As part of an ongoing relationship with Jimmy Kimmel Live!, iSolutions was contracted to help build a custom database to assist the show as it re-located to Austin, TX for a week-long stay at the SXSW festival in 2014.
Jimmy Kimmel had been using a spreadsheet to manage all the information for moving 200+ staff members from Hollywood, CA to Brooklyn for a previous travel show week. Since experiencing success using FileMaker to manage their Security and Charity databases, the travel team at JKL wanted to see if FileMaker could be a solution helping take on the monstrous task of “taking the show on the road.”
Managing the arrivals and departures of the staff flights with the hotel rooms was a nightmare in Excel; any travel delays or changes would not always cascade correctly to all parties and only one person could be working on the travel plans at a time. Hotels room booking is a tough enough task for 200+ people in one week, but because of special relationships with hotels and rates, travel staff needed to have constant visibility on room rates and whether room blocks have already been filled.
iSolutions built a custom FileMaker database to allow JKL travel staff to manage EVERYTHING in one place with a multi-user/multi-trip tracking database that will line up the arrival times of flights with the hotel bookings. The database included conflict resolution features that helped address issues before they caused problems. For example, if a traveller is arriving too early to check in, the system will alert them to add an additional night at the hotel automatically. Likewise, JKL travel staff works closely with local transportation staff and the custom database allows transportation staff to print out a pickup/drop off sheet for the picking up travelers.
Tracking hotel room bookings is a complicated task when you have multiple hotels and multiple agreed-upon rates at each hotel. Making sure the hotels are not over/under booked is automated by the database so travel staff never has to worry about not having rooms.
Like most projects, each time JKL takes their show on the road, the network allows them a budget to work with. If they are going to be able to make future trips, they need to stay within the budget. When you use spreadsheets to manage your budgets, you cannot share them with all the staff members who affect the budget. The custom FileMaker database made by iSolutions tracks the budget of the WHOLE trip and stares the budget for historical review.
Travelers need to be updated with their travel information in order to arrive without issues. Prior to the iSolutions database, travelers had to have a Word document created and shared so they would have all their information in one spot. This took a ton of time to create and manage and any changes made version control a problem. The new database automatically creates itineraries for all travelers so they have all the information they need for hotel, flight, and transportation and the database automatically emails this information to travelers as PDF attachments and sends updates when itinerary information changes.
The initial Travel database created by iSolutions was such a success that it was used again in 2015 when the show traveled back to SXSW and required NO updates.
The JKL travel staff saved hundreds of hours of work by not having to coordinate the variables of the trip. Errors are avoided thus saving on fees having to fix things like hotel bookings on the same day they are needed. The FileMaker based travel database has now become a critical part of taking the Jimmy Kimmel Live show on the road for years to come.
Every time you see the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show on location, remember that FileMaker Pro got them there.