The EMCup, the annual competition of the best European hotel management schools, took place on 16 and 17 February 2020 in Maastricht and the EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality Passugg (SSTH) also contributed a team. The motto of the 12th edition was "Battle of the brands - how will the hotel chains survive in the battle for guest loyalty?
The participating students do not only represent their school while working on the academic tasks set by EMCup. Above all it is about making a difference with their visions and ideas. EMCup challenges them to think beyond a real-life issue and is the perfect opportunity to meet with like-minded people, share visions and build relationships with industry professionals. Our student Jill Gerber shares her experiences.
The team is found
Together with my team, which we called the Peak Performers, I was allowed to participate in the EMCup 2020 in Maastricht. We volunteered at the request of Mrs. Schweighauser, our school principal. This after some of the students who participated in previous years told us only positive things about this experience.
Immersion in the team tasks and loosening up
Participation in the event was very varied and characterised by a positive atmosphere. In addition to working on the group presentation on the task of the battle of the brands, exciting keynote speakers always lightened up the whole thing. Also the breaks were used efficiently, namely by a "dance break" as a loosening up and motivation boost! A whole hall packed with students and coaches followed the choreography of the presenters.
No classic dinner, but numerous networking opportunities
The organizers of the EMCup also showed creativity at the dinners. The first of two dinners was a Flying Dinner, where over 30 companies presented themselves at various high tables. We as a group then got an outline of a puzzle board, which we had to fill during the evening. Every company, respectively every bar table had a puzzle piece which fitted on our puzzle board. The puzzle pieces, however, had to be earned by talking to the companies and asking at least one question, which was considered interesting.
At the second dinner there was always a free seat at our group table. This seat was occupied by another member of the jury after each course. This also helped us to talk to as many people as possible. So we were able to make exciting contacts with teams from all over Europe. Due to the relaxed atmosphere of the whole event, we automatically had open conversations with other teams. Although everyone had the same goal, namely to win, there was a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere throughout.
My personal conclusion: Participation in the EMCup is mandatory!
All in all, the EMCup in Maastricht was an unforgettable event and I am grateful for the experience I was able to gain there. I was able to take away a number of positive lessons for both my professional and private life. Especially what it means to work with a group on a specific topic and how valuable contacts are in an international industry.
So it may come as no surprise that I strongly recommend everyone who gets the chance to participate in this event to take it!