How SAP Switzerland Went All In On Digital Experiences

Every year, SAP hosts its flagship customer event SAP NOW in different markets and locations around the world. For SAP Switzerland, that means anticipating more than 2,000 in-person attendees for a two-day event loaded with keynotes, breakout sessions and an exhibition hall filled with sponsors.

This year, though, it didn’t happen. Instead, to accommodate global health concerns, it switched to a digital-first format. We were able to sit down and talk with Cyrill Maag, Head of Performance Marketing and Demand Management SAP Switzerland about how they set up this year’s virtual experience. Here are the tips they had to share:

Plan the Experience in Advance

The marketing team from SAP Switzerland planned the event for more than six months. However, two weeks prior to the event, they received the disappointing information that there was to be no social gatherings bigger than 1,000 people. That’s when the team decided the best way to transform this event was to go digital.

Some good news: the contract with the event organizer, flights and hotels for speakers were still honored, Maag said, and so the team was able to use the space to pre-record everything at the venue. With producers on-site, the team recorded all presentations and planned to live stream it through the ON24 Platform. With only five days to get all the recordings set up and hosted, the marketing team not only created a uniquely branded experience, but they were able to have eight parallel live-streamed sessions all in different languages.

While stressful to pull off, the event was an amazing success and the team was able to reach and engage just as many customers digitally as they anticipated in person. More importantly, everyone realized the value and potential for this event content to drive demand and business all year round, well after the event.

Provide An Easy Access Content Hub

SAP wanted to make the attendee experience seamless, so it provided a one-stop-shop event hub powered by ON24 Engagement Hub where attendees could RSVP once and gain an all-access pass to sessions. Once the live day event concluded, all session content was automatically switched to on-demand access so attendees could easily re-watch sessions and find sessions they missed, all while capturing data that rolled up into existing reports.

Develop Strategy for Repurposing Sessions

The team knew there was great potential to drive demand and convert prospects with targeted session content post-event. In the months after the event, the SAP team re-packaged and bucketed sessions by hot topics and languages, and re-promoted to different segments and personas in their database via email based on their interest areas.

Know Your KPIs and Understand Data Flow

 For the team, it was important to closely track event performance and make the most out of the leads. They were pleasantly surprised to see the amount of data that the ON24 Platform provided and how it could be easily fed into existing marketing ops processes to its MAP and CRM. Using this data, the SAP team nurtured and converted attendees by using repackaged event content and engaged other target contacts in its database.

  • Initial Digital Event Metrics
    • Quantitative
      • # of Registrations
      • # of Attendees
      • Conversion Rate
    • Qualitative
      • NPS Score – How likely are you to recommend this event to others?
      • Attendee Survey Feedback
  • Business Impact Digital Event Metrics
    • # of New Leads
    • $ Amount of Business Pipeline Generated

Maag is certain that hybrid in-person/digital events will be “the new normal” going forward. In the future, they will have more time to prepare and will have more of an opportunity to optimize the digital experience for engagement. For Cyrill, a digital component will always be a part of his event strategy moving forward because it allows him to engage a larger, more diverse audience and drive more leads year-round.

If you want to check out the SAP masterpiece, just click here.

How SAP Spain Took Its In-Person Conference Virtual and Tripled Attendance

SAP Concur Day 2020, one of the many events SAP hosts each year, was weeks away. Gloria Abadin, Senior Field Marketing Manager, who headed SAP Spain’s version of the event, plotted and planned the event for months. But five days before the event, SAP decided to cancel the event due to the heightened pandemic. 

SAP moved quickly and sent a cancellation email to its 300 registrants. The good news — they informed the registrants this event will still be held virtually at a later date.

Gloria and team were now on a time crunch and needed to find a way to salvage their event. If not, they’d lose 60% of the budget allocated for the event. The team brainstormed ideas, researched different options and planned to host the conference — including all keynotes and sessions — in an ON24 Engagement Hub.

Here’s how Gloria’s team did it all in only two weeks:

Organize Speaker Recordings

Gloria had time on her side. Before Spain enforced its shelter in place order, she brought all of her event speakers to the would-be event site and recorded their presentations as if they were live. Her team captured hours of recordings on the ON24 Platform. Each recording would play simulive, which gives the audience the experience of a live event while giving them the chance to ask questions to experts via Q&A chat.

With simulive, SAP Spain could provide the audience with a better experience emulating an event as if it were in person. The speakers were on stages and the breakouts sessions were recorded with virtual in mind. SAP Spain did everything it could to make audiences feel as if they were actually at the conference.

Building it all on the ON24 Engagement Hub

With the move from physical to a digital-first experience in motion, Gloria and the team had registrants signing up for the virtual event. The 300 or so attendees who previously RSVPed for the in-person event were automatically registered for their digital event thanks to SAP’s Marketo and Salesforce integrations with ON24. Saving the team a lot of time.

SAP promoted this event for another two weeks, giving them more runway to get more registrants. By going virtual, SAP doubled the number of registrants they originally had. Had. When it comes to event attendance, figures triple. SAP Spain went from a venue limit of 130 customers and prospects to almost 400 live attendees actively engaging with their content and messages for at least two hours on the day of the virtual event.

Digital Component for all Events

Gloria never expected she’d have to cancel a full-fledged conference she’d been working on for months. Going through the process of bringing her biggest event online, she now understands more than ever the importance of digital events and how they can be a great compliment to her physical event strategy.

Because of the success of SAP Concur Day 2020 (she has more than 700 registrants watching these recordings on-demand) she now plans to create hybrid events — incorporating both physical and virtual aspects — in the future. For SAP Spain, digital will always be a part of its event strategy. After all, Gloria and her team will continue to see great results by promoting its on-demand and simulive sessions year-round, allowing the team to capture and engage viewers anytime and anywhere.

Announcing the W(ebinar)FH Social Post Winners

From improvised backdrops to makeshift studios, we’re all making webinars work even as we work remotely. As so many of us are trying to navigate these unprecedented times, we wanted to hear directly from folks in the webinerd community who’ve figured out the WebinarFH secrets.

That’s why, in the form of a friendly competition, we asked our webinerds to share their WebinarFH successes, tips and best practices with our community.

In return, every participant received a set of webinerd Wraphsody noise-canceling headphones while the top five big winners walked away with a WebinarFH survival kit, including a Blue Yeti mic, a headset, lighting rigs and more.

We received a lot of great submissions and innovative ideas — some of which we even stole for ourselves here at ON24! Without further ado here are the runner ups and winners of our W(ebinar)FH social post-competition. Drum roll, please…


Junior Library Guild

Rhonda Mihalic, Director of Marketing at Junior Library Guild, shares how she invited children’s author, Rex Ogle, to collaborate and create an original story, “Quaran-TEEN” with students studying from home. To date, it had the biggest turnout for a webcast. Even better, the Q&A functionality allowed students to interact so genuinely and authentically with Rex that it felt like more than a virtual visit.


Check out how Sanne van Opstal-Brakel, Marketing Communications Coordinator, sets up her home office! With basic items like shoe boxes that can be found around any home, she set up the ultimate home office while delivering the ultimate webinar experience for her audience. With her current at-home set-up at her dining room table, Sanne delivered a successful webinar about remote working with TOPdesk. She set everything up within a week and had over 300 registrants for the first edition, all from home.


After a year of planning, Dean Shaw, Global Advocacy Manager at SAS, had to pull the plug on his biggest in-person conference of the year. While nothing will ever replace the human connection of a live conference, Dean and the team quickly pivoted to the idea of a virtual conference. With two weeks to prep, SAS recorded 50 webinars with its presenters.



This tactical guide that Robyn Hatfield, Marketing Automation, Email Marketing and CRM at Accruent, shared is a great resource that all webinerds can use.  If you’re struggling to ensure you have enough bandwidth while running webinars from home, this is the resource for you! You will definitely want to make sure you check all these boxes before going live for your event.

Edelman Financial Engines

The unicorn headphones may be the star of this photo photo…but let’s get down to business. Jocelyn Roberts, Webinar/Webcast Producer at Edelman Financial Engines shares how she is able to move all of her in-person events to digital with ON24, allowing her to host webinars from anywhere, even while quarantined at home.

D&H Distributing

David Labaugh, Creative Strategist & D&H Distributing didn’t let COVID-19 ruin his tech conference. Instead of canceling or postponing the event, he converted it into a virtual experience. The main stage became a fully live broadcast with their keynote speakers presenting remotely. The booths that they were planning to have at the physical event were re-imagined into on-demand digital “channels.”



Talk about using your noggin! This was a favorite here at ON24. Check out how Danielle Gilstrap, Content Manager at Laserfiche hacked the ultimate background for her webinar. Not only is she ramping up her online offerings, but she did it in style. Remember when we said we stole some of the creative ideas from the submissions? This was one of them!

American Federation of Teachers

Lastly, but certainly not least, Kelly Booz, Director of Share My Lesson and AFT eLearning at American Federation of Teachers, doubled her virtual conference attendance in a matter of days. Together, she and her organization held 42 webinars over the course of three days. Presenters even adjusted their presentations to cater to more pressing issues, like the COVID-19 outbreak.

Congratulations to all of our runner ups and winners! A huge thank you to everyone who posted their W(ebinar)FH story. It’s great to see how we all are hanging in there and doing the best we can during these circumstances.

How TOPdesk Gets Scrappy to WebinarFH

The new routine: Wake up. Brush teeth. Take shower. Get dressed. Brew coffee. All to make the long commute to your dining room table — scratch that, new office. As working from home is becoming the new normal, we are getting more and more innovative in how we transform areas of our homes into offices.

The Setup

Webinerds far and wide are getting their creative juices flowing to build their best at-home office. Here’s a ‘behind the scenes’ peek at how TOPdesk’s Sanne van Opstal-Brakel, Marketing Communications Coordinator, set up her at-home webinar station for, “What’s new at TOPdesk” right from her dining room table:

How It Helps to #Webinarfh

Take a good look at what Sanne used to prop her laptop up: that’s right — shoeboxes! Any household items are fair game to create the ultimate W(ebinar)FH experience. The set-up may look unconventional, but stacking her laptop on shoeboxes helps Sanne give a presentation at eye-level and provides nothing short of a wonderful experience for her audience.

Next Steps

To provide the best experience possible for her audience, Sanne uses ON24’s simulive functionality, which allows her to pre-record the event and get the perfect take — no need to stress about a doorbell ringing during a live event, or a two-year-old running in on the event.

One parenting-while-webinaring tip Sanne suggests is to coordinate with partners and arrange a time for them to keep an eye on and be in charge of children. This helps make sure mom can have alone time to record. When it is time to air live, Sanne is able to sit back, relax with her daughter by her side and produce the webinar with ease. “I LOVE simulive webinars because it’s so easy to give your audience a live experience with little effort.”

TOPdesk recently ran a very successful webinar about remote working with TOPdesk (due to COVID-19). Sanne set everything up within a week and had over 300 registrants for the first edition.

She may not be able to stay as focused as she is when in the office, but Sanne is able to get the job done easily with ON24.