SAP Re-engineers Sapphire Now with Customer Focus
SAPPHIRE NOW is a perennial example of the best in b-to-b event marketing, and last year SAP found a way to take its well-known campus format to the next level by using its expertise in evergreen experiences to give its customers some sweet ROI for their time.
SAP is a leader in the realm of “customer-centric” event marketing. No longer obsessed with grabbing up all the ROI for itself, SAP in 2013 proved it will do anything to facilitate relationships between its customers and stakeholders. And get everyone the win as a result.
SAP went into SAPPHIRE NOW 2013 with three very clear objectives: design the whole event from the attendees’ points of view and meet their needs first; transform the legacy conference from a “marketing program” into a useful tool for its account executives to use for sales development; and make the investment pay off via awareness of SAP’s solutions–and expand the sales pipeline.
To meet these customer-centric objectives, the brand re-engineered the event’s entire content structure to make it as authentically relevant to the attendees as possible. Keynotes and sessions referred to specific solutions located in the exhibit halls; a new content channel was launched called SAP Forums, to offer specialized content for 12 specific industries and lines of business; and a dedicated Meet Our Customers area was constructed on the show floor to allow for a 100-percent customer-to-customer networking and solutions experience.
It wasn’t all about the on-site education, either. SAP activated in the Orlando Airport to check attendees in while they waited for their baggage, and more than 60 percent of them got their badges before they even got to the event. For the customers who wanted to get some top-level face time, SAP invited them into the Executive Meeting Center, where customers engaged in executive-level discussions with SAP experts, executives and thought leaders. There were hundreds of small and large touches that added up to a customer experience like no other b-to-b show has ever offered.
This was the most successful SAPPHIRE NOW event in the 25-year history of the program. Post-show surveys showed a 13 percent increase in the likelihood of attendees to recommend the conference to a friend or colleague over 2012, and the brand reported a 27 percent increase in the engagement of customers with relevant content, measured with activity scans. Basically, every metric they measured came in awesome. No surprise here.