The State Of The Escape Room Industry Survey 2022 – (Owner’s Survey)

P. Agarwal (2022). SEO ORB. State of the Escape Room Industry Report 2022, Owner’s Survey. Available at https://seoorb.com/state-of-escape-room-industry-survey/2022-survey/

The context of the survey

During 2019 to early 2020, escape rooms, as an industry, were breaking out from being a relatively niche form of entertainment to a more mainstream option.

Reviews and feedback indicated player tastes were starting to get refined (as in, they were expecting high-quality immersion and well-designed gameplay).

Owners were enthusiastic about expanding operations and exploring ways to up game quality.

And then COVID-19 struck.

Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders made it impossible for physical escape rooms to function.

And even as lockdowns were lifted and the pandemic abated, other world events (like inflation, difficulty finding staff, and so on) have kept the industry on edge.

It is in this context that this survey was run.

The next few sections consist of background information and methodology; if you’d rather skip all that, jump to the survey results.

USE THE BUTTONS BELOW TO NAVIGATE TO THEIR RESPECTIVE SECTIONS

Why we ran the survey; what did we want to find out?

We ran the survey to gain meaningful insight on crucial topics pertaining to the escape room industry, especially in light of the COVID-19 health warnings and shutdowns.

1. Post-COVID overview

While we were definitely keen on day to day  escape room issues like which game themes are popular, how many escape rooms are franchises (vs being independent brands) and so on,

A large part of the survey has focused on how escape rooms dealt with the lockdown, how they reopened since lockdowns were eased, and their plans on moving forward.

2. Starting an escape room business

With an eye on all the budding entrepreneurs and game enthusiasts out there, we have included questions on how easy (or difficult) it is to start an escape room.

We had explored this issue in our 2018 survey. In this survey, we have built on that, asking a tad more detailed questions, and comparing the results with what the earlier survey uncovered.

3. Daily operations of an escape room

As an escape room business owner, you KNOW there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the day to day running of an escape room.

That being said, having an idea of global and regionwise trends on issues like what game themes are escape concepts are preferred the most, whether a live actor inside the room is necessary and so on, could prove useful in planning the experience you want to offer your players.

4. Market concerns

We have captured escape room business owners’ point of view on issues like whether the market is starting to get saturated, whether current events like persistent inflation are dampening business prospects and so on.

5. Business model

The final angle we wanted to explore through this survey is the escape room business model. What is the typical pricing structure? What is their typical booking amount? How much of their revenue is spent on things like room maintenance, HR, etc? 

Survey summary

We ran the survey from 09/03/2022 to 30/04/2022, asking Escape Room Owners a total of 52 questions.

And this report details what we found.

Some interesting findings: 

  • The traditional physical escape room game remains the most common escape room offering.
  • Physical escape rooms, the most common offering, would be completely shut down during the lockdown. Despite that 4 in 5 escape rooms didn’t shut down a single location during the lockdown.
  • Over 90% of escape rooms didn’t file a claim with their insurer despite being shut down during the lockdown.
  • Since reopening, bookings have recovered but revenue is behind 2019 levels.
  • Mystery, Happy fantasy and historical fantasy are the most common escape game themes.
  • Being an adventurer, Escaping an unpleasant place, and Finding or creating something are the most common escape concepts.
  • Apart from booking software, the escape room service provider market is highly fragmented. In booking software, Bookeo and Resova have meaningful market shares.

Get the data:

To access the raw survey data, click here

Download this report: (Coming Soon)

We are working hard to create a PDF report. Check back end of July 2022. 

How we created and ran the survey; our methodology

Well, we started on the survey in early February 2020. At the time, we had no idea what was going to happen in a month.

Our idea at the time was to build on the State of the Escape Room Industry survey that we had run in 2019. You may be familiar with that one; here’s a link to that report, if you’re curious.

But then the pandemic struck, and we put it on hold indefinitely.

We also kept an eye on developments in the industry, going through the news, talking with escape room owners, suppliers, and others online.

Finally, after waiting for two whole years, we started working on this survey again in February 2022. 

Designing the questionnaire

The questions here can be divided into two categories:

  • One, queries on intrinsic escape room and industry issues, like which game themes are popular, how saturated that market is and so on…
    • For these questions, we built on the survey we ran in 2019..
  • Two, queries on how COVID-19 affected the escape room industry, how it recovered, and what future it sees for itself.
    • We developed these questions based on our perusal of news reports, and conversations with various industry stakeholders on social media.

Speed run checks: We took the survey ourselves, various times. Our demo runs revealed that it took 14 minutes to complete the survey meaningfully.

This was done with a view to weeding out any responses that took too little time to have taken the survey seriously.

On 5th March, 2022, we finalized the questionnaire and uploaded it to SurveyMonkey.

Outreach We had data from 2020 with a list of escape rooms around the world, but that had obviously become out of date.  We needed a list of Escape Rooms from all around the world, and this is how we gathered the data:
  • Web-scraping mostly Google’s directory and Trip Advisor
  • Manual check of ERs from Morty App
  • Other ER Directories like World Of Escapes
Once the data was collected we got our team to run quality checks and then finally began the reaching out to the shortlisted owners through:
  • Email outreach
  • Facebook Groups (Notable mention Escape Room Startups and Owners)
  • Direct messaging (Facebook, Linkedin and Discord)
  • Leveraged outreach via partners (we reveal who our partners are at the end)

Validating the integrity of the data

Once the survey results came in, we took a few steps to filter out low-quality responses and polish the data.

  • Speed run checks: Like I mentioned, we had an idea of how long a meaningful survey response would take. So, as a first step we dropped responses that took too little time.
  • Deleting spam: This is a lesson we learnt from the 2018 survey – look for spam entries, such as ones from people who claim to be located “somewhere in my mind”.

With these two steps done, 353 final responses were collated, that we have presented here.

  • Cleaning the data: We went through the final responses with a fine tooth comb, bucketing open-ended qualitative responses into categories, converting different currencies (for currency-based responses) into a single regional currency (like converting Pound Sterling into Euros and Canadian Dollars into USD) to get regional estimates.

The survey results

About our respondents

CountryCount of Respondents
United States146
United Kingdom44
Canada26
Australia20
France13
Netherlands13
Germany10
Belgium9
Spain9
Switzerland8
Denmark5
Greece5
Portugal5
Hungary4
New Zealand4
Romania4
Italy3
South Africa3
Brasil2
Czech Republic2
India2
Poland2
Sweden2
Argentina1
Austria1
Bulgaria1
Croatia1
Dublin1
Estonia1
Israel1
Luxembourg1
Mexico1
Singapore1
Slovakia1
Taiwan1
Total353
Region/ContinentCount (% figures are rounded off to the nearest integer)
North America175 (50%)
South America3 (1%)
Australia & New Zealand24 (7%)
Africa3 (1%)
Europe143 (41%)
Asia5 (2%)
Total353

Compared with our 2018 survey (which got 206 responses), the current survey has clearly got a larger response. And that’s good.

What’s better: As compared to the previous one, where more than 80% of the respondents were from North America, this year, we have had a good response from Europe (175 from North America and 143 from Europe), and also a number of responses from Australia and New Zealand, which makes this survey more diverse than its precursor.

The basics about escape room businesses

In this section, we explore some basic features of escape room businesses – such as what kinds of games they offer, whether they are franchisees or independent brands, how many locations they have, and so on.

Does your escape room game business have/offer:

 

A: Fixed Location Games (a typical “escape room”)
B: Fixed Location Based (Virtual Reality Escape Room Game)
C: Online/Virtual Games
D: Live-streaming With Avatar Games
E: Small Portable Games (ex: tent based, small group of people)
F: Large Portable Games (ex: tabletop game for corporate, schools, and other large groups)
G: Mobile Games (ex: a trailer or bus)
H: City-wide Games (ex: a game using ClueKeeper)

It emerges that the traditional “escape room” remains by far the most common type of experience offered by escape room businesses, across regions. Citywide games seem to be more popular in Europe than in North America and other regions. Among the more rarely occurring escape room offerings are:
Z
Board games / Tabletop games
Z
Puzzles and escape room games to play at home
Z
Pop-Up Location Based (e.g. 3-6 month shows)
Z
Real-life gaming experience with 10 actors at a Castle 5000sqm
Z
Large Scale multiple cities and transportation games
We look forward to finding out how popular these become by next year.

What kind of business are you?

    Independent brands clearly rule the roost, across regions. Only 5% of escape rooms are franchisees, which is the same as we found in the 2018 survey.

    Does this mean most escape room owners want to include games of their own choice, instead of being limited by a franchise? At this point, we can only speculate

    How many locations do you have?

    7 in 10 escape room businesses have only a single location. This is perhaps in keeping with the fact that most are independent brands.

    Europe seems to have more of Escape room businesses with 3 to 5 locations than North America and Australia & NZ.

    How many years have you been in operation?

    The vast majority of escape rooms are between 5 to 7 years old, which means they were set up between 2015 to 2017.

    Which ties in with the conventional wisdom that although escape rooms have been in existence since 2007 (the year SCRAP opened the first escape room in Japan), the industry really took off during 2014-15.

    What is heartening is that 14% of escape rooms report being around for a year or less.

    Which may indicate that quite a few escape rooms were planned and opened during and after the lockdown. More on this in a bit.

    How many unique escape games (Including online games if they apply) does your escape room feature?

      Compared with 2018,

      The number of escape rooms offering between 2-4 unique missions has halved (from 79% to 43%),

      While that of escape rooms offering 5-8 missions has nearly doubled (from 16% to 30%).

      It’s the same for escape rooms offering 9 or more unique missions – quadrupled, from 4% to 18%.

      We can take an educated guess that the bulk of the growth in the number of unique missions offered by escape rooms is online escape games.

      Region-wise, single-game escape rooms (i.e. with only one game) are more common in Europe.

      Dealing with the lockdown

      In this section, we explore some basic features of escape room businesses – such as what kinds of games they offer, whether they are franchisees or independent brands, how many locations they have, and so on.

      How many locations were added and shut down by escape room businesses during/since the lockdown?

       

          The vast majority (9 out of 10) escape rooms didn’t add any new locations during the lockdown.
          A little over 10% of escape rooms opened one new location during the lockdown.

          It’s certainly heartening to see that, despite the lockdown making physical escape games completely impossible, 76%, almost 4 in 5 escape rooms didn’t shut down even a single location during the lockdown period.

          In balance, we can claim that the industry has muscled it through the lockdown, with new locations being opened at almost the same rate as old ones were closed.

          Did you add new escape games to existing locations during/since the lockdown? If so, how many?

            3 in 5 escape rooms added at least one new escape game during the lockdown.

            Were you able to access government assistance during the lockdown?

              74% – 7 in 10 – escape rooms report having been able to access some form of government assistance during the lockdown. Good news, right?

              On the other hand, there are anecdotes and news reports of governments issuing health regulations that simply failed to account for the nature of an escape room business (like classifying them as “amusement parks”).

              Clearly, there’s work to be done on explaining the business model to governments, and ensuring that appropriate regulations are issues in future crises.
              This issue was also discussed during RECON ‘21.

              Regionwise, North American escape rooms were the most likely to have not received any government assistance, while Australia & NZ and European escape rooms were most likely to have received special lockdown assistance.

              Did you file a claim with your insurer?

                Astoundingly, over 90% of escape rooms reported not filing a claim with their insurer.

                Our response reveals that escape room businesses in Australia & NZ were the least likely to have filed claims with their insurer, followed by North American escape room businesses and then European ones.

                We will revisit this issue later on, when we take up the question of what kinds of insurance escape room businesses have.

                 

                Was insurance payout ______________ than you expected?

                Was insurance payout ______________ than you expected?Count
                Easier0
                The same as9
                More difficult4
                Did not get13
                As most of our respondents didn’t file any claims, the size of this response is small and we won’t draw any conclusions from it.

                If yes, on what kind of policy did you file the claim?

                Insurance PolicyCount
                Business Interruption17
                Natural Disaster0
                Pandemic Insurance7
                As most of our respondents didn’t file any claims, the size of this response is small and we won’t draw any conclusions from it. But, as a word of advice it might be prudent to look into business interruption and pandemic insurance for your business.

                Did you start offering Virtual/Online or Live Streaming games during the lockdown?

                  Escape rooms in Europe were the likeliest to have started offering these games during the lockdown.

                  Reopening after the lockdown

                  This section takes a look at how well the reopening has played out in the escape room sector; whether bookings and revenue have recovered, and so on.

                  How are the game bookings and revenue compared to pre-lockdown (2019)?

                   
                      While the vast majority of escape rooms owners report bookings to have recovered satisfactorily, Over 2 in 5 (40%) of escape room owners report revenue is still behind 2019 levels.

                      What has been your biggest cost to run / re-open after the lockdown?

                      A: Sanitization between games B: Staff asking for higher than usual wages C: Providing players with protective equipments (like gloves and masks), D: Rent E: Mandatory private booking (reduced revenue per game) F: Paying employees with empty time slots G: Staffing Issues H: Advertising and Marketing I: Inflation J: Repaying Covid Loans K: Other COVID hygiene measures L: Capacity Restrictions

                      It’s not a surprise that sanitization between games has been the biggest cost to run since the lockdown, followed by staff asking for higher wages (part of the so-called “Great Resignation”).

                      One pleasant surprise is that very few escape rooms cited capacity restrictions (as in restrictions on how many people are allowed to gather in a closed space) as their biggest cost.

                      Daily operations

                      In this section, we will explore questions like escape game themes to what kind of location they’re in – stuff to do with the day to day running of an escape room.

                      Which of these following insurance policies do you use?

                       
                      As we can see, escape room businesses tend to have general insurance, workmen’s compensation insurance (which is a legal requirement in many jurisdictions) and commercial insurance. Very few have umbrella insurance. Remember how we saw the vast majority of respondents reported not even filing for insurance for the lockdown? That could be because nothing in their policies remotely suggested anything like the pandemic. So, you can consider talking with an insurance expert on whether having a business interruption and/or pandemic insurance policy may make sense.

                      Which insurance provider do you use?

                      A: Various/Local Broker
                      B: ESP Specialty Insurance
                      C: None at this time
                      D: State Farm
                      E: AXA
                      F: Allianz
                      G: Liberty Mutual
                      H: Generali

                      Insurance ProviderCount
                      West Bend4
                      TIC3
                      QBE Insurance Australia Limited3
                      Intact Assurance3
                      Donat3
                      Special Risk Insurance Managers2
                      Porto Seguro2
                      Philadelphia Insurance Company2
                      MGA Insurance2
                      Merkel International2
                      Local Bank2
                      KBC (BELGIAN PROVIDER)2
                      Hiscox2
                      First Underwriter2
                      Ethniki Bank2
                      Cossio Insurance2
                      AVIVA2
                      Arena2
                      American Specialty2
                      American Family Insurance2
                      Accelerate Underwriting2
                      Work Safe1
                      Westfield1
                      Warta1
                      Tryg1
                      Tranquilidade1
                      TLC1
                      The Insurance Company1
                      The Insurance Centre UK1
                      The Insurance Centre Lancaster1
                      The Insurance Centre1
                      Signal Iduna1
                      Seneca1
                      Selective1
                      Sale Insurance1
                      RFA1
                      PSC Insurance Brokers1
                      Northeast Insurance Center1
                      Net Gain1
                      Nationwide1
                      Nationale Nederlanden1
                      Ms Amlin1
                      Moreton1
                      Mobiliar1
                      Michigan Millers and Markel1
                      Mapfre1
                      Main Street Insurance Agency1
                      LVM1
                      Loss Insurance1
                      Lloyds1
                      Travelers1
                      Levitt1
                      Lake1
                      ING1
                      IF1
                      Hollard1
                      Hartford1
                      GAN1
                      FUBA,1
                      Frankenmuth Insurance1
                      Foyer1
                      Service Lloyd’s1
                      Capital Premium Finance1
                      First Insurance1
                      Farmers1
                      AP Intego1
                      Encova1
                      Eastern Alliance and American Specialty1
                      Dusyk1
                      DTRT Insurance Group1
                      DEK1
                      Danish1
                      Cowan Insurance1
                      Commonwell1
                      Cincinnati1
                      CIC1
                      CIBI1
                      Cansure1
                      Blackfriars1
                      Bizcover1
                      Bear River1
                      Baloise1
                      BAHIS1
                      BEAM1
                      Atlas1
                      Arthur Gallagher1
                      AON1
                      Ansvar1
                      Ando1
                      Allied1
                      Alliance1
                      Albingia1
                      Ag1
                      Acord1
                      A Plan1
                      Since, there is no clear preference amongst escape room owners, you should do you own research between these.

                      Which insurance provider do you use?

                      A: Shared occupant in a single building
                      B: Sole occupant in the entire building
                      C: In a shopping complex with more than one building

                      Regionwise, escape room businesses being the sole occupant in their building is a lot more common in Europe than it is in North America.
                      Conversely, being located in a shopping complex is far more common in North America than in Europe.

                      What theme(s) is/are your escape room game(s) based on?

                      A: Mystery (e.g. Solve a murder, CSI etc) B: Happy fantasy (involving wizards, magical kingdoms etc) C: Historical fantasy (Aztec temples, Pyramids, Wild West, etc) D: Horror E: Science/Laboratory F: Security services (military, secret agents, hostage situations, etc) G: Future/Technological H: Seasonal (Christmas, Halloween) I: Dark fantasy (zombies, alien, etc.) J: Everyday life (School, Office, Nightclub, etc) K: Based on an entertainment franchise (Star Wars, James Bond, etc.) L: Prison M: Apocalyptic (including disasters) N: Steampunk O: Alternate Reality P: Toy room Q: Heist R: Cartoon/Anime S: Religious (e.g. Crusades-based) T: School
                      Comparing the results of this question with that of the survey in 2019 we noticed that even though this survey is more diverse covering more regions, Escape Rooms owners preferences have not changed and the Top 4 themes, roughly remain the same.

                      What concept(s) is/are your escape room game(s) based on?

                      “Be an adventurer”, “Escape an unpleasant place”, “Find or create something” continue to be popular escape game concepts (they were found to be popular in the last survey as well).

                      Do any of your escape room games involve live actors?

                        Almost 7 in 10 escape rooms don’t have live actors inside their escape game rooms.

                        This lines up with the 2019 enthusiasts’ survey conducted by The Codex which revealed that live actors weren’t all that important for players.

                        How does your hint system work?

                          The vast majority of escape rooms report allowing players to ask for as many hints as they want; this is a completely different picture from the earlier (2018) survey when the majority of respondents reported allowing only a fixed number of hints. Giving unlimited hints seems to be a good shift towards prioritizing player experience. Many escape rooms are known to allow players to choose their level of difficulty before entering the game by choosing the number of hints they want to receive. It would be interesting to compare this with escape game player reviews and see how many players say too few hints made the game too complicated for them (and spoiled the experience), vs how many players feel there should be some restriction on hints to stop the game from becoming too easy.

                          How many hours does your escape room remain open in a week?

                          Clearly, most escape rooms prefer to remain open over 40-60 hours a week, which translates to over 7 (in fact, over 8) hours a day (assuming they’re open every day),
                          But in practice we know that Escape Rooms remain open for more hours on weekends from Friday to Sunday, and for fewer hours on the other days.

                          Of course, it is possible that this only reflects available time slots, and escape rooms are actually only open for a fraction of that time – when they actually have bookings, while for the rest of the time their premises remain empty/closed.

                          Pricing & expenditure

                          In this section, we will take a look at how escape rooms structure their tickets, average ticket prices and booking sizes, and their spending profiles.

                          How do you structure your tickets?

                           
                          A: Per player B: Per team C: Base team price + per player for each additional head
                          Overall, 65% reported charging per player. That’s down from 88% in the 2018. Region-wise, North American and Australian & NZ escape rooms seem overwhelmingly in favor of charging per player, While European escape rooms are more of a mixed bag between charging per player and charging per team. In practice we see that a majority of Escape Rooms require a minimum 2 to 3 player team size, and they even impose a minimum booking limit on their games. The pricing is on a sliding scale and the per player cost starts reducing from team sizes of 4 players and more.

                          What is your per player ticket price?

                          We standardized region-wise thus:

                          Ticket prices quoted in Canadian Dollars were converted to USD – North American region.

                          Ticket prices quoted in the currencies of various European countries (like GBP, DKK, and so on) were converted to Euro – European region.
                          Ticket prices quoted in New Zealand Dollars were converted to AUD – Australia & New Zealand region.
                          As we had very few responses from countries outside of these regions, we didn’t standardize those.

                          Many escape rooms, across regions, give differential pricing based on a number of factors, like age, day of the week (for example higher prices on weekends), holidays, and so on.  Also, some escape rooms offer targeted discounts like students’ discounts, military discounts, health workers’ discounts and so on.

                          It would be interesting to compare ticket prices with the per capita income of the countries from which we got a reasonably high number of responses, to find out how expensive an escape room ticket is, compared to national living standards.

                          What is your average booking price?

                          We standardized region-wise thus:
                          Ticket prices quoted in Canadian Dollars were converted to USD – North American region.
                          Ticket prices quoted in the currencies of various European countries (like GBP, DKK, and so on) were converted to Euro – European region.
                          Ticket prices quoted in New Zealand Dollars were converted to AUD – Australia & New Zealand region.
                          As we had very few responses from countries outside of these regions, we didn’t standardize those.

                          What is your estimate of the percentage of your revenue that is spent on marketing across all your locations?

                          Between 1 to 5 percent, and between 6 to 10 percent of revenue being spent on marketing is what most escape rooms report, and this trend seems to hold across the regions – North America, Europe, and Australia & NZ.

                          This is largely due to the fact that most escape rooms are mom and pop operations mostly run by gaming/escape room enthusiasts and they lack the domain knowledge for sales and marketing.

                          Refer to The Codex’s 2019 Enthusiasts’ Survey and see that social media and internet searches are as important as word of mouth marketing.

                          What is your estimate of the percentage of your revenue that is spent on Human Resource (HR)?

                          On an average, most Escape Rooms spend around 21 – 40% of their revenue on HR. Escape Rooms with less than 4 games, usually spend between 10 – 30% of their revenue on HR.

                          What is your estimate of the percentage of your revenue that is spent on room upgrades and maintenance?

                          Marketing

                          Which channels of marketing do you use to promote your escape room?(Please select all that apply)

                           
                          A: Social Media Posts B: Search engine optimization C: Search engine ads D: Social media ads E: Flyers/posters F: Travel or activity specific booking sites such as Viator or TripAdvisor G: Tie-ups with other (local) businesses H: Ads in newspapers, magazines, etc I: Ads on the radio J: General coupon Sites such as Groupon K: TikTok Ads L: Ads on TV
                          Online marketing continues to dominate. And within online marketing, organic content (such as social media posts, and SEO) is clearly preferred to paid ads. One change that we can see from the 2018 survey is that more escape room businesses are taking up paid ads, which makes sense as paid/PPC ads are highly targeted and offer options for immediate booking. 39/197 respondents in 2018 said they used Search Engine Ads vs 186/290 respondents in 2022 said they used Search Engine Ads. Offline marketing (such as through ads placed in newspapers, magazines, and on radio and TV) are still used by a small percentage of Escape Rooms. These formats however offer very little targeting options, and you’d need a significant adbudget to make a real impact. And escape room businesses continue to maintain their distance from coupon sites like Groupon, even as they offer discounts of their own (as we discussed earlier).

                          Starting an escape room business

                          How did you get the funding to open your escape room business? (Please select all that apply)

                           
                          A: I invested my own money B: I borrowed from my family and friends C: I got formal credit from a bank or other financial institution D: I partnered or sold shares in the Escape Room business to raise funds E: Funding program (government and/or private) F: Crowdfunding G: Other informal financing
                          Like we saw in the 2018 survey, the majority of escape room owners invest their own money into their business, and avail of informal financing (such as borrowing from family and friends). However, there are a significant number of escape room owners who report having been able to avail of formal financing (such as credit from a financial institution), which is a marked change from 2018.

                          How did you obtain the space to build your escape room?

                          Renting and leasing remains (from 2018) the most popular way of acquiring the space to build an escape room, followed by using a space that the owner already owns, and buying.

                          What is your estimate of the cost of building one escape room game?

                          We standardized region-wise thus:
                          Ticket prices quoted in Canadian Dollars were converted to USD – North American region.
                          Ticket prices quoted in the currencies of various European countries (like GBP, DKK, and so on) were converted to Euro – European region.
                          Ticket prices quoted in New Zealand Dollars were converted to AUD – Australia & New Zealand region.
                          As we had very few responses from countries outside of these regions, we didn’t standardize those.

                          <insight>

                          Which aspect did you feel was the biggest challenge in setting up your escape room business?

                          In your opinion, what is the key challenge in designing escape room games?

                          Do you order readymade props, or do you create your own props?

                            How do you design and build your escape games?

                              Service providers

                              Who (people and/or businesses) have you purchased props/designs/games from and would recommend to others?

                              Props / Designers / Game BuildersCountLink
                              Halloween FX Props22
                              Creative Works11
                              Escape Room Supplier7
                              Escape Room Techs6
                              Fright Props6
                              General ecommerce platforms (Amazon, Etsy, Aliexpress etc.)6
                              Superb (Formerly Studio 1987)6
                              Indestroom5
                              Mindgames Productions5
                              Gratuitous Sets3
                              Sundry Small Vendors3
                              Creative Escape Rooms3
                              Gamemasters Escape Solutions3
                              ARC - Studios3
                              Escape Room Doctor2
                              Morbid Entertainment2
                              Other escape rooms2
                              Time Quest Labs2
                              The Codex1
                              Art-FX Studios, Inc.1
                              BearHoHo Escape Room Props1
                              Chris Bell Creations1
                              Fright Ideas1
                              Deadline, Inc.1
                              Escape Room Labs1
                              Escape Room Shop/Knabe Labs1
                              Creative Crafthouse1
                              Escape Empire Designs1
                              Fox in a Box1
                              Minispot Light1
                              MofangOne1
                              Themescapes Design1
                              Thrill Builders1
                              Intrigue and Co.1
                              Skeletons And More1
                              Distortions1
                              Escape Maze0
                              Immersive Tech0
                              Justman Designs0
                              Lockdown Escape Rooms0
                              Paperdice Solutions GmbH0
                              Super Escape Room0
                              Ticking Time by Design0
                              Escape Room International Designs0
                              Legendary quests0
                              Custom Escape Room0
                              Turn-Key Escape Rooms0
                              Questomat0
                              Escape Theory0
                              Escapegamebuilders0
                              Allen Productions0
                              Brainy Lab0
                              Escape Designers0
                              Total114

                              What kind of staff scheduling software do you use?

                              Staff Scheduling SolutionCountNotesLink
                              Google Sheets24
                              When I Work24
                              Homebase20
                              Google Calendar18
                              Sling8
                              Deputy6
                              Custom Made4
                              Ximble4
                              Manual/Word/Excel Document3
                              ADP, LLC2
                              Bookeo2
                              Square2
                              When To Work2
                              7shifts1
                              Band1
                              Buddy Punch1
                              Crew App1
                              Droppah1
                              Hotschedules1
                              Hours Tracker1
                              Jotform (form builder)1
                              Keypay1
                              MakeShift1
                              Resova1
                              Rise1
                              Thryv1
                              TSHeets1
                              Wix Scheduler1
                              Humanity0
                              Planday0
                              WorkSchedule.Net0
                              ZoomShift0
                              Total134

                              Do you have any issues with your existing staff scheduling software? If so, please describe the issue..

                              What inventory management tools are you using to run your games? (Eg: Telescape)

                                Inventory Management ToolsCount
                                Bookeo7
                                Mythic Mystery Master (M3)7
                                Xola5
                                QuinGames3
                                4Escape2
                                Google Sheets2
                                MofangOne
                                Unity2
                                ERCC - Not sure1
                                Escape Master1
                                Digital Quest1
                                Escape Room Management App ERMA - Not sure1
                                Escape Tix1
                                Fibaro Home Center 21
                                Heroku1
                                Zoom1
                                Escape Keeper1
                                iCSee1
                                Jitsi1
                                Mindle - Not sure1
                                Niceday - Not sure1
                                Recras1
                                Sonos1
                                Cluekeeper1
                                Time Quest Lab1
                                Tribe Studio1

                                Which booking solution do you use?

                                Booking SolutionCountNotesLink
                                Bookeo87
                                Resova (merged with Clubspeed)69
                                Custom booking solution26
                                FareHarbor11
                                Xola9
                                Wix Bookings6
                                Escapeall6
                                4escape6
                                Wordpress booking5
                                Booking Phoenix4
                                WooCommerce Bookings4
                                Quinbook4
                                Checkfront3
                                Peek3
                                Recras3
                                Acuity3
                                BookingBug/JRNI2
                                SimplyBook2
                                YouCanBookMe2
                                TuriTop2
                                Tempus Workforce2
                                Bookly2
                                WhatsApp1
                                vCita1
                                Ticketself1
                                Thryv1
                                Telephone and Facebook1
                                Telephone and Email1
                                Square booking/invoicing1
                                Setmore1
                                Rezdy1
                                Planyo1
                                Planway1
                                Picktime1
                                OS Services Booking1
                                Niceday1
                                Lock.me (Escape room directory)1
                                Lenimal1
                                gAppointments1
                                Escapetix/Passage1
                                Easy Appointments1
                                Create Bookings1
                                Booknetic1
                                BookMe1
                                bookio1
                                bookinkit1
                                Amelia1
                                AION1
                                Now Escape1
                                Total287

                                Which software/service do you use for your liability waivers?

                                WaiverCountNotesLink
                                None52
                                Buzzshot22
                                Custom20
                                Escape Games Global17
                                Print Out (Paper)14
                                Resova10
                                Google forms8
                                Escape Kit8
                                Escape Room Master7
                                Escape Room Admin4
                                4escape4
                                Yomigo3
                                Smartwaiver3
                                JotForm3
                                Quinbook2
                                Xola2
                                Wordpress Plugin2
                                M3 - Mythric Mystery Master2
                                Google docs2
                                EWaiver Pro2
                                Escapekit2
                                Booking Phoenix2
                                Swiftwaiver1
                                Zoho forms1
                                Wherewolf1
                                WebWaiver2
                                Website - Gravity forms1
                                Web designer1
                                Waiverly1
                                WaiverForever1
                                Waiverfile1
                                Waiverelectronic1
                                UserQuest1
                                Typeform1
                                OnSpot Social1
                                Ninja forms1
                                Mythric1
                                Knack 1
                                Houdini1
                                Fare Harbor1
                                EscapeAll1
                                ERM1
                                Create Bookings1
                                Contraform1
                                Peek1
                                Acuity1
                                Total216

                                Looking ahead

                                In light of current events (some experts are talking about new waves and/or variants of COVID, the situation in Ukraine etc), are you concerned about business prospects in 2022?

                                  How saturated is your area in terms of the number of escape rooms?

                                    Which, if any, of the following actions are you planning to take within the next year?

                                    Our plans for the future

                                    While we did manage to get a more diverse response than last time, most of the responses were from English-speaking countries. The European response was massively skewed towards the UK. And we got little to no response from South and South East Asia, where escape rooms are quite popular. Going forward, we plan on continuing with our outreach efforts, and also on offering the survey in multiple languages, to make it a truly global survey that can offer insight on the state of the escape room industry across the globe.
                                    We hope that this survey gives you insight into the current state of the escape room industry, and also gives you the inspiration you need to keep pushing forward to explore and create new experiences for your players.

                                    Acknowledgements

                                    A shoutout to our partners

                                    They helped us a lot with outreach, pushing the survey to more and more escape room owners whether through email blasts, or by giving the survey a shoutout through their company social media accounts…or even by enabling us to post about the survey on private groups they’re a part of. Their efforts made it possible for us to get over 400 responses from all over the world (we had to prune it down to 353 to maintain a minimum quality of response).
                                    Erworkshop

                                    Alexander Girshfeld, owner of Indestroom and The ER Workshop

                                    Alexander is an enthusiast of escape games, and the owner of The ER Workshop, one of the largest escape room suppliers in the world. Visit their website
                                    Post Curious

                                    Rita Orlov from PostCurious

                                    The founder and creative force behind PostCurious, which creates unique and mesmerizing puzzles and tabletop games. Visit the PostCurious website
                                    Okapikid

                                    Mike Augustine (a.k.a. Auggie) from OKAPIKID

                                    Auggie shared the survey with his vast following on Twitter. I could tell you a bit about him, but I think it’s better you experience him for yourself…
                                    Visit his website

                                    Buzzshot

                                    Thomas Parslow from Buzzshot

                                    Buzzshot engages your players before and after the game, saving you time and garnering you more reviews. Visit his Buzzshot profile
                                    Impossible Escape Loganville

                                    Ray Lane from Impossible Escape Loganville

                                    You may know him as Ray The Video Guy. Or as The President of Impossible Escape Loganville. He shared the survey on a private group that proved critical in getting quite a few responses from the US and Canada. Visit his LinkedIn profile
                                    ARGNet Origin

                                    Michael Andersen from ARGNet

                                    The owner and senior editor of the Alternate Reality Gaming Network, and allegedly associated with a Pennsylvania Bar where you can’t get drunk. He gave the survey a shoutout from the official ARGNet Twitter. Visit his profile on ARGNet
                                    Escape Roomers DE

                                    Heiner Stepen from Escape Roomers DE

                                    Heiner is a leading contributor to Escape Roomers, one of the largest escape room blogs in Europe. He allowed us to share the survey invite in a private Facebook group, which went a long way in getting us the large response from Europe. Visit his profile on Escape Roomers
                                    Morty

                                    Andy Bauch from The Morty App

                                    Among other things, he’s the co-founder and CEO of Morty, an app for “discovering, booking, and tracking escape rooms”. He helped us out by pushing the survey to an enthusiasts’ group. Visit his LinkedIn profile
                                    ROOM ESCAPE ARTIST

                                    David Spira from Room Escape Artist

                                    He’s a lot of things, from a guitarist to a puzzle junkie and technologist. He’s also the co-founder of Room Escape Artist, one of the most authoritative websites on escape rooms in the world. Visit his Room Escape Artist profile
                                    Escape the roomers

                                    Jonathan & Cici Cao from Escape The Roomers

                                    Escape The Roomers is a review site for escape rooms, video games, immersive experience and so on. Visit their website

                                    Christine Barger, owner of Exit Game Orange County

                                    She’s an actor, she’s a ventriloquist, she’s an influencer on TikTok…and she’s also an escape room business owner. Visit her Instagram profile

                                    VALUED SURVEY PARTICIPANTS

                                    A special mention to some of our respondents: We should mention that we got responses from South Africa, India, Taiwan and Singapore. Unfortunately, there were too few of them to reach any definitive conclusions about industry trends in those regions. However, those responses did help shape the global picture.
                                    1.      Jaimie from Albany Escape Rooms
                                    2.      Tracy Lennox from Mississippi Mind Trap Escape Room
                                    3.      Henrik Ravn from Escapist
                                    4.      Darren Espley-Atkins from The Puzzle Room – Cannock
                                    5.      Amnesia Alive Escape Rooms
                                    6.      Dean Day from Eltham Escape Rooms
                                    7.      Andrey Kalinchuk from QuestHunter
                                    8.      Daniella Johnson from ClueFinders Liverpool LTD
                                    9.      Cailleaux Helena from Gamelot escape/ Coop escape
                                    10.   Robert Nelson from Escape Rooms Richmond
                                    11.   Thomas Dunagan from The Lost Room Escape Adventures
                                    12.   Tom Hemenway from Time Bandit Escape
                                    13.   Kat Stegeman from Escape Rooms In VA Beach
                                    14.   Jason from Steal and Escape
                                    15.   Chris Lattner from The Room – Immersive Adventures
                                    16.   David Betts from House of Escapes
                                    17.   Juan Alfonso Gil Del Pozo from Torrenigma Escape Room
                                    18.   Acme Wong from NEO Escape Rooms
                                    19.   Nathanael Auran from Escape Room Alexandria
                                    20.   Craig Davies from Lock Down Escape E G Ltd
                                    21.   Dan Davis from Kitsap Great Escape
                                    22.   Tom Hartnett from Paradox Parlours
                                    23.   Koen Van Dommelen from The Riddle Room
                                    24.   Adam Biasi from Diversion Escape Rooms
                                    25.   Max Haitana from Blyth Breakout
                                    26.   Adam from Keylock Games
                                    27.   Gustavo Toledo from Escape Up
                                    28.   Benn Stoker from Project Breakout
                                    29.   Rebecca Potvin from Tic Tac Go Escape Room and Games
                                    30.   Jakal from Kingdom Escape Games
                                    31.   Angela Frimberger from Facade Escape Room
                                    32.   Cindy Martin from Perplexodus Mystery Manor
                                    33.   Albert from Five Cubes Escape Room
                                    34.   Brandon West from Top Tier Escape Rooms
                                    35.   Jacqueline Malle from Rembrandt Productions
                                    36.   Andrew Sturridge from Escape From The 6
                                    37.   Yusuf Chaudhri from Horror Escape Ltd
                                    38.   Criss Stanculescu from Escape my room
                                    39.   Claudia Siebauer from LiveActGames
                                    40.   Pascal from Deathscape
                                    41.   Robbie Pott from Unlock Escape Rooms
                                    42.   Robert Leveille from Niagara Escapement
                                    43.   Andy Reynolds from Smash Space UK
                                    44.   Anne-Marguerite Monory from Tactisens Escape Game Toulouse
                                    45.   Laura Chase from Reed Between The Lines
                                    46.   Jack Rose from REACT Premium Escape Rooms
                                    47.   Ken Mccoy from Waxhaw Escape, LLC
                                    48.   Katrina Mick from Escape Studio
                                    49.   Scott Norton from Nerdy By Nature Escape Rooms
                                    50.   David Vinson from Amazing Escapes of Boise
                                    51.   Dylan Vaughan-Streater from Clue Adventures
                                    52.   Rick Taylor from Dropbear escapes
                                    53.   Ben Rudkin from Courtyard Escapes
                                    54.   Peter Sturrock from Escape Aviemore Ltd
                                    55.   Tabish Mian from Lost in Melbourne
                                    56.   Császár Péter from Escape Zone
                                    57.   Jim from PARADOXsquared Adventure Escape Rooms
                                    58.   Tihomir from Incognito Escape Room
                                    59.   Eric Mindiola from Cine Escapes
                                    60.   Rene from The Gate Escape
                                    61.   Jessica Phillips from Epic Escapes
                                    62.   Vincent Rubino from Escape Rooms Chicago
                                    63.   Joe Panek from Twisted Limits Escape Rooms
                                    64.   Josh Young from Escape Room Adventures LLC
                                    65.   Mouchotte from Enigmes et Compagnie
                                    66.   Rhett Hildebrandt from Quandary Escape Rooms
                                    67.   Nikki Jaramillo from Hidden Escape
                                    68.   John Alberghina from MER
                                    69.   Charles Pitcher from Live Escape Salisbury
                                    70.   Ashley from time lapse escape rooms
                                    71.   Kennedy from Deceptive Games
                                    72.   The Imaginarium
                                    73.   Jeff Wise from Dead Zone Rising
                                    74.   Hai Elram from insideout
                                    75.   German Garcia-Fresco from Xtreme park adventures
                                    76.   John from EscapeXchange
                                    77.   Hannaert Maïté from Le Manoir Escape Game
                                    78.   Neko T Farmer from Lock City Adventures
                                    79.   Nicolas from Get out
                                    80.   Kara Simmons from Great Escape Enterprises LLC
                                    81.   Neko T Farmer from Lock City Adventures
                                    82.   Jay Lacchani from Escape Rooms Hyderabad
                                    83.   Sam Fok from Escape Rooms Perth
                                    84.   Escape Rooms Maryland by Clue IQ
                                    85.   Christal Ho from Escape Rooms Sydney
                                    86.   Michaël Lammers Escaperoom Groenlo

                                    Pin It on Pinterest

                                    [FREE]
                                    [FREE]