Emerald Forest 2017 – A complete success!

Last month the Karlshochschule hosted Emerald Forest, an 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 practically own a hotel. The University stops being the University we know of, and starts to evolve into pulsing and colorful hotel offices with amazing events, lots of food, music and good vibes!

Let’s take a look at each day:

Day 1 – Start and strategy

KarlsStudents and International Students arrive at Karls. This year we had the great pleasure to welcome guests from all over the world: France, Egypt, Mexico, people from all over Germany traveled to Karlsruhe to be part of this.
The groups start to team up and they already start to think of hotel names, themes, logos!
But before they officially start working on their hotels 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.

Day 2 – Day of Creativity

How do you attract more guests to a hotel? 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 (office decoration, self-painted posters, food, sport events, and much more!).
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, smoothies or sweets.

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. Luckily, we had an amazing costing game, presented by two coaches from the UK, which helped a lot with deciding in how luxurious the hotels should be.
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. For example, we had a cupcake decorating event, hand massages, a top agent competition, and many more amazing events.

Day 4 – Crisis Management

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…

Who is that, wandering around Karls with a red tie, two beautiful women and a bodyguard that looks like he could kill you with a stare?! It’s Donald Trump, trying to buy the hotels or bribing them!
Hotels started to team up, starting a movement called #wegotogether to show their antipathy against Trump, while other hotels made deals with Trump.
The management teams might have been already prepared with marketing ideas for the day, but they had to put everything aside and react fast to solve the unexpected crisis.

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. Three minutes of fame!

On the last day the teams had the chance to present their hotels one more time in only 3 minutes, on the stage. Some team acted, made a video 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 awards for creativity, highest profit for the whole week and for being the coaches favorite.

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 all for this amazing experience!

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