Our first partner hackathon
We’ve recently been running a lot of internal and public hackathons to get people inside and outside Expedia excited about travel. In December we hosted our first ever Expedia Partner Hackathon. We gathered over 40 participants from various supply and connectivity partners for a two-day event in Las Vegas. We were proud to have representation from 14 countries that made up about a dozen teams to hack on our APIs.
We received some stellar submissions and are proud to announce our winning team from SmartHOTEL. Jassin and Hibbah joined us all the way from the Netherlands to participate in a hackathon for the first time. Their app, Smart Trip, is a one-stop app to book a multi–destination package consisting of multiple stays, multiple flights, and multiple activities across multiple locations.
The beauty of their app is it solves an incredibly challenging science/engineering problem and addresses a rather basic core customer problem: I want a package with various stops.
Hibbah and Jassin described, “We tried to realize the ultimate guest experience by making the booking process as easy and complete as possible.” Although SmartHOTEL focuses on B2B integration, their team opted to venture outside their normal comfort zone by building a consumer-facing experience.
We also saw other incredible applications and use-cases during the hackathon: Sabre presented a unique way for Hotel Managers to interact with Expedia Partner Central to get real-time information on their hotel’s occupancy and room night data by integrating our APIs with Amazon’s Echo winning 2nd place. Vertical Booking and Best Western formed a collaborative team that proved successful winning 3rd place with their simple and intuitive solution providing hoteliers a tool to manage content, room and rate information directly within a channel manager application.
The event was brimming with learnings for our team and we are eager to conduct another partner-specific event. Jassin from SmartHOTEL said, “The hackathon was an amazing way to share stories with other developers and learn from them. Usually we’re sitting in our offices very focused on tasks within our business.” Hibbah said, “I will go back and share info about my entire experience. The event helped get my creative juices flowing. It was very freeing to work on a project where you had to commit fully to the identifying, building and completing it in just two days. It was really great.”