The World Economic Forum (WEF) is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum is a trusted platform for all stakeholders of global society to integrate and aggregate their efforts to improve the state of the world. The WEF’s Annual Meeting is a unique collaborative environment. Leaders and experts from around the world reconnect, share insights, gain fresh perspectives, and build problem-solving communities and initiatives to create global impact.
At WEF 2022 in Davos, Switzerland, over 500 members of the media were present, including top tier international broadcasters as well as regional media outlets from around the world. One part of WEF’s media operations in Davos was to provide support for media organizations to access the Congress Centre and conduct onsite interviews with meeting participants, by way of:
- Interview rooms: WEF offers dedicated locations and special facilities for the media crews to conduct live interviews. They need to organize the room booking as efficiently as possible to use the resources optimally with minimum friction.
- TV Rotations: TV crews that wish to access the Congress Center were required to submit requests and be accompanied and picked up by WEF staff at entrance. They need a streamlined way for each media organization to submit the requests and for the WEF team to organize the pickups as smoothly as possible.
Before using Teamup, these needs were handled with spreadsheets, hundreds of phone calls, messaging and emails along with countless live human interactions between media representatives and WEF staff. Staff members were transcribing hand-written notes and updating Excel files throughout the day, while carrying paper printouts across the Forum ground, often with outdated information. Resolving booking conflicts and accommodating schedule changes was a challenge and required a significant amount of time and staff resources. The inefficiency and additional workload caused stress for the highly skilled team as they sought to prevent booking issues from escalating and to keep the operation running smoothly.
After years of juggling with an inefficient and frustrating process, the WEF team sought a more innovative solution that could streamline the process and achieve better results. It was important to find a solution that was simple and user-friendly. The WEF media team discovered Teamup and, since 2017, have used Teamup for room bookings with great success. In 2022, the solution was expanded to become the platform for coordinating TV Rotations as well. Teamup CEO Jenny Zhan provided onsite support in Davos, personally assisting the WEF team and media representatives to ensure the best experience with what they needed to accomplish: book rooms and organize pickups.
Teamup capabilities in action
Teamup is a calendar, but it’s much more than a calendar. With a wide range of features, Teamup shortcuts the ways that information is captured, accessed, processed, retrieved and shared. It simplifies the logistics of information input and output on a simple calendar interface without the complication of bespoke software systems. This is manifested in the capabilities in action at WEF 2022:
- Matching needs and availability: When a media organization needs an interview room at a specific time, they can view all the room availability at a glance, with each room in its own column and color-coded.
- Self-booking with privacy: Each media organization is given a unique calendar link, which enables them to make bookings on any available slots without contacting the WEF team. The unique granular access permissions allow each media team to book rooms, and update their own bookings at any time, but prevent them from seeing or changing the booking details made by others.
- Real-time updates at everyone’s fingertips: When a new booking or change is made, it is immediately accessible on the calendar. The booking updates in real-time allow the WEF team to see and respond to individual requests with minimum delays as well as keep an overview of the whole operation as it unfolds.
- Flexibility: Achieving operational efficiency with a booking system in such a dynamic environment is a big challenge. Carefully structured event fields with clear, thoughtful field labels are a key factor in simplifying communication and maintaining efficiency. A customizable system can better serve people who need to give and take all aspects of context-specific information. With many custom event fields and descriptive field labels, including some required fields, Teamup made it easy for everyone to capture, process, and share important booking details. All parties are enabled to take the next actions as needed without losing momentum due to missing or misplaced information. Comments added to each booking entry contain clarification or additional relevant details.
- Scalability: Since organizing the TV Rotations did not involve any shared resources such as rooms, we opted to create one dedicated booking sub-calendar for each organization within the same master calendar. Despite the large number of sub-calendars (well beyond 200), the customized access limited each media organization to access no more than a dozen of the sub-calendars, where that particular organization could make their bookings. This ensured privacy and decluttered the display of information. Meanwhile, the WEF team was able to see all sub-calendars and bookings on one page, with the option to toggle on and off individual sub-calendars or filter for specific requests as needed.
- Bulk import: With an operation of this scale, it’d be very time-consuming and error-prone to manually process the whole setup. Thankfully, Teamup supports bulk import from .csv files. We were able to create all the sub-calendars and hundreds of calendar links error-free by starting with an Excel list of organizations that needed customized access to the booking calendar.
- Mobile access: While everyone involved can easily use the web interface of Teamup to make bookings and coordinate all activities in this context, Teamup’s mobile apps for iOS and Android were essential since most people who needed to interact with this system were on the move throughout the conference.
“We’re very grateful to have your support on site, it made a great difference and it was really helpful! We heard quite some positive feedback on Teamup, so well done!”
– Di Dai, Media Lead, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum
We are very thankful for the collaboration with the WEF team and appreciate the opportunity to be of support at such an important global event. The experience also provided us with valuable insights on how we can improve Teamup to better serve at the WEF and other large events in the future.