Leo’s Legeland is the biggest playcentre in Scandinavia with branches in both Sweden and Norway, and now also in Denmark. The branch in Aalborg is the first in Denmark, and it launched in november 2013. In 2015 the franchise will expand to other cities, and will then appear almost all over Denmark, with new branches in Odense, Århus, Kolding and Herlev. In addition to the big playground, birthday parties is also a main part of the concept in Leo’s Legeland. There is several themed birthday rooms; Dinosaur, Princess and Disco-rooms, where the birthday kid can enjoy the birthday, while the host from Leo’s Legeland will provide the food and the entertainment.
After each birtdayparty the host will hand out a questionnaire, to get a better picture of the customers experience. In the questionnaire the score goes from 1-6 points, and it turns out that the branch in Aalborg receives a lower score than any other branches in the franchise (In Norway and Sweden). Leo’s Legeland wants to know why the Aalborg branch doesn’t get the score of 6, instead of the score of 5. What is wrong, and how can the problem be solved.
Josias Hedegaard Hansen. 7. Semester, Interactive Digital Media, AAU.
Patrick Dahl Nielsen. 7. Semester, Interactive Digital Media, AAU.
Kenneth Randløv. 5. Semester, Industrial Design, AAU.
Krisztina Szabó. 3. Semester, Natural and Cultural Heritage Management, UCN.
Pamela Bílíková. 3. Semester, Natural and Cultural Heritage Management, UCN.
Concept 1 – Leo’s Network
In the first video sketch we have depicted the frequent problem which occurs at Leo’s Legeland Birthday parties. Most of the hosts aren’t sure what to do in certain situations in the birthday room, such as how to react when some children start to be bored or when the parents start to intervene in the course of events. The problem is that there isn’t enough time to properly educate the personnel and therefore the hosts have a lack of information how to respond adequately. Creating a Network of employees from all Leo’s Legelands, the employees could share all the information, guides and good advices on an online board.
In the sketch we present a host of one of the birthday party. The host is struggling with the arising situation. Therefore he has the idea to go look for help at the Leo’s Network whether there are any shared advices from fellow colleagues. The importance of the video comes in the moment then the host finds the solution he was looking for and later he can use his acquired knowledge in order to improve the overall experience in the birthday party room.
To create the first video concept we used the technique of animation. To show our main message we have chosen such technique because it is simpler to demonstrate what a difference can Leo’s Network, as a solution, make. The sketch brings out the “before” and “after” setting (as the technique of Ouroboros), so we are sure that the viewer will not only receive the correct message but will also perceive the whole problem and solution in its complexity.
Concept 2 – Host Roles
In the second video sketch we point out another crucial problem in the relationship between the hosts and the children’s patrents. It is not unusual that parents have different expectations when throwing a birthday party for their children at Leo’s Legeland. Some parents want to take full control of the course of evenets and others prefer to hand over the responsibility completely to the Leo’s Legeland’s employees (hosts). In summary, the parents aren’t sure what is their role during the birthday party and the same goes for the hosts’ role. Therefore we have come up with this concept where parents have the possibility to choose their hosts’ commitment to the birthday party. From a host being a simple helping hand to a full time entertainer.
In the video sketch we present 3 different roles that the parents might choose from when booking the birthday party for their children. The parents would have an option to select whether they want the host to be a simple “helper” (host takes care of the practical stuff and is not present in the birthday room in the course of the event), the “waiter” (host takes care of the birthday party and entertain a little – e.g. has a dialogue with the kids, sings a happy birthday song…) or the “entertainer” (the host is entertaining the kids, all the time present in the birthday room – a 2nd host bring in the food). The concept of choosing the host’s role was proposed as one of the solutions how to improve the relations between the parents and the hosts.
To create this video sketch we have decided to combine the normal footage with animation. This technique was chosen because it of its flexibility and time saving nature. It was the easiest way how to demonstrate the different roles in the authentic setting. However not being able to film certain factors, we used the animations instead to provide the full story.
Concept 3 – Volunteer charity work
The third sketch is again dealing with a problem that originates in the lack of provided informations to the Leo’s Legeland personnel. In this concept we have come up with an indirect solution that would improve current situation in a long term period.
A charity organisation is focusing on arranging children’s birthdays for families with children who can’t afford throwing a big birthday party for the classmates. By combining the volunteers and Leo’s Legeland, we can achieve a co-operation which will allow the volunteers to arrange birthdays at Leo’s Legeland for free once in a while. By doing this, the children from less wealthy families have the chance to celebrate their birthday party in fun park.
Throughout the birthday parties the employees from Leo’s Legeland would be present in order to acquire new experiences. Leo’s Legeland would profit by obtaining PR, goodwill and most importantly better-experienced employees.
The video sketch show an example of a family in a need of the help of the volunteer charity organisation. Afterwards the sketch continues by portraying “usual” birthday party at Leo’s Legeland. The important part is when the co-operation between the volunteer organisation and Leo’s Legeland occurs. The positive factor of this concept is the fact that both sides would make a profit out of it.
To create this video sketch we have used the technique of stop-motion. This technique was chosen for the incredible flexibility that we needed to illustrate the complex collaboration concept.
The group had decided to make several trips to Leo’s Legeland to observe the place under different circumstances. The observations on Tuesday and Wednesday were focused on Leo’s Legeland’s facilities and employees. The weekdays often have few guests and no birthday parties so it gives insight to the general state of Leo’s Legeland. The focus on Friday and Saturday were the birthday parties which are the main focus-area for our case. The weekend in Leo’s Legeland is very busy therefore the employees and the facilities provided much more data to analyse.
The expectations about Leo’ Legeland were low after looking at their web page before going there. The web page contained photos of empty indoor playgrounds, concrete birthday rooms and sterile restaurant environment. The first impression upon arrival was that Leo’s Legeland was much more comprehensive and thoroughly planned than first expected. The facilities carried a shared theme which made all elements get together. By observing, data was collected for further analysis.
The main agenda for visiting Leo’s Legeland in the weekend was to collect data from the birthday parties. When parents book a birthday party in Leo’s Legeland, they choose in which themed room the party should be held in and what kind of food there will be served. The time allocated for a birthday party is one hour inside a birthday room. The host can choose to decrease the time in the room if the s/he finds it necessary, e.g. if the kids rather want to go out and play. After the party (after the kids are sent out to play) the host have a half hour to clean up the room and get ready for the next birthday. After parents have paid for the birthday, an evaluation questionnaire is given were they have to rate different elements of the birthday party on a scale from 1 to 6 (1 being the lowest score and 6 being the highest score). There are commonly about five to ten birthday parties a day during the weekend. The collected data were from interviews, evaluation sheets provided by Leo’s Legeland, observations and were then analysed through object theatre, video snippets and an Ouroboro model.
The statistics are based on the questionnaire handed out to parents after paying for a birthday party. The questionnaire consists of five questions about the different elements of a birthday party. The five elements are: Arrival, catering, the host, the experience in the room, and the overall experience. The parent rates the different questions on a scale from 1 to 6 (1 being the lowest score and 6 being the highest score). There is also room in the questionnaire to write a comment if necessary.
Seven days worth of evaluation questionnaires were given to the group at the weekend visit, altogether 52 birthday parties. Based on the 52 ratings for each element some basic statistic where made. The first graph shows how many times the different elements receive a 6 in the rating in percentages. One of the things that we noticed was that the overall experience got fewest sixes. This was expected due to the fact that just one ruined element of the event would have an effect on the final rating. The graph also shows that the host received most sixes and the the experience in the room the second most.
The second graph shows the mean of each element. It is surprising that when looking at the graph that the experience in the room element has a lower mean than the overall experience. When comparing the two graphs it shows that the experience in the room receives second most sixes but still has the lowest mean. It is interesting that both catering and the host is a part of the experience in the room but they are both rated with a higher mean. From the analysis of the graphs it is suggested that there is an element missing from the questionnaire that is causing problems which can be seen in the rating of the experience in the birthday room.
We were fortunate to interview four parents of birthday kids and three hosts. The interviews with the parents were conducted right after their hour in the birthday room. The decision to make the interview right after they had been in the birthday room was to get their initial thoughts before they began to forget them.
The questions for the parents were
Is it the first time you are using a birthday event at Leo’s Legeland?
How did you hear about the birthday event at Leo’s Legeland?
Which expectations did you have to Leo’s Legeland birthday event?
Were they met?
Which elements worked well and which elements did not work well? (the host, room, music, food, etc.)
How would you rate the event on a scale from one to five?
The interview with the hosts was conducted between birthday parties. The questions for the host were
What is your role as a host?
What is the process for a birthday party generally?
What is the toughest part of being a host to a birthday event?
Is that the part you are using most time doing?
if not, what is?
What is the procedure for cleaning after a birthday?
Do you ever get constructive critique about your host role?
Do you use the critique to enhance the birthday experience?
Have you thought about something that possibly could enhance the experience in the birthday room?
Anything else that have annoyed you?
What was common for all the parents was that It was the first time for all the parents to try the birthday event and they all heard about the birthday event by the word of mouth. Some of the larger problems that arose were: that they did not have the birthday room for longer time, that they could not bring their own food, lack of information about the birthday party, and what the role of the parents was.
What was common for the hosts was that they all defined their role as being there to make the best birthday for the birthday kid. They all had the same procedure about the birthday and cleaning with small variations. The larger problems for the hosts were: the parents being in the same room evaluating their every move, no direct critique, that time is not very flexible, and the lack of information to the parents.
The observation research took place on Friday and on Saturday in Leo’s Legeland. Used observation research method was the “naturalistic observation“ that refers to collecting data without interfering with the ongoing behavior. Such observation relies on information available to the senses – sight, hearing, touch, etc. This type of observation permitted us to study children, parents and hosts in the authentic environment of the birthday-party-room in order to understand “things” from their perspective. The observation required us to spend considerable time in the field with the possibility of adopting various perspectives in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the people being studied and the possible problem that needs to be solved.
Example of the observations
When I arrived the Legeland there were 2 birthday parties going on (almost ending). I have seen the children leaving the B-day rooms and heading for the treasure chest…
* Children were super EXCITED, happy, full of energy, enthusiastic.
* In one B-day room were present both parents and grandparents.
* In the second room were only kids
In both cases (2 b-day parties) the host had to go inside the treasure chest with the birthday kid, she left behind the other children, following happened:
* Some kids stayed in front of the door, excited, waiting.
* The others just went wild and crazy around the playground
* Both of the birthday boys looked disappointed with the CD gift from Leo’s Legeland.
The children DID NOT obey the host. The host had to ask them many times to follow her into the B-day room.
* The end was very CHAOTIC.
* Children (only boys) were full of energy – doing silly things around.
* The group has divided, some of the kids had stayed in the playground, the rest returned to the B-day room.
One of the parties had to ended 5 minutes earlier, it was not possible to keep the boys inside.
The parents were sitting on the couches or in the restaurant.
Red circle: The parents attending/supervising the birthday party.
Green circles: Fun zones. The castle represents the birthday rooms and the other circle is the Legeland.
Blue circles: The blue circle represents “Home”. The house and the plane is the real home and transportation to Leo’s Legeland and the Tipi is the “home” we want to achieve at the fun park. You want to feel as comfortable in Leo’s Legeland, as you do at home. The person next to the castle is seen as the birthday host at Leo’s Legeland. The host is pointed at the castle and is only concerned about the caste and is neglecting the parents in the back.
Activity in the birthday room entertains the kids and because of that it is easier to keep the kids inside the birthday room for the entire hour.
Change in roles
The host introduces herself and is going to get the food for the kids. She is away from the room for 5 minutes and in that time the parents are left to entertain the kids. The time being used fetching food, gifts etc. could be used better.
The Ouroboro is a method that divides an experience into three different stages; before, during and after. In the following example we focused on the birthday party itself, which will be displayed in the during stage. The before and after will therefore describe the aspects of the overall experience that will have impact on the birthday-party experience.
Every contact point the customer will interact with at Leo’s Legeland, before the birthday party itself. The entrance, the locker room and the reception for example.
The routine of the birthday party. What is happening. Highlighting the contact points. From “welcome” to “the chest”.
Every contact point the customer will experience afterwards. The experiences in the after-stage will be influenced by the former experiences from the before- and during stages. For example: If the customer experienced a bad birthday party, it will have influence on the questionnaire in the following after-stage.
The Ouroboro is an iterative process, and will therefore also have influence on the the next visit at Leo’s Legeland (the new before, during and after).
How did we use the Ouroboro?
We highlighted the birthday party as our main focus, and then started to brainstorm every single contact point at Leo’s Legeland from the beginning to the end. Afterwards we tried to point out the different problems (we had experienced during our observations in the field), and fit them in into the three stages. During this process we realized that most of the problems, all fit into one major problem: Parents vs. the Host, which we centered in the middle of the Ouroboro.