Friends; Escape Room owners, professionals and enthusiasts,

Lend me your ears

I come to bring you the survey report you’ve been waiting for!

We started out on the second day of May, 2018, conceptualizing the survey, creating questions and sorting them out in logical order. We had no idea then that what started out as a small project would eventually become an exhaustive and never-ending one.

Around this time, we interviewed many Escape Room owners privately to ask them their thoughts and concerns about being involved in the reality gaming industry.

Then we were faced with a problem of contacting as many business owners as we could about our initiative. To do this, we spent around 247 hours of virtual assistant time scattered across 3 months to collect contact details of over 3500 escape rooms by googling, Escape Room + City keywords.

On 8th August 2018, we started drafting our first version of the questionnaire. During the process we reached out to some Escape Room owners who we had a personal connect with to help us in the process, and we got our inspiration from the survey of Escape Room owners that was conducted in 2015 by Prof. Scott Nicholson. (Nicholson, S. (2015). Peeking behind the locked door: A survey of escape room facilities).

The questionnaire was ready by 27th September. It was time to upload it to the Survey Planet website, the platform we chose for conducting the survey.

Three of our colleagues did count-less demo runs of the hosted survey to identify problems in the questions, append answers, add or edit questions and estimate a reasonable standard time of completion for the survey.

Finally, on 17th December, the first batch of emails went out, asking owners to take part in the survey that was to reveal the state of the escape room industry.

We received 225 replies over 2 months till 7th February, which is when the survey was set to expire.

As expected, we got some troll responses and non-serious ones which we had to weed out.

We ended up with 206 genuine responses which we started working on, drawing conclusions and presenting them in a logical order.

Some of the respondents got in touch with us separately, giving us encouragement and recommendations, which we really appreciate.

We got in touch with Errol Elumir (passionate Puzzle Designer, Escape Room enthusiast, The Codex) and Professor Lee-Fay Low (Researcher, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney), both long-time enthusiasts; both of whom were gracious enough to look through our survey and provide us with invaluable feedback.

A few more twists and turns followed, and all our efforts have come to this 76 page report that we’ve put up at https://seoorb.com/state-of-escape-room-industry-survey/. There’s a link there to download the PDF as well.

Be sure to let us know what you think of it all!

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