The Corporate Lodging Forum (CLF) is a cloud-based event management platform that makes light work out of running complex events for HRS's globetrotting industry forums.

The Opportunity

HRS is a global tech company headquartered in Cologne, Germany that focuses on the business travel sector.

Organising large events can be a mammoth undertaking, even for seasoned marketing and event management experts — the HRS Corporate Lodging Forum is no exception.

A venue has to be decided on, delegates need to be invited, registrations need to be completed, reminders need to be sent, booking changes and cancellations need to be tracked, the agenda has to be set, and speakers need to be confirmed etc - and that's just for one event. Can you imagine handling a dozen or so events in as many different languages in the span of only a year? Can you imagine handling a dozen or so events in as many different languages in one year?

To streamline the event management process, HRS commissioned Elastic Teams to design and build a custom cloud-based platform capable of managing each event without re-inventing the wheel every time a new event is organised.

Product Design

We hooked-up with HRS's marketing communications expert Christian Brodda to unravel the software requirements.

Using Agile techniques we identified the personas, epics, and user stories that formed the basis of the Products Requirements Document (PRD).

Wireframing provided a visual understanding of the web interface for the delegate and administrator personas that were identified in the PRD. This gave the team confidence that the interface was catered to the needs of the user whilst fulfilling the key business and project objectives.

The first thing that struck the marketing team when working with Elastic Teams was their unadulterated thoroughness to detail. The whole experience was an eye-opener on how to turn great ideas into a great product.

Christian Brodda, Senior Marketing Manager, HRS Christian Brodda, Senior Marketing Manager, HRS

Once the wireframes were finalised, the team transformed the wireframes into high resolution mockups to the illustrate brand design, typography, copy and Call-To-Actions (CTAs).

Event Management interface

Product Development

The Team

A team of highly skilled and experienced software engineers, managers, and DevOps professionals were tasked to work on the development sprints:

  • Project Manager practicing Agile project management
  • Front-end developer turning high-resolution mockups into HTML, CSS, and Javascript code
  • Two senior software engineers implementing server-side business logic using Test-Driven Development (TDD) practices
  • A mid-level software engineer implementing the functionality of the delegate-facing website
  • DevOps engineer to set up and configure the various servers with Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines

Technology Stack

To ramp-up the development process we chose the Ruby on Rails framework for developing the core business functions of the Corporate Lodging Forum.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) was chosen to power the backbone of the cloud-based service. AWS is robust, very versatile, and provided 100% of the services that were required to get the application off the ground.

Summary of technology stack:

  • Ruby on Rails backed by PostgreSQL
  • Webpack for UI development
  • AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances

AWS services used:

  • Relation Database Service (RDS) for data management (PostgresSQL)
  • Simple Notification Service (SNS) for email bounce tracking
  • Simple Email Service (SES) for email distribution and management
  • ElastiCache for query and view caching
  • Simple Queue Service (SQS) for scheduling
  • Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) for distributed traffic management

The Result

Corporate Lodging Forum was designed, built, and deployed by Elastic Teams, on-time and within budget.

To date, the Corporate Lodging Forum has powered over 30 events in 12 languages spanning 14 countries - it has managed the interactions of more than 15,000 delegates world-wide.

The Corporate Travel Forum has been a huge success for the company — and Elastic Teams has played a pivotal role to make it a success.

Christian Brodda, Senior Marketing Manager, HRS Christian Brodda, Senior Marketing Manager, HRS

HRS continues to retain the services of Elastic Teams in the form of a trusted, long-term engagement which includes application maintenance and support.