Back to Blog

5 Ways to Expand Your Escape Room Business

by | Oct 21, 2019

Share via

Escape room owners often reach their limits quickly. Limited space, small catchment area, tight budget etc. But let’s not talk about restrictions. Instead, we want to show you five ways you can expand your escape room business.

In recent years, the escape room industry has undergone a lot of changes. Large franchises continue to grow, whilst smaller, independent operators find it more and more difficult to survive. However, there’s no need to get involved in a discount war against your competitors to stay alive. Instead, by following our tips, you can ensure that you’re doing the most to grow your escape room, expand your reach, and discover new audiences!

1. Open up your escape room to corporate clients

Our first tip isn’t a direct expansion of your escape room. However, it is a tip that can increase your sales significantly. Consider offering team events for companies! More and more companies are using escape rooms for team-building events, staff development, or as part of recruitment processes.

Michael Meinke from the Association of Live Escape und Adventure Games (FvLEAG) describes in an interview a little more, what is behind the usage of escape rooms in team events: “The use of escape rooms for an assessment center, as a marketing tool, or as a team building measure is still relatively at the beginning of the possibilities. I think a lot about it myself. For example, you often experience a job applicant very differently in an interview than in an escape room.”

Hosting team events means having a lot of players at the same time

As businesses will be more inclined to play between Monday to Friday, you will be able to fill out appointments during your quieter hours. They also usually come in much larger groups than your average booking, so make sure that you are well prepared!

But how easy is it to connect with companies? The first and easiest step is to set up a landing page for businesses on your website’s homepage. Whenever someone visits your site, one of the first things they’ll see is that you’re now offering corporate events.

Make sure companies get a great experience with you.

But how easy is it to connect with companies? The first and easiest step is to set up a landing page for businesses on your website’s homepage. Whenever someone visits your site, one of the first things they’ll see is that you’re now offering corporate events.

Using Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you could also target prospects who are likely to be responsible for organising corporate events – for example, HR Managers. With access to networks such as LinkedIn and Xing, connecting with professionals has never been easier. If you prefer to meet with people face-to-face, try exhibiting at HR conferences or other B2B events. If you really want to expand into corporate events, but don’t quite have the capacity to host over 100 participants, you might want to consider our next tip…

2. Offer outdoor activities

Imagine this: a medium-sized local business are planning a big team event, and they’re keen to book with your escape room. However, you don’t have access to a space that’s big enough for them. That’s no problem if you also offer outdoor escape games.

Using state-of-the-art augmented reality technology, games such as Magic Portal and Operation Mindfall combine the very best of scavenger hunts and live escape games, and offer an AR teambuilding experience. What’s the aim? Players explore places in their city, scavenge for clues, and crack tricky riddles to solve their mission.

In Operation Mindfall, players take over the role of secret agents.

Cluetivity’s ready-to-play games are also customisable. You can create puzzles centred around your area, or even tailored to your client’s individual booking. To make the experience even more realistic, each of Cluetivity’s games come with Agent Packs, filled to the brim with high-tech gadgets and tools to help your players complete their mission.

Whether you’re on the client’s premises, in your town centre, or even in an open field, Cluetivity can be set-up anywhere in less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect additional service for your business. Our existing partners already include escape rooms, team building and events companies, tour guides, paintballing businesses and laser tag arenas.

3. Be number one in marketing

Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of an escape room. Only those who find you on the internet can book with you, and having a website with booking capabilities is now the bare minimum.

It’s important to be present in search engine results. For example, if someone searches for “Escape Room Buxtehude”, you ideally want to be the first search result. If there are a lot of competitive results above your website on Google, now is the time to invest in putting an ad on a keyword. This is called Search Engine Advertising (SEA). The amount it costs varies from case to case, but this is something that will be discussed in a later post.

The online marketing for escape rooms doesn’t differ much from marketing for other small businesses. But since many people gather information online before they book a game, you should definitely optimise your efforts as much as possible.

4. Build innovative, forward-thinking, new rooms

One very important thing to remember is that people don’t want to play the same escape room twice. So, if you want your customers to come back, you’ll need several rooms with different scenarios.

The storyline possibilities are endless. Whether you are robbing a bank, escaping from another dimension, or regaining control of a driverless train, you can simply purchase ready-to-assemble rooms and have them installed by your vendor. The advantage is obvious – the effort that’s required from you is minimal.

Building stable props and creating well-balanced puzzles are the biggest challenges when setting up an escape room.

Alternatively, you can conceptualise your own stories and create a niche in your market. However, this can be quite a time-consuming task. Among other aspects, you must write a compelling narrative, develop challenging puzzles that are neither too difficult nor too simple, and design visual elements to make your storyline come to life.

Even though it requires a lot of effort, more than 80 percent of surveyed escape room operators say that they develop their concepts independently, or together with their business partner. How creative!

5. Think big and create a second location

If one escape room isn’t enough for you, or you’ve just exhausted all the space in your current location, consider opening a new branch. Expansion also, of course, comes with a great deal of effort and risks. But, as we discussed earlier, it is becoming increasingly difficult for small companies to assert themselves. Therefore, sooner or later, you’re going to have to make some big business decisions.

Before deciding on an additional branch for your company, you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are my competitors doing?
  • Should I stay in my location, or should I expand in a new area?
  • What revenue can I realistically expect at the new location?
  • What are the requirements for a new property?
  • Are additional investments necessary? For example, fire protection.
  • How do I announce my new escape room?

The amount of risk involved in expanding is almost comparable to the amount of risk involved in finding your very first business. Whether or not you want to take this step, you can only decide for yourself. Keep in mind however, there are already around 400 providers with more than 1,000 rooms in Germany alone.

Is the investment in another location too risky for you? Then outdoor games and city rallies can be a far cheaper alternative. The setup costs are low, no additional team members are required, and the possibilities are endless. Feel free to get in touch with us, and we will be more than happy to advise you on how to integrate AR gaming into your business!

Share via


Submit a Comment