The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the modern consumption of entertainment activities and shackled most people to the confines of their home. For the time being, people are no longer going out on weeknights and weekends to experience entertainment. These are certainly unprecedented times, and unfortunately one of the many casualties of the pandemic has been in-person entertainment businesses like escape rooms.
Most, if not all, escape rooms around the country remain closed. This is for good reason, of course. The physical interaction with objects and surfaces in a closed space required during an escape room does not easily allow for a safe and virus-free environment. However, even though customers may not be coming to visit your escape room now, there is still work to be done to prepare for when you do re-open.
Escape room owners likely have a lot of time on their hands during the pandemic. While you’re in this period of self-isolation, what are you doing to prepare for your escape room’s reopening?
One of the best things you can do for your business is to take the time to make improvements. There may be certain projects that you have been holding off on completing, or new features that you have been waiting to install. This moment can be an opportunity for you, should you use the downtime in business to make improvements.
Once the social distancing, shelter in place, and self-isolation regulations are lifted across the country, there will likely be a surge in demand for entertainment. Consumers who have been isolating inside their homes will want to get out and re-engage in fun and interactive activities like they did before the pandemic.
Business will likely never be like it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the pandemic has subsided and America opens back up for business, consumers will want to visit escape rooms, but there will be an expectation that companies have measures in place to keep customers safe. The opportunity is now for escape room owners to refresh stale ideas, repair broken equipment and known issues, and if possible, upgrade rooms.
First, escape room owners can target new customers by modifying their rooms. Modifying a room could entail making a room more or less challenging, as well as altering it to capture returning clients. Some of the easiest ways to alter rooms are to change the hints and clues inside of the room, or to make small changes in existing puzzles where known problems exist.
There are novel ways to build a new room that can reinvigorate your customer base, or to rework an existing room to attract a new customer base. Rooms can be transformed from a focus on large groups and parties to a focus on families and small groups. Whatever you decide to do, investing in your business can bring back new and old customers once it’s open again.
If you do decide to invest in new equipment, look for technology that can be repurposed like Escape Room Techs’ Bad ASS Controller (BAC). The BAC has 12 different games built into it, allowing you to easily change the sensors and change the game your customers are playing.
Market Your Room and Your Message
Do you have a plan to draw customers back to your escape room? It is a good idea to prepare your return to business now to ensure that you are ready to deploy when the time is right. Not everyone out there will have a plan for returning to business in the post COVID-19 economy. To ensure your success, it is important to make sure that your business is prepared to both weather the storm and return to business stronger than before.
One of the very first things you will need to do is to build trust among customers that your escape room is safe. You should put in place safety measures and practices to prevent people from infecting or becoming infected at your escape rooms. Once you have appropriate safety measures in place, market them to your customer base so they know you’re making changes to keep them safe.
Once you get the news that your region is ready to open back up for business, run promotions to get people in the door again. Some examples are discounts, give away nights, alcohol nights, or family nights. Family nights could be an easy promotion to prepare in advance by reconfiguring your rooms for kids. If you have a BAC, it’ll be even easier since you can change puzzle difficulties and their solutions easily and remotely.
Will Your Business Thrive Post-COVID?
Many escape room businesses will not survive the COVID-19 market disruption, and those that do survive will need to be stronger than before in order to make up for lost revenue. You can contact the Escape Room Techs team to discuss changing or upgrading your rooms in this time while businesses remain closed. What are you doing to make your escape room better and stronger for when it is time to open back up?