On the 27th of September 2021, the third-semester Innovation and Management in Tourism master’s students organised the hybrid welcome event for the new master’s students of 2021. As part of the Experience Design course, the students turned into creative experience designers and created an unforgettable experience for our new cohort by taking them on the journey ‘Back to the Roots’.
Back to the Roots
It is Monday morning 08:45, autumn has just arrived but the late summer sun is already out and marks the start of a day full of inspiration, meeting new friends and positive energy. The MS Teams meeting just launched and the Master Class 2020 is ready to kick-off the welcome event they have been planning over the last few months. By now, also the first students of the new cohort start to enter the Teams meeting and by 09:00 everyone is present and the activities start. Let’s go back to the Roots!
In a world teased by a pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing have impacted our society severely. Therefore, innovative ideas and problem-solving skills are pivotal for future innovation managers, especially in the tourism sector. Hence, the theme of the Welcome Event focused on humans, who we are, and what we believe in. It is time to go back to the roots and unlock our core potential in order to help the new students be successful in their new Master’s programme.
The planning of the day consisted of two parts: The activities started online in the morning and continued until noon. In this part of the programme, all students – either residing in or outside Salzburg – could participate online. In the second part, after lunch, the students gathered at the Mirabell Garten at 14:30 for the offline experience and continuation of the quest back to their roots in the form of a Scavenger Hunt.
Teams were randomly made based on the skills of each student such as physical strength, creativity, musical knowledge, and more, which were important for the upcoming Scavenger Hunt tasks. The next activity required teamwork and a good sense of direction as the Scavenger Hunt took the students in all wind directions and heights in the city of Salzburg. With a delicious lunch package and some refreshments, the teams took off on an inspiring journey. Whichever team managed to solve the riddles at each of the five meeting points in the city first, and made their way back to the starting point in Mirabellgarten won and was crowned as the winning team for the rest of the day.
End of the day
When all teams returned, the activity ended with a few drinks, happy tunes in the background and some socializing at the Mirabellgarten. To celebrate the successful event, the third-semester master class and the new master’s students went out for dinner together at Sternbräu where FH-Prof. Dr. Barbara Neuhofer also joined and together concluded a successful welcome experience.
One of the new master’s students said:
“It was such a nice and creative experience! I really enjoyed to meet the students of my class in a more informal setting and have fun with them and with the second year master’s students. This experience brought me not only a solid beginning of the study programme, but practically an all-in Salzburg city tour with food, drinks, good company a good body workout (haha)! What else can you wish for in your first week of your Master’s programme? Super! Looking forward to next year when we are in their shoes and have to organize the welcome experience.”
This is what experience design is all about: immersion, creativity, and memories! IMT Cohort 2021: Are you ready for the Welcome Event 2022!