Each year, SAP awards their clients in Central and Eastern Europe with awards for the best and fastest implementations of SAP’s IT solutions . Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the 2020 award ceremony, the event could not be implemented in person. Upon our proposal, they decided to move the event to a digital environment – LinkedIn.
The challenge faced by SAP was multi-layered. First, the in-person event that the company’s employees and business partners are used to, was impossible due to extraordinary measures. Border crossing depended on country-specific decisions, which practically changed overnight. Gatherings of large numbers of people at events was also restricted.
In addition to this, our client wanted to move away from the established, “old-fashioned” award ceremony format, in which award recipients received diplomas. As per our client, these hold little value and are just “one more surface” for dust to accumulate on. Instead, they wanted to provide a new kind of experience to the award recipients and give them something useful.
The last challenge was that all events since the beginning of the pandemic were virtual or (a few of them) hybrid. Most SAP employees were fed up with this approach. They wanted some “genuine” contact that would take into account the epidemiological recommendations, which differed from country to country.
SAP CEE cooperates with successful multi-national companies, SMEs and various state authorities across the entire Central and Eastern Europe – the award recipients are thus a part of SAP’s B2B and B2G community. The questions that we posed to SAP while coming up with the solution were, “How can we provide a first-class experience to the award recipients without a virtual event?” and ” What useful award can SAP present to the recipients?”
Answer: A series of videos that SAP would post on their LinkedIn over a period of two weeks. In the first week, we posted five videos which presented the nominees across five categories. In the second week, we posted one video per day to present the award recipient’s project.
But since SAP CEE doesn’t have its own LinkedIn profile, the nominee and award recipient videos weren’t posted on a single profile. Instead, the videos were posted on the country-specific personal profiles of SAP employees with the highest number of connections. In some countries, their personal networks surpass those of the country-specific company profiles themselves.
After the ceremony, our client was so thrilled with the response they received from the nominees, award recipients and the general public. Even the nominees who did not receive rewards were not disappointed. On the contrary – they were so thrilled with the media coverage they received during the award ceremony on LinkedIn that they even shared the posts by SAP employees on their own profiles.
Projects, such as the SAP CEE Quality Awards for Customer Success, are proof that the digital environment is full of opportunities that haven’t been tapped into yet. These often perform better than well-established formats. But don’t take us wrong – established formats such as virtual events are not passé – all they need is a bit of spice and creativity.