Let’s get the obligatory joke out of the way first. Shall we?
“Was the Nice conference nice?”
“Yes. It was..”
Now that we have the joke out of the way, I will quickly summarize our experiences from the conference.
- Venue – Couldn’t have picked a better venue in Europe for that particular week. With so much going around Nice in that week and with all the great weather, it seemed just right to have a conference in Nice.
- Venue – Yes, This was in France. But there clearly were no French customers at the conference. Or, if they were there, we didn’t spot them. In the hours of idle time we had at the booth on Day 2 and Day 3, we exchanged notes with our booth neighbors who are a French company and they confirmed the same. And the reason? Apparently, the speculated reason was that the Insider conferences are priced very high for an average French customer.
- Our Booth Location – Yes, it was perfect on Day 1. We had good traffic on Day 1 and we were placed right on course through the main entrance to the Exhibition hall and a beverage/refreshment table was placed right in front of our booth.
- Our Booth Location – The exact same location. But on Day 2 and Day 3 that was a bane to us (perhaps because they moved the refreshment table somewhere else). We had a low turnout on Day 2 and a lower turnout on Day 3.
- 5 conferences at the same time – HR, BI, FI, GRC and HANA – all attendees came together for those 3 days in Nice. This made us meet all kinds of customers and we did learn a thing or two about the daily operations challenges in SAP in areas outside of SAP.
- 5 conferences at the same time – HR, BI, FI, GRC and HANA – all the attendees came together for those 3 days in Nice. This meant we couldn’t really tell who was HR, as our primary focus was HR customers and hence sometimes, what appeared like a decent conversation at the booth eventually would end in a meaningless conclusion.
- The European versions of these conferences are still maturing. May take another 3-4 years before they get into a rhythm, if they do that it.
- They have to keep changing the venue but perhaps, should settle down to one or two options eventually, as from what we have seen, the venue doesn’t necessarily seem to encourage more local customers to show up for the conference.
- Our partnership with Ingentis keeps getting stronger at a personal level when we get to spend more time at these conferences, because we get an opportunity to understand each others’ businesses in detail, through personal insights.
- Many questions to ponder before we plan our next year’s SAP Insider conferences. Cogent IBS, needs to consolidate a product portfolio, with a clear message for these Insider conferences (especially the European versions), so that our pre-conference and post-conference marketing campaigns could be a little more impactful. Our message for 2014 was “HR Anywhere” and that seemed to resonate well in the US conference, but probably not that much in Europe.
- More analysis on how to generate a better traction at the booth needs to be done (again for the European version). We did well overall, in terms of quality of leads but we are not yet sure, if we missed any opportunity to meet more customers than we did.
- In summary, this was really a great conference and we will continue to take part in this, either till we see we are not generating any quality leads or till we see the conferences stop growing at some point. For now, both of the above are not true.
- Our Thanks to Ingentis for being part of this conference and for sharing the booth space.