Success Story

WhatsApp for CEOs

To accompany its prestigious business conference, the Swiss Economic Forum launched an innovative app. Zuhlke developed the complete solution, which offered an outstanding user experience and received five-star reviews from conference delegates.


Promising “Entrepreneurship in a nutshell”, the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF) brings together key opinion­ leaders from the business, political and academic worlds. SEF wanted to develop a mobile service to provide added value for conference delegates (made up exclusively of CEOs) and to underline the conference’s status as a premium event for business. The specification for the innovation project was completely open except for the budget, which was fixed.


Zuhlke put together an agile innovation team consist­ ing of the client and three Zuhlke specialists – a business analyst, a user experience designer and a technology expert. Creativity workshops were held to brainstorm ideas for services which could add value for the target group. These were then prioritised in terms of the needs they fulfilled and technical feasibility.


The results were then worked up into a product vision which focused on conference programme information and two innovative features:

  • a networking system to enable delegates to make informal contacts and schedule meetings using an information­rich delegate list combined with a messaging service
  • a voting system to canvas audience opinion during individual presentations

The final design concept was further refined and implemented via a lean, Scrum­based agile development process. An iPhone app was produced, which provided users with full access to all features. Data on registered delegates was taken from the SEF’s CRM system. Texts and surveys were managed using a Java backend hosted on Amazon’s EC2 cloud service. Thanks to the responsive design, audience surveys were also open to delegates with other mobile devices.

Customer benefits

  • In close collaboration with the client, promising ideas were identified with the help of Zuhlke’s Stars to Road innovation toolkit.
  • Communication within the team was facilitated by using a storyboard to map the planned user experience. The service enabled SEF to once again showcase its credentials as a first­class event organiser.