There are nearly 1,700 escape rooms in the UK, including versions from Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. After ten years of steep growth, this upstart entertainment hybrid has mutated into something mainstream. After the world was shut down by the pandemic, many real-world escape rooms transformed into virtual experiences. Why is it that escape rooms have become so popular, what are the alternatives and how well did this well-loved form of entertainment adjust to the pandemic? Well, let's find out.
The nostalgic generation of Brits who had grown up playing low-fi computer games and watching Crystal Maze has felt quickly drawn to the immersive world of escape rooms. People were also starting to move away from their screens, so a fun social activity involving some head-scratching quickly became a hit.
There are thousands of escape rooms themes but most of them share a similar concept. You and your team indulge in an immersive experience of solving puzzles and riddles using a mix of clues.
This form of entertainment grew extremely popular throughout the last decade, especially in the corporate world, where demand for fun team-building events became incredibly high. Managers loved seeing how problem-solving and teamwork helped their employees build stronger connections and understand each other more, all whilst having a good time.
After the pandemic hit the world, events and entertainment businesses had to find ways to adjust to the circumstances. While countries were shutting down, the escape rooms quickly moved from real life to virtual. Players are taking part in intellectual or physical work instead of just staring at a computer screen, which makes the experience more engaging.
Even though escape room businesses did a great job transitioning from in-person to virtual event formats, players started comparing the experience with video games and found the experience less immersive.
During this uncertain "Work from home" period, the corporate world faced another challenge: how to make virtual team buildings versatile, fun, and engaging, and thus event organisers started looking at alternative entertainment methods.
Cue... game shows, online scavenger hunts, virtual betting nights, and online quizzes with a bespoke twist. They quickly caught the corporate public's attention. These experiences are highly engaging and fun ways to improve morale and boost creativity within the team and are more immersive, compared to virtual escape rooms. They are built for purpose and not an adaptation of something that is more suited to the real world.
Players compete and interact using their smartphones, while being immersed in their own, bespoke, live, virtual show. Challenges such as, answering questions, completing challenges, uploading pictures and placing non-monetary bets allowed players to pick up and play, without a laundry list of instructions. On top of that, the events are hosted by an enthusiastic and energetic live presenter, who runs the show, keeps everyone feeling engaged and entertained, and makes the entire experience smooth, fun, and enjoyable.
You may wonder how it works technically? Well, virtual team-building events are made possible with a combination of Zoom, live streaming, and mobile UI, to deliver players an engaging, captivating, and memorable virtual experience. Poorly made quizzes with PowerPoint graphics are far in the past - the virtual event market has expanded and evolved tremendously.
We encourage everyone to get out of their comfort zone and try something new this year, something they are not familiar with. We hope everyone stays safe and entertained while improving relationships within their team and having fun together, like they did prior to pandemic.
Find out more about our virtual games here: https://www.bucketrace.com/virtual-team-building