2-Day challenging tourism sector by Byld X Vodafone

Sara Delo
Sara Delo
Jun 6, 2019 · 7 min read

Puedes leer este artículo en español aquí.

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At the beginning of this year, we had the opportunity to organize and moderate a workshop at Vodafone’s HQ in Madrid. Vodafone’s innovation model and digital transformation initiatives are top notch, and thus, they have become the strategic partners of many other companies who want to innovate.

On this occasion, Vodafone decided to gather some of the best companies of the travel sector in an ideation, collaboration and innovation sessionand wanted it to be guided by experts on these fields and in the development of new business models that start from scratch: us.

Byld exists to work hand in hand with corporations of the likes of the attendants during that day’s session, who share the same innovative aspirations we do. In fact, part of the importance of our participation laid in our previous experience in the travel sector with the creation of Wysh and it’s purchase by Hotusa hotel group.

Vodafone and Byld converge on this point to transmit the importance of combining focus and methodology for the execution of any innovative solution to some of the best travel sector companies. Among the attendants were Grupo Barceló, Grupo Pullmantur, Grupo Peñarroya, Lopesan and Best Hotels Spain. Thanks to their determination and commitment the workshop resulted in two great team working days in which a handful of high-potential new business opportunities arose.

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The session was structured in two main parts: the first one focused on trends and technologies that have influence in the industry nowadays, with the objective of identifying the main pains and opportunities; and a second one, the generation of solutions focused on the development of business models and real functioning prototypes, to the point of creating an initial branding for each project. #Fakeituntilyoumakeit

Once we were deep enough into the industry trends, we invited the assistants to put everything they had listened to into practice. The exercise was meant to, divided into groups, make the participants look into the problems that they face every day in their industry so they could collectively make an empathy exercise, define the problem, identify opportunities and generate ideas.

To do so, we shared with them some tools that we use or our day to day like customer journeys, personas or the brainswarming technique to point the exercise in a collaborative direction.

It was structured the following way:

  1. Presentation from Byld of previously done work on industry insights, value chain and personas creation, as well as an introduction to design thinking and lean startup methodologies.
  2. Identification by experts of problems and pain points using customer journeys and the value chain of the travel industry.
  3. Generation by teams with diverse profiles of solution ideas based on previously identified opportunities.
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After this first ideation day, in Byld we dived deep in order to specify the opportunities with the highest potential that were going to be used in the second part of the workshop. After this two-week process, we all came back to Vodafone’s HQ and the second part of the workshop took place. It was fully dedicated to generate and validate prototypes, gather insights from the results obtained in order to keep learning, spinning and grow.

In this stage we identified seven ideas and concepts with great potential:

Concepto 1|Client Data: Use of AI and Big Data technologies to analyze information and be able to offer more personalized experiences, improve conversion rates…

Concepto 2 | Empty spaces: Marketplace for hotels to offer their empty spaces to companies and people interested who can also be informed about their availability in real time.

Concepto 3 | Lost & Found: Guest questionnaire that allows a more efficient hotel-client communication and that eases the identification between the client, it’s lost item and the return process.

Concepto 4 | Personalization + client service: App or webapp to improve customer experience in the check-in and check-out procedures as well as improving the hotel efficiency.

Concepto 5 | Client feedback: Voice command (IoT) to automate manual processes that would allow the hotel get real time feedback from the clients.

Concepto 6 |Client savings: Virtual cash wallet in which the client can save money on a monthly basis to spend it on a travel or hotel experience. The client doesn’t need to worry about planning and the agency has time to offer personalized experiences.

Concepto 7 | Last minute changes: Online platform that allows travellers resell or change travel plans in a simple and transparent way if they have any unexpected event.

With these concepts as a starting point, during the second day we worked to generate tangible results on the business model canvas, value proposition and the generation of prototypes in a strategic and practical way.

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Same hour, same participants, new add-ins, and even a better attitude. Everything was set for the second day, the part in which we had to really put our hands to work in the development of tangible business models from some of the explored territories and the generated ideas during the first session.

Again, we only had half a day, which was not only a challenge for us, but the objective of the workshop itself: demonstrating ourselves, Vodafone and the participating travel corporations that in just one day of intense collaboration and with the right spirit and partners, a minimum viable product can be developed to be prepared and attractive enough to start testing a business idea in a real environment.

In addition, on this occasion, we counted with new corporations among the participants with a more specific profile: Amadeus, a leading technology company subtle to providing solutions to the travel industry.

In order to choose the opportunities to focus on, we applied the Predictive Markets methodology: each participant had 30.000 euros (in stickers) to invest between the three most powerful projects.

Finally, the most voted result and the one we developed during all the day was “Empty spaces”.

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Problem identified: Hotels have lots of empty spaces that are not being used. And, at the same time, there’s a growing demand of physical spaces as a result of a huge diversity of interests and clients.

Solution: A marketplace that allows hotels to offer their available spaces to companies and people.

Then, we divided up into two teams: one focused on the business design — assisted by our business builders to support them in the strategy definition, targets and value proposition; the other focused on business development- in this case with our product builders in action to transform the concept into a tangible product that could be carried out to potential users and validate the interest in the solution.

I. Business model design

Once the empty spaces concept was identified, we were set to define the business model. In this part of the workshop, we used the business model canvas as a starting point tool.

II. Prototyping

In the second part, each team had specific material including the main tools to develop the structure of a minimum viable product to start experimenting with: identification and description of early adopters and clients, building solution hypothesis to be validated with our prototype and, finally, definition of the pilot, experiment and KPI’s to evaluate results.


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For us, and our model illustrates it clearly, collaboration is key. We are certain that uniting efforts, knowledge, resources and commitment from different counterparts with different visions and backgrounds, offers way more powerful and visionary results when it comes to innovating. People with different skills in diverse sectors, share the motivation of uniting our experience to think and create together.

With this workshop, we were able to, in just a couple of days, to achieve the identification of an opportunity in the travel sector, develop a viable business model and design a prototype that could serve as a starting point to experiment, spin and build from it (and all of this in a unanimous way). We showed the participants how fast ideating, building and validating new solutions in a real environment can be done; and in the way we also showed the importance of applying an agile and flexible mentality (a startupable mentality) that lets itself to be guided by useful methodologies in corporate innovation as Design Thinking and Lean Startup.

If we were able to do all of this in just 2 days… imagine what can be achieved in three months. Stay tuned to discover more! And do reach out to us for any questions.


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