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Steve Wozniak at SIP, Contactless Golf: News from Japan Summer Wrap-up

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics came and went. The national stadium is a short walk from our central office, but it was largely off limits to the public. Unfortunately, that meant we could only watch it from afar, like most of the world. We made our own news instead.

Sansan has been very busy with big events and happenings of its own. These include welcome the legendary Steve Wozniak to Sansan Innovation Project, our premiere annual event. This year it was entirely online. While in the offline world, we hosted our first international golf tournament amid summer skies and breezes..

Sansan Innovation Project (SIP) event welcomes Woz and other big names

Sansan Innovation Project 2021 was this year’s version our showcase annual event that we’ve held since 2006. In the past, this has been held in large Tokyo-area venues and attracted an international audience and major sponsors.

Last year, the pandemic threw a wrench in the works and we regrettably had to cancel the event.

This year, SIP was back! And it was entirely online. The event viewed/attended by more than 30,000 people. The theme was “chotto mirai no hatarakita”, which means, basically, “ways of working in the near future”.

This topic has dramatically evolved amid the pandemic. Formosa among the invited speakers was Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak. Wozniak joined Sansan CEO Chika Terada to share views on that main topic. Wozniak admitted big changes will keep coming, but other companies may go back to how they were before the pandemic.

“We don’t have to do things the same old way.”

–Steve Wozniak, engineer, entrepreneur, Apple co-founder

Lynda Gratton of the London Business School is a leading authority on organizational behavior, and quantum computing thought leader Jessica Pointing. Both also spoke to the many participants.

SIP introduces and discusses business-related innovations that are driving the times, including cutting-edge technologies and solutions, The 3-day event spanned from September 15–17.

Let’s hope SIP2022 will be hybrid. Fingers crossed.

Sansan KBC Augusta Golf Tournament a contactless hit, with an albatross

We previously mentioned the Sansan KBC Augusta Golf Tournament 2021 for 4 days from August 26 on the coastline of Fukuoka.

We were blessed with mostly great weather (after a ton of rain) and an albatross/double eagle by Japanese golfer Shota Akiyoshi. This great rarity in the sport earned him a bonus prize of 330,000 yen (~$3,000) from Sansan (left photo). The winner was Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe (right photo), who led from the first day of the tournament.

The reception desk employed a smart entry system integrated with our Eight app’s online business card function. This allows contactless entry and it even let some of the audience swap business cards with the players.

In conjunction with the event, we also released a new golf version of in our series of TV commercials.

Visualizing online/offline business card exchanges through data

Sansan DSOC (Data Strategy & Operation Center) is Sansan’s research and data integration division. It’s a home of brilliant technical minds, and some great artists, too. It recently presented a data visualization called “FORMEINFORME”.

View it here.

This colorful work visualizes the changes among paper and online business cards (Sansan Virtual Cards) over the course of time and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unique properties of onilne business cards we’ve found through our data.

Blue rays are online exchanges and pink are offline. They’re shown within and between Japan’s prefectures. Data also found online encounters are more likely to happen between businesspeople with similar attributes.

While the feeling and conversation unique to in-person interactions are indeed important, online encounters that transcend physical distance also hold great value. An interesting occurrence, though, is that online encounters among similar people may create narrower perspectives and bias. “FORMEINFORME” encourages us to think about such encounters in the future.

Sansan original research on COVID-19’s effects on business card exchange

Sansan performed an original “Survey on the Actual State of Business Card Exchange amid COVID-19. The survey acquired responses of 440 company employees working in sales across Japan. Of them, 220 use online/digital business cards and 220 do not.

While the first national state of emergency was declared in Japan in April 2020, the struggle with the situation continues and the future remains unclear.

This survey indeed found the pandemic has reduced opportunities to exchange paper business cards among 38.6%, while 50% said the pandemic has affected sales-related efforts.

The upshot is that 85.9% of those using online business cards have maintained or increased their card exchange opportunities. Moreover, 70.9% of the online business card users reported they’re accumulating and managing new business card information. The results show the flexibility that businesspeople are applying amid this challenge.The full report is in Japanese here.

So as the seasons change, we welcome the cool winds of change. We’re working with the current climate and adjust for whatever the chillier months bring.

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