The Power of Collaboration

Programme objectives

  • Rebrand the conference utilising the new logo
  • Create an independent, marketable event brand
  • Improve user experience and maximise space
  • Devise and deliver an interactive expo area
  • Provide expert training to users
  • Encourage networking

The solution

The three-day UKISUG Connect conference would be held at the ICC Birmingham and we would deliver and event manage a programme comprising of keynote sessions, workshops, breakout sessions, expo, networking drinks and an appreciation event.

There were four main themes we included within the programme, were for attendees to:

  • Learn from the experts
  • Network with over 500 SAP users
  • Collaborate to optimise use of SAP
  • Influence others

We identified three main areas that would make the biggest impact at this event, compared with previous years:

  • A new name and recognisable identity that would align with trends in corporate market
  • Relocation of key conference features for improved flow and user experience across two floors
  • Showcase of latest SAP products at an interactive focal point to engage users
UKISUG festive market and concert

What we did

Having organised UKISUG’s annual conference for five consecutive years, it was important to create a new point of interest for our 500 delegates in attendance, especially as it was held in the same event space every year. As part of the planning process we reviewed feedback from previous years and identified that spreading the event across three floors was not ideal for invitees.

We set out to model the conference around:

  • A better-utilised event space for enhanced user-experience and atmosphere
  • A relevant and exciting expo space that invites participation and increases engagement
  • Development of Winter Wonderland theme to create atmosphere and excitement at the appreciation night

We launched the new brand name, UKISUG Connect, to represent the connections forged at the event when members come together to one platform to learn and share experiences on SAP products.

Delegates were able to listen to over 100 keynote speakers in the main auditorium and be inspired by the direction and strategy for SAP, from speakers including the Chief Executive and Chairman of UKISUG Connect, through to the MD of SAP UK & Ireland.

SAP partners provided real life customer experiences on how they are utilising SAP technology and making a difference in their business, which enabled delegates to leave the conference full of innovative ideas and feeling refreshed to head back to their business with their new knowledge.

With an exhibition of over 75 exhibitors (+7% above our target), UKISUG and SAP worked together to create an innovation area featuring the latest products, such as Pepper the Robot, Fashion for Future and the Digital Boardroom, all of which impressed the audience and educated them on the latest features and updates. This also drove an uplift in footfall for surrounding exhibitors compared to previous years.

Delegates embraced the innovation area and interacted enthusiastically with all of the exhibits resulting in glowing feedback from the client and the perception that it will be difficult to improve upon.

The vast programme of workshops and breakout sessions covered 14 key streams of topics across the SAP spectrum to ensure there was something for everyone’s interests. Over 90 hours of education from 200+ SAP experts was delivered throughout the conference.

As the event was late in the year, we transformed the appreciation event night, SUGFest, with a Winter Wonderland theme complete with a festive market and Buskers’ Ice Cave decked out with white furniture, décor and an ice bar, which proved popular as a chill out area away from the main stage. The wider event comprised a casino, comedy club, live music and oompa band, cocktails and festival food and drink.

The Winter Wonderland was enormously successful with the new floor plan, including the relocation of the buskers and casino and the two-floor layout, making it easy for attendees to move between areas and creating a bustling atmosphere that appeared busier than previous years due to the condensed space.

Networking drinks and SUGFest provided the opportunity to bring the SAP community together.

“UKISUG Connect is by far the best conference for networking and building collaborative partnerships in a relaxed open environment, with a good balance between formal sessions and open networking.” Attendee

The new event identity was well-received with 940 participants who now recognise UKISUG Connect as a standalone brand, making it easier to promote in the future.

“The team are a pleasure to work with and have a genuine passion for events, working as an extension for our team rather than just another agency.”

Chief Executive, UK & Ireland SAP User Group

The results

76%

76% of delegates rated excellent for general organisation of the event

72%

72% of delegates would attend the conference again

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Programme objectives

  • Incentivise key reseller partners to increase ‘converged’ product sales
  • Encourage cross sell across server, networking and storage divisions
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Maintain mindshare
  • Encourage loyalty
  • Recognise partners for their performance with end of programme incentive trip