A few years back when I was new to all this and following every marketing guru in the book, I created a SlideShare on LinkedIn about this very subject. SlideShares didn’t take off as an effective marketing tool and as far as I’m aware they no longer exist, and I certainly didn’t gain any engagement from it. It was mostly my fault though; what I wrote still stands, but crikey it was as dull as ditch water!
So, immersive mystery events – why should you choose one for your team activity? Here are my top 5 reasons, with a bit more relevance for 2023…
They develop valuable problem-solving skills. Update: they bring out your inner detective
Originally, I wrote that ‘to solve a murder teams need to collate and analyze evidence, think strategically and prioritise information and tasks’. True, but what does that mean in the real world?
Bill will go off on a tangent trying to make sense of a date written on the back of an old photograph, before realising that Amanda has discovered a suitcase with a combination lock on it and that the two probably go together… meanwhile John has found a birth certificate and connected the dots with the baby clothes and the photograph… If they solve the crime correctly then that’s the icing on the cake, but more importantly they’ll have given themselves the tools to have a good go at it.
They improve communication skills. Update: they can make you stop and listen
I explained back then that in order to be effective teams would need to ‘effectively and accurately feed information back to other members of the team and appreciate how each team member may interpret information differently’. Again, wise words, and still true. An example?
The group have investigated the crime scene and Jill has an idea that there might be some relevance to the quote she’s just discovered in a book, but she only joined the company a month ago and Margaret, who happens to be her line manager, is corralling everyone in a different direction and she’s too afraid to speak up. It turns out Jill was right after all, and luckily our characters are on hand to make sure her opinion is heard, and a valuable lesson is learned. Communication is about listening, not who can shout the loudest.
They promote creativity. Update: they allow people to be ridiculous without worrying about being laughed at
The old me said that ‘brainstorming, free thinking and the creative flow of ideas is encouraged’ and that ‘if a team is comfortable with expressing their ideas and opinions, this increases confidence and motivation’
This time round, Matthew wonders if there might be a missing twin, or even triplet lurking in the background who might be responsible for the crime, and is quite happy to suggest his ideas to the rest of the team, given that our characters have already revealed the long-lost daughter of the murder victim who’s just come back from Australia to claim backdated child support… Nothing is off the table (unless it’s totally inappropriate, of course!) and it gives everyone that giddy feeling of freedom that comes from being a bit silly…
They encourage collaboration over competition. Update: they’ll allow you to embrace the differences in your team
Collaboration encourages a more open and honest culture within the workplace, leading to happier teams. I spoke before about the fact that ‘swapping roles within the team gives people a fresh perspective and empathy with others’.
Claire chats to one of the suspects and discovers a deep dark secret. Her initial reaction is to keep it to herself; on its own it’s of little help to the investigation, but it might help her to solve it all by herself right? But when she decides to tell Bob, a lightbulb goes off and they make the final connection which leads them to the culprit. She was getting sidetracked with details, whereas Bob was looking at the bigger picture. When they put it all together, the magic happens.
They’re fun! Update: ok, that’s still the same.
The best way to explain it is in the words of one of our happy clients:
“Brilliant activity! Makes you think outside the box and everyone in the team can contribute, we all found our inner detective.”
Marketing Team Delegate, Kia Motors