Hey and welcome to the latest in our special series of escape room marketing blogs centred around the ongoing worldwide pandemic. I hope you and your loved ones are healthy.
Last week I spoke about how you can prepare your escape room for it’s inevitable reopening, so you can start getting new customers through the door and generate cashflow as soon as possible.
Today though, I want to talk about a way you can generate some cashflow right now, even though your escape rooms doors are closed. Let’s talk about…
Virtual Escape Rooms
So back when the world was normal, a small number of escape room businesses around the world ran virtual escape rooms in the form of video or audio only. Some escape rooms offered this experience as an addition to their main escape rooms, whilst some businesses were created and only sell virtual experiences.
As more and more escape rooms were forced to temporarily close in recent weeks, the virtual escape room market has started to grow. As people are forced to stay at home, many are looking for new forms of entertainment and ways to distract themselves from this challenging time. At the same time, escape rooms are looking for a way to at least make some money whilst they’re closed.
So there is now a growing demand for virtual escape rooms, and today I want to share why YOU should start running them because there are SO many good reasons why you should.
Before I dive into all of the fantastic reasons you need to start running your virtual escape rooms, please make sure you’re taking notes. In this brand new world full of challenges and sadness, opportunities are popping up everywhere which will allow you to not necessarily prosper, but to certainly keep your head above the water financially. And virtual escape rooms are one opportunity NOT TO BE MISSED. Here’s why…
This first one is a biggy. Right now as an escape room owner with your room temporarily closed, you’re incurring fixed costs (rent, etc) whilst being unable to make a penny or a cent through customers. You’re in a difficult position, and I know sadly some escape rooms are already considering how long they have to survive financially before they have to close for good.
But by starting to run virtual escape rooms, you’ll be able to make some money. Will it be enough to replace your income from before? Probably not. But it will be enough to cover your fixed costs, and keep you afloat long enough to make it out of the other side. And that’s a great position to be in, and more than enough by itself for you to consider starting to run virtual escape rooms. But what other reasons are there?
Now I can’t speak from personal experience as I’m an escape room marketer and writer, not an owner. But from what I’ve seen the running of virtual escape rooms come with less associated costs compared to running normal escape rooms – especially if they’re audio only.
The reason this is good is not because you can make more profit, it’s good because it allows you to run virtual escape rooms at a lower cost than your normal rooms. Sure, you need to be making money, but by having a lower price tag you’ll appeal to more potential customers. This is really important, because whilst many people are stuck at home and need a distraction, they’re also unable to make any money so they equally need to be careful spending theres.
So use the fact there is less cost associated with running virtual escape rooms as a way of offering cost effective experiences, which will be beneficial to all.
Whilst the escape room industry has boomed in recent years, many escape room businesses still struggle to generate consistent bookings because there are only so many local people they can advertise to.
But the limitations of physical escape rooms, i.e. how many people live nearby or within travel distance, is completely non-existent with virtual escape rooms. You can advertise and get bookings from people all over the country, and even internationally language-barrier depending!
This leaves such awesome potential to generate near limitless bookings by targeting people nearly anywhere, and not just within your local town/city!
Past Customer Potential
One of the best ways of mitigating the limitations of local target audiences is getting repeat bookings – the same customers booking again, and again – and not just the once.
This leads me on to a fantastic point with virtual escape rooms. Right now you’ll have a database of hundreds, if not thousands, of happy past customers. They know you, your brand, and loved the experiences you provide them.
And I would bet anything they’d just love to hear from you right now, offering them to take part in your brand new virtual escape rooms.
As I said at the start, very few escape rooms offered virtual experiences before the world went crazy. And whilst some escape rooms have now started to run them, it’s still a small percentage of escape rooms doing so. This leaves a great opportunity for you to start sooner rather than later, and lead the trend. Stand out to your local community and beyond as an innovator of unique virtual escape room experiences.
BUT, you’ve got to be quick. In the last few days alone I’ve seen a near double in the number of escape rooms offering virtual experiences on the leading virtual escape room directory (I’ll link this at the end of the blog).
Escape rooms are catching on quick, and whilst it’s still worth doing it even if everyone else does – the sooner you start, the better it will go for you!
It’s Genuinely Helpful
Generally speaking, customers visit escape rooms for the experience – to be entertained, to be challenged, to have some fun with friends, family or colleagues.
But by providing virtual escape rooms in this challenging time, you’ll do more than entertain and challenge people. You’ll genuinely help them to distract themselves, to have something to look forward to. And if that isn’t a good enough by itself to start virtual escape rooms, I don’t know what is!
People need to stick together in these times, and as a business owner with a following you have a responsibility to do your bit for the local community and beyond. And in doing so, you’ll also create loyal customers who will want to visit you in the future. So it’s truly win-win!
For the final two reasons why you should start running virtual escape rooms, let’s look to the future. I know it’s hard to imagine right now, but the world will get back to normal. You’ll be able to reopen your doors and run your escape room business normally again. That time will come!
And virtual escape rooms can make that future that bit brighter…
For every customer you get on your virtual escape rooms, you’ll have created one happy, engaged customer who would just love to visit your physical escape room in the future. When the world is back to normal they will remember you, and you should remember them and specifically market to them.
Lastly, when this is all over virtual escape rooms will be well known and will appeal to many people – especially those who don’t live locally. This makes it so worthwhile to still offer them even when your physical rooms are reopened. This means there is the potential to generate more income from your escape room business than you did before the world went crazy. Just how good is that?!
What Are You Waiting For?
So the question now is, what are you waiting for? There are so many good reasons to start running virtual escape rooms! The sooner you start, the sooner you can start getting customers and generating some cashflow in this challenging situation. The sooner you start to help people, and create raving fan customers you can keep around for years.
To learn more on how to run your own, I strongly recommend you visit this virtual escape room directory: https://livevideoescaperooms.com/creators/
Join me next week where I’m going to be sharing how you can get your first customers for your virtual escape rooms.
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