Software AG, based out of Reston, Virginia, an eight-year client, approached us about increasing our role in the production of their Innovation World user conference. Of course we wanted to know more. Turns out, they were happy with our meeting management skills and wanted us to tackle the entire event from concept to wrap up, including a new request.
There’s nothing general about the General Sessions.
CEO Karl Heinz Streibech wanted a non-traditional approach to the General Sessions that would make them more intimate, allowing Software AG to connect on a more personal level with the audience of 1,000 customers, analysts and partners. They wanted a new way of delivering their brand message. So we gave them General Sessions in the round.
Imagine all four walls of a ballroom, draped and with video screens creating a cozy, square enclosure. In the center is a circular stage, around which chairs were set in concentric circles. This allowed the audience to not only see the presenters, but other faces just beyond the stage as well. It created a more up-close-and-personal event.
We coached presenters on how to utilize all 360º of the stage for greater effectiveness. So effective, in fact, that in surveys the audiences gave the sessions the highest ratings of any Software AG had ever presented. We gave Software AG more than the efficient event management they had come to expect from us, but also created the experience they had long hoped Innovation World attendees would have.
Make connections. Check.
Software AG Innovation World is an annual event that brings digital leaders from 33 countries around the world to one place in North America. The first year LEO was brought on board, the event was held in New Orleans where 1,000 people, including product managers, visionaries and industry specialists, came together to showcase their products and hottest innovations. LEO was tasked with transforming this venue into an environment that reflected the Software AG brand and messaging. The event theme, “Where Digital Leaders Connect,” was fused with elements of a digital city to create an over-all look and feel that stayed true to the brand.
As attendees arrived and entered the lobby, they were immersed in the Software AG experience. It included: doorway headers, sponsor co-branded escalators, glass railings and elevator doors in-between all four levels. Everything from the way-finding signage, registration desk and each breakout room stage all had branded elements.
As a highlight to the event, all attendees were invited to explore the Innovation Showcase, which is an experiential exhibit room with 46 one-on-one software tool demonstrations and 14 partner booth presentations. This room was “The Road to the Digital Enterprise.” Attendees were greeted with a grand entry, “Meet-the-Expert” stations, and an enclosed exhibit with large, LED lit backdrops. Each backdrop represented a Software AG brand with color-coded “On Ramp” areas for hosting individual demo stations. The intimate space was conducive to collaboration, education and networking newly formed B2B relationships.
And the hits just keep on coming.
The next year a new challenge presented itself. Software AG would be launching a new corporate brand at this Innovation World. Ok, cool. Yes, but there’s a catch. The branding would not be finalized until three months before the event. Pulling off a great event within a tight timeline is nothing new for LEO. So we rolled up our sleeves and said, “Bring it.”
Even though Software AG was rebranding, there was still value in many parts of the “old” look. LEO was mindful of that in its approach. The hotel space was transformed into two distinct areas, one for General Sessions, the other for the company’s Innovation Showcase. Using widescreen technology and a choreographed array of dancers carrying screens, the branded elements for the opening of the General Sessions by the Chief Customer Officer became dynamic. Effectively utilizing lots of hero images on layered graphic panels, the company’s new look was subtly but seamlessly introduced throughout the conference areas and in the hotel’s accessible public spaces.
Not only was the new brand expertly woven into the creative look, but also a fresh, experiential and educational way to highlight Software AG’s products and partners in the Innovation Showcase was created. And to thoroughly exercise our can-do spirit, we also coordinated all on-site and off-site events and excursions. Great workout!
Services Provided: Production, Event Management, Environmental Design, Expo Management, Site Selection.
SALES INCENTIVE PROGRAM
All rewards are not created equal.
When your cream-of-the-crop salespeople are super successful, you reward them with a trip of a lifetime. LEO Events helped Software AG pull it off. The destination? Algarve, Portugal. The accommodations? The Vila Vita Parc Hotel. A luxurious, beachfront, five-star property located on Portugal’s southern tip.
As an international company, Software AG is a world leader in developing customized, enterprise management software. Each year, the top 200 salespeople earn Software AG’s Chairman’s Club award and are rewarded for their efforts with a one-of-a-kind trip. Spouses and families are also invited. The trips alternate between international and U.S. locations. Each year the bar is raised even higher. Challenge accepted. LEO Events managed every detail of this four-day event. Once the site was identified, we developed a custom registration site and a 24/7 call center and e-mail box making it easy for attendees to register, sign up for offsite activities and events and get any information they needed to make the most of their stay at this breathtaking location.
We managed hotel negotiations for all guest and meeting rooms as well as air and ground transportation for all attendees. Onsite, we provided destination management services, logistics and on-site staffing for all program components, including guest registration, hospitality and a help desk; food and beverage; production elements for meeting rooms and off-site events and the booking, scheduling and coordinating of all off-site activities.
Program components included an opening Gala and Welcome Reception and an off-site group dinner and after-party. We were able to provide our clients with the best possible local amenities and services at the best possible prices. In Portugal they call that ‘muito bem’ or very good. Agreed.
This incentive program was the best trip the sales associates had in the 8 years the company had been doing these sorts of trips. Consider the bar officially raised.
Site selection, registration, air, meeting management, production, amenities, destination management