The end of the year is the perfect opportunity to take some time to reflect. And It’s natural sometimes, especially if we’ve had a difficult year, to focus only on what went wrong or what we need to do better next year. Reflecting on the good is important though. Being grateful for moments of happiness, however fleeting, is one of the keys of leading a successful and well-balanced life.
Whether individually or as a team, thinking about the fun, the smiles, and the laughs is one of the best ways to welcome the new year.
So with that in mind, here is Invite Japan’s best moments list of 2018, listed chronologically.. And what a year it was!
1) Name Change (March)
It’s good that this is on the top of the list, since this was definitely the most momentous change for us. While we had been attached to the Escape Hunt franchise since our opening, this was the year that Invite Japan became its own entity. And along with that came our facility’s name change to NAZOBAKO. While it didn’t change the quality of our service, it was the perfect way to charge into a year of growth, learning, and expanding our programs.
2) LVMH Event (April)
Speaking of expanding programs. Right out of the gate our team planned and executed a team-building event for Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy (LVMH). It was a great challenge for us to be able to plan a completely customized event for a large group at an off-site location. And our success proved us adaptable to our client’s requests and limitations, and capable of producing high quality events.
3) A Suitcase Mystery Comes Into Its Own (June)
2018 was really the year of the Suitcase Mystery for us. We figured out what worked with our dispatch, travelling-style mini escape game and hammered out what didn’t. We also completely scaled the program so that it can now handle up to 100 people at once. We’ve had success implementing A Suitcase Mystery for a number of events this year, most notably for Kankyo Station and Google. For groups looking for an escape game in their office or conference centers, Suitcase Mystery is ready to go!
4) New Staff (May)
This year we were pleased to welcome three new members to our staff: Lee Sorkin (USA), Guillaume De Oliveira (France), and Wataru Abe (Japan). All three bring unique skills sets and add to the diversity of our small yet powerful team. Find out more about them on our website’s staff page!
5) Yokohama HSJ (June)
Our Hidden Secrets Journey program, which features a scavenger hunt-style game with clues scattered around a city, also received a major facelift this year due to higher demand.
First up was HSJ Yokohama in collaboration with Bosch Japan. Unlike HSJ Asakusa, this event took place a little farther out, requiring some extra determination in terms of research. In the end, the event proved to be a success, taking players on a puzzle-filled tour of the Yamashita Koen and Minatonomiruoka Koen areas concluding with a fabulous finale.
6) Google Event (August)
This wasn’t so much a test of our creativity, like Hidden Secrets Journey or A Christmas Secrets, so much as a test of our logistical skills and time management. Taking place over a three-hour period for a total of 44 people, one half of the group played our escape game rooms while the other half played suitcase mystery at a hotel nearby. After an hour, both teams switched, so that the group that played our escape games first now went to play the suitcase mystery at the nearby hotel, and vice versa.
Precise coordination within our team in both locations, as well as with the coordinator of the Google event was key. Although we certainly sweat a lot (it was august after all), our clients had a great time while staying on schedule. Our team’s adaptability and communication under pressure certainly won the day.
7) HSJ Asakusa (November)
Another Hidden Secrets Journey opportunity appeared this year. And while we already planned an Asakusa version of HSJ a while back, doing so again allowed us to retool aspects and update the puzzles. Boy did we ever! Most of the puzzle designs were new or updated, a lot of the logistics were modified, and of the course the finale was spruced up. Lesson learned: sometimes doing the same thing over again can produce interesting and amazing results.
8) A Christmas Secret (December)
A with HSJ Asakusa above, revamping more than reinventing the wheel was the name of the game. Taking last year’s popular Christmas-themed room as the basis, our team added some puzzles and updated the ones we had, creating an even better version of our holiday classic. It’s even inspired us to create more seasonal events with our rooms, so be sure to check our site and SSN for more information throughout the year! Not to worry, though, A Christmas Secret is still running through January 19th.
2018 was a year full of challenges and growth for Invite Japan. If there was a theme overall, it was that our burgeoning company seemed to find its solid identity and style. We know what we do best and what works, and looking forward to 2019, we can hardly wait to get started on the new adventures and challenges taking shape.