Thanks to everyone that's gotten in their seminar blurbs, headshots and bios. This is going to be an INCREDIBLE conference. Please look at the seminar outlines below. If you have any changes, please get them to me and we'll update it. If you haven't sent it in, please do so as soon as you are able.
The Player Experience: Make Your Game the Right Kind of Memorable FREE SEMINAR
David & Lisa Spira
A FREE seminar outlining the keys to opening, operating, naming and delivering a successful escape room game! Presented by nationally recognized room escape reviewers David and Lisa Spira (RoomEscapeArtist.com).
Arrival & Game Master The player experience begins long before we set foot on your property. Your company name, website, booking, pricing... these things matter. We discuss the ways an escape room company can delight or torture their customers before they ever walk through the door. The rapport a game master establishes with players during the pregame briefing and rules explanation can either build or diminish trust and respect.
Room Immersion & Post Game Experience We take you through the good, bad, and ugly of setting, immersion, puzzle design, and hinting systems. Win, lose, or record shattered, leave a positive final impression. Know when and how to give a walk-through. We cover strategy for handing indignant players or an unhappy team.
Strategy - Participants will also learn techniques for encouraging the escape room bug, approaching intercompany competition, and sharing players with quality competitors. Understand that you are an ambassador for the escape room industry. Each player’s first game could easily be their last.
Immersive themed environments: Make the game REAL for your guests
Designing a new room, or ready to take your current room escape to the next level? You’ve got some clever puzzles, a good location, and a dedicated staff. It’s time to add the production values – the SETTING that sets you apart from every other entertainment offering your city has to offer.
In this informative talk, Matt DuPlessie, whose background includes “theming” work for Disney and Universal, will cover case studies from 5 Wits’ walk-through adventures like Tomb, Espionage, Drago’s Castle, and Deep Space, to show what is possible in creating compelling themed environments that fully immerse your guests in the game. Full of practical, “how-to” advice, this session will inspire you and get into the nitty-gritty questions and answers that will take your room to the next level.
Open multiple games at your facility. Grow your room to other locations!
This is a densely packed seminar that presents vital information on multi-game and multi-location escape games. You’ll find answers to your questions on practicality, workload, finances, day-to-day operations and much more. This seminar is an absolute must for any escape game owner or prospective owner that’s looking to grow. Learn the fundamentals of both business models and get the information you need to make wise expansion choices.
Multiple games in the same location
Make Your Game Immersive: Using Story to Inform Gameplay
A hands-on workshop where you’ll learn processes to create immersive stories that fit with your puzzles, props and scenery!
This seminar will explore tactics for creating powerful game stories that lead to player immersion. It’s a hands-on development workshop where you will brainstorm storylines with acute focus on details. Most games adhere to interesting themes and we choose puzzles that fit the theme. But do they fit the story?
By splitting into teams, you will develop a short story around a series of puzzles and unique props. We will discuss what details can be added with minimal cost that will have maximum perceived value. In the end, participants will learn:
• The difference in writing a game vs. writing a story
• Balancing game mechanics with player immersion
• Integrating props and puzzles so they make sense with your story
• Immersive theming related to questions such as:
• Who are the players? (Game character they’re assuming)
• Why is everything locked? (Goal of escape)
• Why do they only have an hour? (Bringing time into the game)
Pop Up Games / Historic and Educational Games
Develop themed games that connect with educational or learning subject matter and work with schools, cities, museums and more.
Open your market to city-wide initiatives, exhibit installations at local museums and galleries, schools and universities — and more. You'll learn how to create pop up games, present them, sell them, and run them! This is a seminar designed for escape game owners and game writers that want to expand into this ever-growing (and extremely fun) market.
- Gamification, and how escape rooms can use this theory
- Creating a historically accurate experience
- How historic and educational games differ from other escape room experiences
- How to build and run the experience
- Lose the aspect of “escaping”, instead aim to achieve a goal
- How to find this market and connect with the right organizations
There will be a 15 minute Q&A session.
Open an Escape Room in Haunts, Malls & Amusement Centers — Double your revenue!
Should you open your game in a mall… or on the street? Thinking about adding an escape to your haunt or amusement center? This seminar is an absolute MUST. Nicole Ginsburg of Escape The Estate offers guidance, benefits, business models and financial overviews of opening a game inside an existing location. Learn about her experience in opening a game inside a Haunted Attraction — and a second location inside a mall!
The Basics - Benefits of opening an escape experience, effective and efficient ways to get up and running this year and how to work with codes and location specific restrictions
Haunt - Scary easy ways to make an escape experience in your haunt a hit this year, unlocking the right back story for your location, quick-fire do’s and don’ts.
Mall - What to know before you sign the lease, creating an immersive experience 2 store fronts down from a shoe sale! How to build a buzz within the mall walls to get you off to a running start, Quick-fire do’s and don’ts
Amusement - Taking your existing entertainment and stretch it into an escape experience and jow to determine the right experience for your audience.
Make your own Gen 2 Tech Prop! Workshop
Workshop will be a hands-on experience where attendees will create their own tech prop! This workshop is intended to provide a hands-on approach to creating basic sensor-based props for Escape Room — and designed for anyone with a basic interest in technology. In the end, participants will walk away with a completed arduino based tech prop they can use in their own game.
Upon completion of the workshop, participants will be:
• Familiar with the Arduino Development Environment software
• Understand Arduino programming code structure
• Able to read sensors with both analog and digital values
• Create a custom output based on readings from the sensors
• Be familiar with basic input and output circuits
• Have their own tech prop
- Participants must bring their own laptop
- Have Arduino programming software (IDE) installed prior to the class (participants will be sent a link and video on how to install software)
Escape Game Tech — 101
An intro to escape room tech perfect for anyone that doesn’t understand it!
This is a basic, intro 101 seminar that defines escape game tech and the basics on using tech puzzles in your room.
• Magnetic Doors/ locks - An intro to set up and how they work
• Microcontrollers & puzzles- - explain what they are, how they’re programmed, how they work — and show examples
• Relays - An intro to set up and how they work • Wiring - - An intro to set up and how they work
• Pneumatic Props & puzzles- explain what they are, how they’re programmed, how they work — and show examples
Learn about the tech in a Gen 2 Escape Game!
A seminar that shows what’s inside a Gen 2 escape game. Learn about the types of puzzles, props and technology available for room escape games, how they work, and what you need! Ideal for anyone that’s thinking about putting tech into their game.
• What does a Gen 2 escape room look like?
• Where do I find puzzles and what can they do?
• What’s needed to build a Gen 2 tech game - type of help / level of skill - type of setup (networking, internet etc.)
• Puzzle Types (cover different kind of tech and the differences they make in a game)
• Central Command / Control Panel Systems / Front desk systems
• Networking, wiring, relays
Melting the Mind: How to "imprison" your customer's reality.
This is advanced Game Theory! Let’s face it; as time goes on, customer expectations of escape rooms are rising. Long gone are the days you can build a Victorian bedroom with antique furniture and padlocks. So how to you develop a game that suspends someone’s reality with only an hour of their time? With proven game techniques utilized in the video game industry today, we’ll take a good hard look at some of the do’s and don’ts of invoking psychological responses that create repeat business.
Escape Games for families & kids
Henry & Dennis Spector
There's a huge market out there that's being overlooked by escape game owners: Kids under the age of 16. Add games specifically designed for kids and/or families, and open your market to summer camps, schools, families — and more. Learn how to create games designed for kids aged 10+.
Topics will include:
• Learn how to create a kid/family game that that can be completed by groups of kids in a birthday party setting.
• Encourage teamwork and critical thinking while still maintaining an air of fun.
• Get basic tips on game writing, puzzle design, adding humor to the experience via the “giggle factor”.
• Set design that’s “kid proof" aka why low tech is kid friendly.
• Utilizing a well informed puzzle master to create an adaptable experience for a variety of age groups and intellect levels.
• The importance of briefing and debriefing.
• Realizing the potential of using escape room formats as an educational tool for local youth groups and school districts.
Advertising for Escape Games
From websites and social media, to google SEO and AdWords, to Groupon and promo codes — this is an extremely dense, consolidated seminar that outlines the most important things you need to know about advertising your escape game.
Participants will identify their target audience and learn how to reach them via branding, copy, design, SEO and utilizing media that pivots around customer touch points.
Types of Advertising
A quick review of the types of advertising including traditional, viral, branding and shock advertising. We'll cover the importance of branding, often overlooked by most escape games. You'll blast ahead of the competition if you invest in your brand.
Advertising Science - What Fortune 500 companies do
Learn the basics of writing "benefit driven copy". See how huge advertisers generate action by targeting your demographic and providing a Call To Action (CTA). Learn how visuals are strategically chosen and inextricably linked to garner target audience response. Learn what "concepting" means and why it's vital in producing collateral.
Advertising Tactics - Learn where to put your money based on your target audience
• Social Media Marketing
• Google / SEO - how to get better rankings (basic)
• AdWords - A fast, hard introduction
• Facebook / Yelp Ads
• Groupon & Deal Sites
• Review Sites
• Radio - (Don't bother)
• Video and Photography (don't use stock)
When advertising dictates business.
Your business strategy can (and should) be impacted by marketing communication. Learn how to build "easy to market" packages that appeal to your target audience.
BOOKING SYSTEMS PANEL - FREE SEMINAR
A FREE, moderated 90-minute seminar including Q&A with representatives from some of the major booking companies used by escape game owners! Ask questions, get answers, compare costs — and more.
Booking Systems Overview
Learn about escape game booking systems, what to ask when selecting a booking company and how to configure your rooms, emails and policies.
• Learn the true costs of the major booking companies
• What is a payment gateway?
• What questions should you ask when selecting a booking company?
• Tips to save and migrate your data
• How do you configure your Rooms, Times, Messages, Payments
Booking Panel Q&A
Find the exact booking company you’re looking for! Get overviews and ask your questions to a panel of escape game booking companies, compare answers, and learn which works best for your company. A moderated panel where booking companies answer questions from the attendees. Compare and choose your booking company while you’re sitting in the audience!
ESCAPE GAME NUTS & BOLTS
An intro seminar offering the day-to-day “musts” in an escape game; This course is a short-cut to all the things you need to know in daily operations. Hear tips on how to keep the show going when things go wrong. Learn the secrets of getting corporate bookings, keeping your room full — and more. Learn what it’s really like to run an escape game on a daily basis! From booking and sales, to debriefing and staff — get the nuts and bolts on the escape game business.
• What should be in your escape game “toolbox”?
• What equipment do you need in your control room?
• What should be on your cheat sheet?
• How do you do a proper brief and debrief whether they escape or not?
• What policies do you need?
• What are your game master’s tasks?
• How to provide amazing customer service
• How to “guest proof” your room
MEGAGAMES – THE FUTURE OF THE ESCAPE GAME INDUSTRY
Every had a corporate group call and ask you to host their group of 50-300? Offer a mega game! Create re-playable, scalable games for 50-150+ people —with one to four hour games. Open your target audience to large corporate groups and host games at your location… or theirs. Learn about creating, implementing, and marketing these games and the business model for this new industry. Presented by one of the nation’s leaders in mega games, after the seminar, you can play a megagame on-site.
Seminar will cover the following:
How To Get 5 Star Ratings — The Psychology of a Successful Escape Room Experience
Kaycie & Andrew Davis
Behind every good game is a game master that’s manipulating and controlling the player’s experience… and their reactions. Andrew and Kaycie divulge their secret sauce on how to create a powerful, psychologically based escape game experience that impacts players: from the moment they book online….until the time they leave the building. Learn about the power of the game master, sound, creating mini climaxes, spotlighting players — and more. This course provides exactly what you need to know about running a powerful, 5-star escape game — and getting exactly the reactions you want. This course is great for owners and enthusiasts alike.
· Setting the tone with your intro emails / booking process
· How to train game masters
· Pre-game introductions
· Psychological tricks to avoiding room breakage
· Expanding on Marty Lee Parker’s chemical seminar (brain chemistry and how to manipulate it)
· Game flow theory as it applies to Psychology and Physiology
· Creating wow moments within your game (both high and low tech applications)
· The big finish
· Maximizing participant morale
CREATE A POWERFUL DEBRIEF!
Kaycie & Andrew Davis
Escape Games: Working with Brands, Film and Corporations
Open up your target market, increase revenue and create experiences backed by big budgets! This highly lucrative market that can work in addition to your on-site operations. This is an advanced level seminar providing a blueprint of the ins and outs and dos and don’ts of establishing a partnership and collaborating on a successful escape game product.
Starting Off – All the pre-work that needs done prior to putting pen to paper
Designing a Perfect Experience – Using design expertise to collaborate to design the perfect product for both your client and your client’s clients.
Building and Delivering – Because nothing makes itself
THE BUSINESS OF ESCAPE GAMES: WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
The physical Escape Game Revolution is about 3 years old. How did we get here? What’s happening now? What’s happening next? And, most importantly, how can I avoid being left in the dust? For audiences of all experience levels.
A Brief History of Time (of Escape Rooms)
We will cover a high level abbreviated history of the quick evolution of the escape game industry. How the industry arrived at its current form plays a vital role in understanding what’s coming next.
Growing Larger, Growing Apart
We will cover some of the ways in which assorted escape game companies have begun to diverge and distinguish themselves, and in what ways these trends are expected to continue. We will also look at how to go with the flow, or against the flow, as best determined by your local market. In addition, we’ll look for answers to common growth questions:
In many ways, the escape room industry is sui generis; there is simply nothing like it. In other ways, there’s a wealth of historical comparisons staring us right in the face. As we are able, we will visit the similarities to other industries. With careful examination, we are able to make likely predictions on what trends we can expect to (not) see, and how best to be prepared for what’s coming.
Mobile Escape Games - Drive to corporate locations, festivals and more!
Take your escape game on the road and drive to corporate client locations, schools, summer camps and festivals! Learn how to create mobile room escape games, trailer design, legal requirements, and the ins and outs of getting to your target audiences. This seminar examines the advantages and challenges of owning a mobile escape game and provides tips on how to open, operate and run a successful business. It’s ideal for anyone considering opening their own mobile game.
• How do I open a mobile escape room?
• Top Target Audiences
• What are the game differences with a mobile unit?
• Legal Aspects
How to add Team Building to your escape game. Attract more corporate groups!
How do you provide corporate groups with what they need to feel they got a solid team-building experience for their staff? This seminar delivers sure-fire methods to add a team building value to your escape games including entry, in-game, and debriefing tips. Whether you’re currently open or planning on opening, this seminar walks you through some great options on how to maximize profits with the corporate market.
• How to create a fun and exciting game for corporate groups
• Playing the game vs. full team building
• How to provide a Return on Investment for your clients and keep them coming back again and again.
• Easy options to get your show on the road
• Advertising (how to reach them)
• Entrance Delivery (how to add team-building into the intro)
• In Game Tips (team-building analysis & competition in game)
• Exit photo (Important tips)
• Debriefing (This is vital in teambuilding)
• Create a powerful ROI
• Follow Up Communications (Providing value to the HR)
Today & Tomorrow: An analytical look the true financials of Escape Rooms.
Escape Rooms and Escape Game facilities can be a lucrative business if you play your cards correctly. Using standard business projection models and historical knowledge, we’ll take a systematic look at how to make sure you’ll be maximizing your margins for today, and protecting the life of your business for tomorrow. Through techniques used to predict industry specific developing markets we can use what we already know to predict what will happen.
What we’ll cover:
Questions that will be answered:
Starting an Escape Room from A-Z
Learn the basics to opening an escape game, from a practical point of view. Get the scoop about what you need to get started, and what to expect in the industry.
So you think you want to start an escape room?