One of the biggest pains when playing escape rooms is booking the damn things and coordinating teammates.
I schedule a lot of room escapes. Here are a few pro tips and email templates to help you out:
Book the whole room
Choose a game that works for you and book all the tickets so that you can invite your own friends.
Schedule around only 1-2 other people’s availability or you’ll drive yourself insane. Also, funnel all communication through one person. Daisy chains lead to tears.
Don’t rely on flakes
When you invite your friends, make sure at least 75% of the people you invite are people you trust not to bail.
“Flaking is weakness of character.” – David Spira
Calendar invite FTW
When you add the game to your calendar, copy / paste all the details from your booking confirmation including the number of tickets and price you paid. This gives you a consolidated reference for answering people’s questions at a later date.
Accept cash, PayPal, and Venmo. Keep track of who paid you back. If someone stiffs you, don’t invite them back; have some self-respect.
As people RSVP “yes,” send them a calendar invitation. As people RSVP “no,” invite more people in their place. Pretend they made the first cut; no one should ever know they weren’t on the initial invite list. (Sorry real life friends, but it’s true.)
Badger the people who don’t RSVP. Eventually you’ll stop inviting them.
About 3 days before the game, send a follow up reminder email.
Make it an experience
Choose a meeting location, generally a nearby coffee shop. This allows your teammates a cushion for being late. It also helps your teammates get to know each other or catch up before they get locked in a room together.
Be civilized. Don’t get drunk before your escape. Do it after.
Postgame food and booze
Choose a location for dinner / drinks after the game and fun. It’s not worth asking your friends about their food preferences; just choose something relatively innocuous and people will be good with it.
Join us to play [Name of Room] at [Name of Company]!
[Name of Room]
[Name of Company] — This should link to the company website.
[Time] — Note that this is the time the game starts. Use bold.
We’ll meet for coffee beforehand and grab dinner nearby after the game.
This is a [number of people] person room. Tickets will be $[price] each.
Please let us know whether you can make it!
Final Details for Room Escape on [date of game]
[45 minutes before game time] Meet us at [name of nearby coffee shop] and [address of coffee shop] — This should be a link.
[15 minutes before game time] Meet us at [Name of Company] at [address of company] — This should be a link.
Our game starts promptly at [game time]. Don’t be late.
[1.5 hours after game time] Dinner at [name of nearby restaurant] and [address of restaurant]. — This should be a link.
Note that this room is going to cost $[price] per person.
If you are new to Room Escapes, read this and this. Trust me.
Remember, flaking is weakness of character.
See you [include date again]
[your phone number]
It seems in the U.S you need a PhD to book a room only for you and your friends. 😉
It can honestly become a big pain. I think that for most companies, public rooms create more problems than they solve.