2009 will mark the death of events .. events as we know it, I mean.
A lot of people/companies will not spend the money to travel to some random location, just to consume the content they can download afterwards, or see keynote speakers from 100 yards out. And with the advent of social media, telepresence, and many other ways to engage with vendors in a relevant and specific way, the whole business of events as we know it will change. Has to change. I think it's about time, and the economic downturn is only accellerating the inevitable. Or so lots of people say.
Yet, there is still a lot of a value to taking the annual pilgrimage to the BIG event, watch the keynotes "live", see the big acts on stage at the post-show party, meet a lot of your peers and the experts etc. However, the question remains, now more than ever, are our customers really getting the most out of these happenings, with hundreds and hundreds of booths competing for attention, with speech after speech, and with meeting after meeting, until you are so tired you really really want that party and the free drinks. Is there another way? Yes there is.
This years SAPPHIRE needed to be different, and will be different.
SAP like every other company in this business is rethinking the whole concept of "events", and is taking a step back to look at how people want to consume information, and to make a trip to this event even more worth while. As one of the content strategy leads for the CIO village at this years SAPPHIRE, I have decided to try to tap into the wisom of the crowds to make this part of the show the best it can be.
So. The listening has started. What would you like to see at SAPPHIRE '09? And how do you want to consume this information moving forward?