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The Big Disruptor: SAPPHIRE NOW

Published on 6 May in SAP

On the night before show time about 40 people are sitting around a long black table in a large black room passing a microphone from hand to hand.

The tripping hazard in the Board Room of the Future has been fixed, the blue and green lighting effects in the Deloitte booth aren’t right, the cleaning crew has been warned not to unplug ANYTHING, and the white carpet in theater 3 needs to be replaced because it’s reflecting light.

It is this meticulous attention to detail by a dedicated team of over one hundred people that makes SAPPHIRE NOW a flawless event.

“I am really proud of my team,” says Mike Trovalli, VP of Global Events at SAP. “They are like family. Every year I look around the table and see people who have worked on 15, 17 even 25 SAPPHIRES.”

In the smart room

Outside on the show floor the SAP Executive Board members, key customers and regional presidents are touring the Experience Zone, affectionately referred to as The Octagon.

“We’re using this to launch the Run Simple campaign,” says Trovalli. “There are 16 screens telling four different customers stories. The experience begins with questions about how to simplify business that are later answered in the keynotes and can be experienced through scenarios running in the interactive panel at the heart of the zone.  Everything is integrated. This is bringing simple to life.”

Nine miles of fiber optic cables run up to the ceiling and over the catwalk into a crowded space backstage where the team is operating the Experience Zone. Trovalli calls this the smart room.

“This entire experience was designed and planned by an SAP team,” he says proudly. “People are out there taking pictures, their jaws dropping when they see how it works.”

Why it’s innovative

Global SAPPHIRENOW with Changes-01SAPPHIRE NOW is not only flawless; it is disrupting the world of events. SAPPHIRE NOW was named the third most innovative event in 2014 by BizBash because of the dramatic redesign of the show floor and the program which gave guests more time and space for networking, drawing high praise in post-event surveys.

According to BizBash, SAP’s most effective source of new ideas is also the most obvious: the attendees.

“We’re the only event that made it to the top 4 in the past three years,” says Trovalli. “We’re innovative because we listen to our Customer Advisory Board and because we’re using technology that has never been used before. Everything you see here including The Octagon is running simple on SAP.  We have thousands of iBeacons connected to the mobile app, helping customers find their way around.”

SAP also beat out 835 candidates worldwide at the EX Award as the Best B-to-B Single Market event at the Experiential Marketing Summit. Now that’s disruptive!

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