It’s almost here: SAP Spend Connect Live kicks off in just a few short weeks. It is hard to believe that nearly three years have passed since we were able to gather, in person, as a group of spend management professionals.

The past few years have been tough, with many changes in the world impacting the business community. Between labor shortages, geopolitical tensions, logistics challenges, and now inflation, supply chain functions have undergone a series of disruptions. SAP Spend Connect Live 2022 offers an opportunity for procurement leaders, supply chain officers, risk managers, sustainability personnel and other employees working with these issues to connect with industry peers to hear their stories and understand our latest innovations.

With over 110 sessions — including more than 30 business success stories, 24 expert-led deep-dive sessions, and 16 road map breakout sessions — we are bringing together procurement, external workforce, travel and expense, and supply chain solutions for a dynamic, interactive experience. Join other spend management professionals to learn strategies for keeping costs low amid inflation as well as how to become the buyer of choice with streamlined, transparent procure-to-pay processes. Looking to create a proactive risk management strategy for a ready-for-anything supply chain? We have sessions for that too.

Whether you have been an SAP customer for years, are new to the community, or are considering our solutions, SAP Spend Connect Live has something to offer. The event will address top-of-mind business challenges, inspiring transformations for you to take back to the office.

Here are five things you can look forward to at SAP Spend Connect Live 2022.

1. Hear Success Stories and Attend Keynote Sessions

Don’t miss hearing more than 30 companies add their insights into today’s challenges and the latest trends in total spend management as they share their success stories. And do we have success stories: our customers — including CDW, Grainger, Halliburton, Johnson & Johnson, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sony Pictures Entertainment — will share how they transformed their businesses by digitalizing their supply chain and harmonizing their spend management processes. Join these customer-led sessions to hear how they manage disruption and mitigate risk with a centralized procurement function.

Don’t forget to check out this year’s keynote speakers, too: listen as McKinsey & Company Partner Roman Belotserkovskiy and Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman share learnings from business challenges and transformations in their keynote sessions.

2. Optimize Spend Management Investment and Network with Peers

Participate in interactive discussions with peers and SAP solution experts to accelerate outcomes and maximize the value of your solutions. Various sessions offer the opportunity to discuss best practices in real time with your peers to get the most out of your investment. Topics include creating and maintaining sustainable supply chains, improving usability through a stellar user experience, and driving compliance and supplier adoption.

This year’s event will also be the perfect environment to engage with fellow customers, get 1:1 time with industry executives, and chat with innovation leaders in breakout sessions. With guest speakers from around the world, along with analysts, partners, and spend management leaders, there will be no shortage of networking and knowledge-sharing, even outside of formal sessions. Take advantage of the variety of opportunities to make new connections and strengthen old ones to leave with a stronger network than before.

3. Upskill Tomorrow’s Workforce with SIG and ASUG

Through the disruptions of the past three years, the role of spend management professionals has been a critical and strategic one to the business. With this elevation in visibility and expectations comes the need for upskilling within procurement and supply chain teams. Join SAP and the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) as they showcase online and in-person courses from SAP Learning and SIG University.

For more knowledge-sharing, join the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) onsite to connect with other practitioners, exchange peer-to-peer learning, and hear perspectives from SAP experts and partners from the procurement, supply chain, and technology communities of practice.

4. Ensure Travel and Expense Spending Goes Farther

With the resurgence of business travel, the range of employee-driven spending is widening. For most organizations, it is a delicate balance between expanding employee travel and controlling cost amid economic headwinds. Procurement and travel managers set the definition of compliant spend, which requires looking at the entire life cycle — from spending policies to how expense claims are validated to employee reimbursement. Join the SAP Concur team to learn how technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are creating scale and efficiency within procure to pay processes. We will also show you how to establish a comprehensive, end-to-end approach to managing travel and expense to make your spending go farther.

5. See Innovation from the SAP Ecosystem

SAP Spend Connect Live 2022 features a diverse group of sponsors, partners, and startups. Twenty-seven industry leaders, all part of the SAP ecosystem, will be showcased. In addition, a select number of partners are hosting breakout sessions on a range of timely, critical topics — from addressing spend management challenges in a volatile macroeconomic environment to creating a collaborative, sustainable supply chain, and so much more. Learn more about our Spend Connect Live sponsors here.

At SAP we continuously strive to bring innovation to market through development as well as through investments. SAP.iO has enabled more than 450 startups to deliver exciting innovations for our customers. This year, SAP.iO will showcase spend management ventures with breakout sessions and interactive demos at the event marketplace. See how Encore by SAP is working to create a B2B world with zero waste, enabling companies to participate in the circular economy and support sustainability initiatives. Source Agent by SAP will demonstrate how it provides insights and sourcing strategies by identifying opportunities that align spend to current market intelligence. Come see our ecosystem at work, bringing thought leadership, solutions, and innovation to address your pressing challenges.

Of course, it won’t be all business. We’ll have some fun too at the celebration night in the AT&T Discovery District with great food, drinks, and music. We hope you join us in celebrating our first in-person event since 2019.

If you have not already, register here for SAP Spend Connect Live, taking place October 24-26, 2022, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Browse the session catalog to build the perfect itinerary for you and your business. I look forward to seeing you there!

Etosha Thurman is chief marketing and solutions officer for SAP Intelligent Spend and Business Network.