SAP Labs: Four Reasons to Make Local Attractions part of your Next Corporate Meeting
By Kirsten Sutton, Vice President and Managing Director, SAP Labs Canada
25 people attended. 17 nations represented. 1 city captivated.
In March this year, SAP Vancouver hosted the annual meeting of managing directors from SAP Labs worldwide. For those unfamiliar with SAP, we’re one of the world’s largest enterprise software companies, helping businesses like the NHL, Cirque du Soleil, and Whistler Blackcomb run better and improve people’s lives.
SAP Labs is the global network of SAP’s research and development locations. SAP Labs Canada (comprising 3,000 employees at sites in Vancouver, Montreal, Waterloo and Toronto) is the fourth largest among 20 Labs in locations like Paris, Sao Leopoldo, Bangalore, the Silicon Valley, Berlin, the Czech Republic, Poland and more.
To host this annual offsite was a tremendous honour for my team and me, and we knew we wanted to show up BIG.
Which really, isn’t so hard when you live in a city as spectacular as ours.
We are proud to have partnered with Tourism Vancouver to showcase the power of business for tourism and the unparalleled beauty and relevance of Vancouver as a destination for business.
Among formal agenda topics that spanned new technologies, diversity and inclusion, culture and strategic partnerships, we wanted to give attendees the chance to experience our city. Infusing cultural experiences is important for a few reasons:
1. Setting Context – With a group as international as ours, many of whom have professional touchpoints with SAP Vancouver employees, getting attendees out of the meeting room and into the community provides important context into the culture of the place and colleagues with which they work.
2. Showcasing Diversity – Vancouver’s diversity is the foundation of our innovative, resourceful and vibrant city. Our guests were struck by how truly diverse Vancouver is and how that diversity is reflected in our SAP Vancouver employee population. Guests were inspired about how to better create diverse and inclusive environments of their own.
3. Providing Learning – From cultural lessons, like those provided by indigenous elders at híwus Feasthouse, to economic lessons from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, these experiential opportunities were powerful tools for learning.
4. Having Fun – Much of the true value of any company meeting comes from the relationships strengthened by shared experiences. These can happen in the moments of calm during a snowshoe through the forests of Grouse Mountain, over culinary delights and local libations, and even on the bus rides to and from.
Check out the video to learn how Vancouver made a lasting impression on SAP leaders from across the globe.
For those interested in what we were up to, or for some inspiration for your own corporate meeting, check out this Itinerary Overview:
5 Days in Vancouver – Corporate Meeting
- Montreal smoked meat and poutine from Dunn’s
- National delights from Edible Canada
- Snacks by Granville Island’s The Nut Merchant
- Fake ghost tour on Granville Island
- Finding treasure at the Edible Canada shop
- Asian inspired casual eats from Roaming Dragon
- Some of Vancouver’s finest sushi at Minami
- A walk through Vancouver’s history at the Museum of Vancouver
- Pancakes with maple syrup and bacon for breakfast
- A selection of Vancouver’s best food trucks for lunch
- Unique-to-Canada chips and chocolate bars
- Fondue dinner at Grouse Mountain as the sun sets over the city below
- Group snowshoe and First Nations cultural experience at Hiwus Hose on Grouse Mountain
- Lox and bagels by Rosemary Rocksalt
- Burrito buffet by Tacofino
- Local wine, craft beer and casual eats at Steamworks
- A visit to the BCTech Cube to learn about BC’s technology ecosystem