With pandemic restrictions shutting down or at least fundamentally changing entertainment for the last year, people are itching to get out and do some fun activities. I personally can't wait to get out of the house and see a movie, visit an escape room, or go to the bar with friends as soon as it's safe.
You can bet it's going to be the same for most people. You don't want to miss this opportunity.
Getting Ready for the Summer
With lockdowns expected to end in many places by the summer and vaccines becoming available to more and more people, it won't be long until we get back to the old normal. Escape room and other FEC owners need to prepare and be ready for when their local authorities relax rules to get in on the entertainment wave.
- Have enough PPE supply for your staff and patrons — while you may be able to physically operate, we still can't be certain that vaccination numbers will be high enough to allow for no masks
- Keep your cleaning protocols up to date and listed on the website. Many customers will still be cautious during the summer.
- Stay updated with your local authority daily. This will give you the chance to get the jump on the competition by opening and promoting as soon as possible.
Customers Will Want Memorable Social Experiences
Escape rooms will be perfect attractions in the reopened world exactly because they've had such a hard time during lockdown. People will want to do things with their friends. You want to be sure you're ready to get as many people as you can through with as good an experience as you can provide.
You might want to refine your puzzles to optimize your reset times. If you've got something that takes a while to reset, see if you can make some alterations that will let you get it ready quickly without affecting the experience. If you have a locked briefcase full of documents you want in a specific order, for instance, consider just having a duplicate set of props entirely. When one group finishes the room, drop in the duplicate and just gather all the related items and take them out with you. You can put the original set back together without the pressure of the second group waiting for you in time for a third group.
Definitely take some time to repair or replace any old, worn, or otherwise damaged props. Now's the time to spruce up all your rooms with some extra touches that will take even a decent experience up to a fantastic one they'll be talking about with all their friends.
Of course, if your customers have already done all your rooms, you won't be top of mind. If you have the time and resources to develop an entirely new room, now is the time to do that. That way, you can let all your previous customers know you have something new to experience.
Strengthen Your Marketing Plan
Whatever reopening looks like in your area, you can be sure that the hospitality and entertainment industries will be ready to go with their promotion. If you're not there with them, you'll get left behind.
So, get ready to dust off those digital ad campaigns and think about what you can do to get some attention.
- Consider the keywords and interests on your ads — should you adjust your targeting?
- What can you run as a "back to normal" promotion to encourage business?
- Do you have a compelling COVID-19 story local media might be interested in covering? You might be surprised what sending a couple of emails might turn into
Whatever it is, think about how you're going to cut through the noise and attract people to your business.
Customers Might Want Something Totally New
Competition for entertainment dollars will be higher than ever. And with the escape room market becoming saturated, you may need a completely new experience to help you stand out against your competitors.
You may also want to get a reopening boost from your previous customers — but of course, they won't come back for something they've already done.
A vrCAVE VR escape room installation is a great fit for times like these. They're cost-effective to set up and give your customers access to the most immersive virtual reality they can't do anywhere else.
Learn how to add a VR escape room to your business here, and use this technology to add even more options onto your business both as the pandemic ends, during the coming summer boom, and in the future as people flock back to their normal entertainment habits.
Ready to take the first step? Whether you run an escape room a family entertainment business or you're an entrepreneur looking for a new opportunity, you can contact us anytime right here. We look forward to hearing all about your location-based entertainment and learning how we can help get you set up with a VR escape room of your own!