Making it convenient

Mike & Andrew Gipson, The Escape OKC

 To stay competitive in our market, one of the concepts we really believe in is a continuous evolution of our product. Several years ago we realized a lot of businesses were coming to our escape rooms for team building.

Most team building is either large groups or one-on-one. The large groups have a speaker and break-out sessions. The one-on-one include various assessments. Organizations like big events or they like to see how people work individually.

However, that left a lot of room for a small, intimate experience for five or six people. How does your individual team actually work together? We found a lot of parallels between how a group works in the room and how they work in business. Best of all, businesses were enjoying that group relationship!

So once we got established in different markets, companies started coming to us for team building. However, it wasn’t convenient. They were paying their people to leave work, deal with traffic and drive to our stores.

We had experimented with The Escape Crate in the past. While it hadn’t been a huge success financially, it led to us creating The Escape at Work, an escape room in a mobile 40-foot trailer.

How does it work? We pull a 40-foot trailer into your parking lot, even if it’s just for a couple groups. You send your people through the room, and everything is measured. We measure things like compartmentalization, complex problem solving, and nonverbal communication through the various puzzles. Then at the end, you get metrics on how the people in your team performed.

While the game mechanically operates the same regardless of who’s playing or where we park it, from the player’s side there are a lot of different ways to play the game. One group we have will fill a room with a few brand new employees and one manager. They’ll make the most junior person in the room run things. He’ll be the one giving orders.

And we do have companies that aren’t worried about metrics, but just want their employees to have fun. So that works too.

Making it convenient has made a huge difference. What companies save in employees’ time alone is huge! We also made it so our minimum is really low. Two small groups can book the trailer and we’re there. So you don’t have to get your VP, owner, or CEO to sign off on it. Your team leader can sign off on it.

And what’s a better foot in the door than a giant 40-foot trailer—essentially a billboard—sitting in the parking lot?

Are you making things convenient for your customers? If you are making it convenient for them, especially those in underserved groups, you can have a lot of success.

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