World Economic Forum : A flexible, friendly approach

Lively and adaptive coverage of a major event


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The feature

The World Economic Forum held its 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos in January.

During the event, the WEF’s website automatically redirected visitors from its home page URL, https://www.weforum.org/, to a dedicated section at https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2020.

The section’s landing page featured a feed of live videos of speeches, along with a live blog which provided upbeat commentary and clips. There were also  signposts to deeper information, including collections of videos and background materials on the meeting’s key themes.

At the top of the page, in the secondary navigation bar, a hashtag #wef2020 appeared, next to icons for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

After the event, the main URL reverted to pointing at the main site home page.

 

The takeaway

The WEF’s coverage of their event struck a lively and engaging tone, and demonstrated the benefits of tailoring a website to a major event, and putting appropriate resources behind it to create an informative live blog and a detailed, useful section.

The promotion of an event hashtag in the menu bar was also bold – although users may have expected the accompanying social links to either lead to a posting page with the hashtag pre-inserted; or to a feed of material from those platforms which included the hashtag. They did neither: they led to posting pages, which the user could fill in, but without the hashtag.

The decision to reroute site visitors to the annual meeting landing page was, on balance, a sensible one given the global interest in the Davos gathering.

But it might not be appropriate for a corporate site – except in the case of a truly international news event or crisis – since it had the effect of preventing users from reaching the overall WEF site home page.

This could perhaps have been avoided with a toggle or by housing the home page temporarily on another URL for visitors who wanted to learn about the forum more generally.


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https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2020
First published 28 January, 2020
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