It starts as a competition you signed up for and it ends with an experience you will never forget!
Emerald Forest is a unique simulation game, offering the opportunity to work on business management skills in a modern, attractive way, completely online. Even though it starts as a game, by the middle of the week you really believe you own a hotel. No matter if you are part of the management teams or the coaches, the Emerald Forest feeling hooks you in, and before you realize it, you’re living in the fictional cities!
In order to present it more precisely, let’s see day by day what is happening there:
Day 1 – Preparation and strategy
Everybody arrives to Karlsruhe. Internationals and Karlshochschule Students gather in Playspace, not knowing what to expect, some of them excited, some of them confused but then…it starts! People, some not even knowing each other before, get together with their groups and already start coming up with hotel names, concepts, logo ideas. They receive their first tasks and assignments, combined with a City Rally, to get a feeling of a similar city they will manage their hotels in.
Afterwards the real work comes. Groups can occupy their offices for the week and get down to working on their team page and first assignment. What should our logo look like? What is our mission? Who is our target group? What is our strategy? These questions that they all should answer by the end of the day as well as creating website and Facebook page for their hotels.
However, since managing a hotel is not only about paperwork, but mostly about socializing with customers, competitors we closed the day with a networking after-work event in our KarlsCafe and continuously in the city.
Day 2 – Day of Creativity
Customer is King! But how do you attract more visitors? The answer is always via creative marketing! After inputs on communication and marketing from the coaches at the round table, the groups already started to come up with creative advertising ideas (posters, videos, office decoration).
The most important part of the day, however, was the Trade Fair, where they got the chance to present their hotels and interact directly and convince customers that they are the bests in the cities. The Trade Fair was a big success, with great preparations and surprises for the attenders: some hotels tried to convince the visitors with home-made snacks, teas, while others with free massages…
Day 3 – Day of Calculations
Room prices, investment decisions, marketing expenses…numbers everywhere! Like in a real business, pricing defines your success. The management teams had to make important decisions on their expenses and prices which results later in an increase or decrease in their profit.
Meanwhile, they also had the chance to come up with creative ideas of how to attract even more customers to their hotels. Brochures, small videos, constant online posts fill the internet, however, as it was proven, real events beat these all.
One unique example was a great gardening seminar, teaching the visitors with easy steps how to plant and take care of flower seeds. Or, other hotels held a real Yoga class, truly showing that they live up to their concept of a healthy and balanced life.
Day 4 – Day of Managing the company
Seminars, promotions in the TVs, rumors in the newspaper…by this time, the university is transformed into Amstelburg and Budano! Teams are already in the well-known routine: calculate costs while constantly coming up with new promotions…but wait…
PANICK IN THE HOTELS! Refugees flood the hotels begging for help, revolted customers, angry residences are screaming and demanding solution, ‘The Experminator’ is pressuring the hotels to get rid of the refugees. What can be done now?
The management teams might have been already prepared with marketing ideas, but they had to put everything aside and react fast to solve the unexpected crisis.
Curious? You can check out all pictures on Flickr!
Day 5 – Day of Promotion
Three minutes. Three minutes to show us what they got. Three minutes to show why they are the best hotel in town. Three minutes to win it all!
On the last day the teams had the chance to present their hotels one more time in only 3 minutes, on the stage. Some teams sang, some acted or some even got us up on our feet and made everybody exercise.
Nevertheless, the most waited part of the day of course was the final ceremony with the results. Teams received award for creativity and for highest profit for the whole week.
However, the most important rewards were not the prizes, it was the experience each participant gained, one week of deadlines, calculations, advertising, networking, crying, laughing, team-building, but most importantly…fun! THANK YOU EMERALD FOREST!