“So what is it you actually do?”

A man came into the shop last week. We get more and more walk-ins to play and book so I walked up to say Hi. He asked me if i could help him get away this weekend. Sure thing i said – our experiences are definitely good escapism. Great he said, I need a pair of flights to Iceland.
I paused briefly at the turn in the conversation, then it clicked. “Sorry” i said “we’re not a travel agents”. “Oh, I saw the sign ‘Exciting Escapes’ and just assumed. What is it you do?”….
Its a question we get a lot. If you live in Asia or Eastern Europe escape rooms have been around a while and more people have heard of them. Over here, its still a fairly new thing. 90% of the people who come in to play have never played one before. You can always tell – there’s often that slightly nervous air about them of “OK, I’m here now what happens?”
There was a great episode of Big Bang Theory recently where they went to an Escape Room. People now sometimes come to us assuming there will be a zombie (there isn’t) or they can do a room in 6 minutes (I’m afraid you can’t). Still, all helps the profile. There was a great interview on the Simon Mayo show a few weeks ago where Escape Rooms were discussed. My wife called me from her car excitedly telling me to “Put the radio on. Simon Mayo is talking about being locked up”. It was a very different interview to the one that first made me assume
“We’d walked past the shop a lot of times since you opened and assumed you were a travel agents” a customer told me last week “we only came in because a friend came and played and told us how good it was. Maybe you should change the name?”
We could change the name, I suppose, to avoid a bit of doubt. The thing is, though, that wont resolve the challenge of identity all Escape Rooms face. We shut people in rooms and ask them to pay us for it. Put that way, its not an easy sell (Ask someone in the street that and they tend to walk off pretty quickly!). There is an answer though. We shouldn’t try to sell it. The people who have visited us and enjoyed it sell it for us through their 250+ Five star reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook. Our job, I’m telling our new team this week, is just to make sure every single person loves it. The rest takes care of itself
Another lady came in on Friday. I asked her if i could help. “How much for that table there please” she said, pointing to the rather lovely antique desk in our plush new Reception. “I’m afraid its not for sale” I said “We’re not a furniture shop”. “Oh” she said “I just saw all the lovely pieces here and just assumed. What is it you do?”.
“Travel Agents” i (nearly) said