Case Study: SAPPHIRENOW and TechEd Beijing, 2011

Full Keynote Production (8000pax)

This is the 1st ever SAPPHIRENOW in China, the challenge is to replicate what had been refined over the years in Orlando,USA, to the China environment.

With no dedicated Demo and Keynote Production Team in SAP, the keynote was produced by an external Executive Producer and with Ascend as the local Producer and Production House. With constant communication leading up to the show, we had NO onsite surprises for this 1st ever China event and the show was delivered as per planned for 4500 attendees in the main hall, and another broadcast hall taking in 2500 attendee as overflow. We also broadcasted the keynote to the exhibition halls where another 1000 seats were arranged and a standing audience space for up to 2000 attendees.

All things KEYNOTE were managed by Ascend. Onsite attendees reached 15,000, the BIGGEST ever commercial conference!

Show floor – Theater Production (included simultaneous translation)

The show floor at Orlando was designed with hanging lighting trusses and everything was lit from above. This creates a simple and clean business environment.

Our challenge is to replicate this into the local context but without similar budget or time for such complexities. Adding to this, the SAPPHIRENOW breakout was held in open-space theaters with dedicated audio control using thousands of mini speakers.

With limited setup time, we re-designed the zone spaces in 3 critical steps. We flew audio speakers with narrow transmission field, included sound absorbing material in our fabrication and enforced sound level control throughout the hall.

The result was a replication from the Orlando event to the new Beijing event but with a shorter buildup time, ground up lighting effects and strict sound control. Such adaptations are demanding but at the same time, we stayed true to SAP’s branding guidelines.

Press Conference Production

The Press Conference was under the scope of another agency but due to breakdown in communication and delivery between the agency and SAP, an SAP Executive Decision was made to re-assign this publicly delicate production to Ascend, while onsite.

With such a trust placed upon us and despite already handling a massive 9000pax keynote production, 9 open-concept breakout theater production, keynote broadcast production and even a lucky draw production for all attendees; we flew into action to activate our backup plan with a show producer and a team of AV crew to handle this crisis.

Within 12 hours we setup a dedicated task force, went for a site survey, and formulated a focused plan with SAP Global Communication Team. Within 48 hours, we moved in for production, and we were ready for rehearsal on that very same evening.

The comment from SAP Global Communication is that we had delivered their show successfully.


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