SAPPHIRE 09 Virtual Event

This is the part of a series of posts looking at Web 2.0 technology in conjunction with last week’s SAPPHIRE ‘09 event in Orlando, Florida. This post looks at using the latest technologies to expand the reach of SAPPHIRE far beyond just the people physically attending.

In the last six months, SAP has extensively tested virtual meetings inside the company, for example using the inXpo platform for over 10,000 employees in place of the traditional internal “FKOM” (field) and “DKOM” (development) kickoff meetings.

This same platform was used for a virtual event called “Insights from SAPPHIRE” that covered highlights of the SAPPHIRE show for those who couldn’t make the trip.

Over 8,500 people registered, and were able to view over 35 selected live presentations, visit virtual “show booths” complete with “virtual staff”, network with experts, and read the SAPPHIRE blog from Jonathan Becher.

Click on the images below to get highlights of the platform and the event.



The show floor was modeled on the real-life layout of the booths in the Orlando Convention Center.

To make sure that the event was interactive, SAP experts from all around the world were recruited to ensure that attendees could get their questions answered, 24×7, throughout the whole show.

Margot Heiligman blogged about her experience staffing the show: “Another Social Media Weapon in Your Arsenal” on MyVenturePad:

While some of my colleagues have been at Sapphire 2009 in Orlando, FL, this week, those of us here in our global offices have been able to engage with customers and influencers in a different way. Insights from Sapphire ’09 is our virtual version of the show, and it’s been fun, engaging and effective in putting our social media efforts to work, while combining a rich and informative environment for our customers, all the while lowering the cost of participation in the carbon.


The virtual event has now ended, but the keynotes and track sessions from the event were recorded, and are now available for viewing.


In today’s cost-cutting and sustainability environment, the future of virtual events in assured, and SAP (with its community) is aiming to continue to be part of the early adopters.