5 Trends in the Escape Room Industry and How to Make the Most of Them
Since the first escape room opened doors in 2007, the industry has grown to reach people all around the world from every age and gender. Escape games are suitable for various groups of people including young people, teens, and grandparents.
They give us unique opportunities to practice teamwork and problem-solving which makes them perfect for corporate or team building events too.
And while playing the escape game is an immersive and fun experience, the actual process of running an escape room business requires a lot of hard work and attention, too. In order to remain competitive and keep people’s attention, it’s important to stay on top of industry developments.
Here’s a look at 5 escape room industry trends to keep in mind and how to make the most of them.
1. The market is still growing
Although nothing goes up in a straight line forever, the escape room market is still on the rise. According to the State of the Escape Room Industry Report 2018, 59% of escape room owners reported having plans to expand within the next year.
Also, almost 7 in 10 respondents (68.33%) said that they will add at least one more room to their current location. This not only indicates that many owners feel that the popularity of Escape Rooms continues to rise but also shows that the supply has yet to overwhelm the demand.
The industry is still very profitable and entrepreneurs report that the cost of launching their first venue pays off within a year.
2. Higher competition
The above facts lead to the second trend we need to mention. We all know how every flourishing industry attracts a number of entrepreneurs to invest in.
Escape rooms are not an exception.
The competition is rising and so are people’s expectations. The July 2018 Escape Room Industry Growth Study finds a substantial increase in the number of room closures in the USA last year.
The traditional escape game is no longer a novelty and everyone requires high-quality sets, props, and technology. People want a real challenge and an engaging experience like no other.
As a result, more and more theme inspired rooms open, all of them providing innovative activities aimed at particular audiences. This fact is taking us to number 3 on our list of escape room industry trends.
3. Movie-inspired escape rooms
From Harry Potter, Lost and Prison Break, to Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, escape rooms take the excitement to the next level by letting ordinary people experience the characters’ challenge first hand.
Creating a movie-inspired room seems to be a great way to be different and guarantees a high level of engagement. By giving a new life to some of the all-time favorite stories and characters you can accommodate for a large subset of customers.
According to The Top Escape Rooms Project, researching escape games all over the world, the majority of the most successful venues are inspired by some horror movie motives. So if you want a proven formula for doing well in the escape room business, choose a great movie and build a concept around it, making sure to check with the copyright holders to avoid infringement.
4. Big focus on safety
The fire in Kozalin opened an important debate regarding the safety standards and practices in escape rooms. We see more and more escape rooms prioritizing health and safety to prevent accidents and comply with government regulations.
There are various ways in which escape rooms can be made safer. The installation of panic buttons and fire alarm systems is part of the solutions.
Britain and America lead the way here because the fire regulations and laws prohibiting kidnap mean that people cannot be locked in without an alternative means to set themselves free.
5. Increasing reliance on online bookings
Offering the most unique experience out there is definitely not enough. The 2018 Escape Room Industry Report found abundant evidence indicating the crucial impact of an escape room’s website.
According to the results, more than two-thirds of escape room reservations came in from the business website. Having a responsive website that offers custom and user-friendly online booking experience is a great way to make a difference.
Establish your business on social networks and build promotion campaigns on Google Ads, so your offers are both easy to book and easy to find.
If you want to remain competitive in the escape room industry, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and market developments.
While the market is still on the rise, competition is getting tougher and you need to work extra hard in order to gain an advantage in the eyes of your customers.
Many rooms find success by theming their experience using movie concepts. This is a good way to differentiate, provided you have consent from the copyright holders.
In addition, there’s a growing concern about safety when it comes to escape rooms and it’s important to comply with your local regulations to prevent accidents and avoid hefty fines.
Lastly, as most escape room bookings are now made online, it’s crucial to have a great buying experience on your website and other online sales channels.
Escape Games Market Overview (with Bonus Tips for Success)