending, the messaging and content of the Keynote provide invaluable insight into current and upcoming industry trends.
Insider tip: One benefit of being in the keynote auditorium is you’ll have a seat to sit on. Most of the rest of the day you will be on your feet – except when you attend breakout sessions – and think carefully about your choice of footwear as you will be doing a great deal of walking or standing.
3. Strike up a conversation – in person and on social
Every attendee at Sapphire is there because they have a connection with SAP. So whomever you are standing or sitting next to will probably have something of interest to share with you about SAP.
If you are checking in at registration, getting a coffee or grabbing a lunch snack – take the opportunity to strike up a conversation with the person nearest you. Like you they are here for a common purpose – SAP. It maybe that they are a customer, a prospective customer, a partner or an SAP employee and you could learn priceless information from them or open up other opportunities.
If you are not the type to be starting conversations with a stranger, don’t worry, the convivial atmosphere of Sapphire makes it easy to network with others who are also here to meet others.
Insider tip: Don’t forget to engage with the broader digital community using the Sapphire App as well as through Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
4. Breakout sessions
With over 25 industries, hundreds of partner presentations along with demonstrations there is plenty to see at Sapphire, and plenty to discover and learn about. Sapphire is the right place to be and there is something for everyone.
Insider tip: Plan in advance which sessions you want to attend in-person as you may want to chat with the presenter afterwards. Sessions that are recorded can always be watched at a later date.
5. Download the app
Download the app and you’ll have a host of handy information about Sapphire at your fingertips. The app allows you to manage your personal agenda, view session details, submit session feedback, access interactive venue maps. Take time to check out the main features:
My Agenda: Access and modify the list of sessions, speakers, attendees, and exhibitors that you have added as favourites in the app or on the conference website agenda builder.
Session Catalogue: View and search the full conference agenda and apply filters based on your interests. You can favourite, view details, submit session feedback and take notes.
Attendees and Exhibitors: See who’s at attending and participating in Sapphire. Join the list to connect with fellow attendees.
Networking: Intelligent networking that uses the registrant directory to recommend other attendees you may want to meet during the event. Connect with them through direct messaging.
LinkedIn™ Connections: Personalise your conference by sharing your sessions with your LinkedIn™ connections and allowing your network to connect with you.
Social & News: Read current news and follow the conversation through the Sapphire social channels.
Insider tip: Use your smartphone to photograph interesting displays, video record demos or voice record your verbal notes.
6. Visit the SAP Partners Exhibition Show Floor
Don’t shy away from the hustle and bustle of the Exhibition floor. It’s the heart of Sapphire, where you’ll see the full extent of the thriving SAP ecosystem.
Discover new products, watch informative demos and chat with people who have deep knowledge of SAP and SAP applications.
Sapphire is a showcase for SAP applications available from SAP and SAP’s Partners, which are in use across the SAP customer base of over 365,000 customers. Learn what is possible and how you can take SAP further in your organisation.
Insider tip: If you are collecting literature and giveaways find the biggest bag you can. And if you are flying make sure that not only do you have space in your luggage but also that any giveaways you collect are Airport Security friendly.
7. Network at Night
You maybe exhausted, your feet maybe aching but a quick shower and change of clothing and it’s time to party – you’ve earned it. But that does not mean your Sapphire event has come to an end. The SAP end of event concert is a great time to continue your networking in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.
Insider tip: Before you party and have a few drinks, make sure any business cards you collected are safely stored away.