How To Create An Escape Room For Team Building
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A few years ago, team building was heavily focused on activities such as hiking or off-site retreats. But with technology moving at light speed, people are now choosing interactive gaming experiences over more traditional team-building exercises.
A group of individuals gets together in a room with no natural exit and they’re given a set amount of time to work towards a common goal — save the world!
These games can be anything from finding hidden objects or characters under specific conditions to solving puzzles that rely on skill rather than memorization.
They’re very popular due to how motivating and immersive they are. There is always someone watching your every move while you try to figure out what must be done next.
Escape rooms have become one of the most engaging types of gaming experiences. And with the right number of participants, they’re even possible to do as a group activity without having to rent expensive equipment or use idle meeting spaces.
This article will go into detail about why creating your escape room is a great way to connect with others, boost teamwork, and enjoy some fun competition.
Prepare a plan
As mentioned earlier, creating your escape room is not very difficult, but it does require some planning. Before you even pick a location or start looking for materials to use as decorations, you will need to determine what kind of experience you want to have.
Do you want it to be more interactive? Or do you just want to enjoy exploring the environment and figuring out puzzles together? Having different experiences makes for great team building!
You can also consider how many people are in your group and if there’s a limited amount of time. Some groups may not need a long setting since they can go somewhere else after solving the puzzle, while others may get tired during the activity.
Having all these things ready will help make sure everyone leaves feeling good and relaxed. Make sure to factor in enough time to both prepare the space and download the game before going into it.
Decide the location
Having your team do an escape room is not going to happen unless you have determined where it will be! Having an indoor or outdoor space that people can access is very important.
Some things to consider are if there’s already a stairwell in the area, whether there’s enough natural light, how accessible the houseware items such as duffle bags, puzzles, and other equipment are, and what kind of decorations exist in the surrounding area.
The best escape rooms have interesting decorations, use real puzzle pieces, and are easily movable or broken down into components. Some even have interactive features like popping balloons or lifting lids.
A good coordinator will also make sure everyone has the supplies they need to complete the task. This includes water, markers, and snacks.
Team members should feel comfortable being around each other while solving the puzzles and talking about the solutions. It is okay to laugh at some of the trickier puzzles, but try to keep it quiet so others don’t get too confused.
Buy the equipment
The next thing you will need is some type of wall or room where your team can meet. This place should be large enough to house all of your needed equipment, but not too big so that it takes up a lot of space.
You do not want your guests being cramped for space while trying to play an escape game!
Equipment such as lanterns, flashlights, and computer software like Minecraft can be bought at most technology stores or online shopping sites.
Making sure everyone has their light source and wallet size to access power is very important. Power banks are also helpful since they keep track of how much energy each person uses.
Team members may feel uncomfortable coming into this meeting spot if there aren’t regular conversations or introductions.
Design the room
As with any group activity, knowing what activities will appeal to your audience is important. For these groups to be successful, people need to enjoy being involved!
If there are not enough engaging games for everyone, then it can become very uncomfortable for participants. It may also negatively affect team building if some individuals feel left out or discouraged due to a lack of participation in something they enjoyed before.
When planning how many puzzles each participant gets to work through, make sure there are enough puzzles for all! This way, no one feels excluded or overwhelmed.
Some easy ways to include diversity in puzzle types are using word searches, matching pictures or shapes, creating patterns, and introducing new colors into the space. Use materials that appeal to most people so that anyone can contribute.
The best rooms have several different styles of puzzles incorporated into them. Some teams like having lots of trivia, while other teams prefer solving puzzles. Having both helps create a comfortable environment for whoever participates in the game.
The layout is another key factor in designing a great escape room. Make sure everything is organized and accessible to every player.
Avoid too much white in the room as this makes it difficult to see things well. And remember, color psychology comes into play here – certain shades appeal to you and others do not. The color palette should match the mood of the event.
Research the theme
As mentioned before, creating an escape room is not easy! But once you have your space, theme, and equipment, getting the rest of your team can be a lot easier. Before diving in, do some research to see if there are any resources available at places like Besthauntingsite.com or TheHauntedPress.com.
Looking up information about your theme will give you ideas on what to include and how to present it to others. For example, when doing the last challenge we learned that our theme was zombies so we used fake blood, zombie masks, and lots of green in the setting.
Another important part of escaping the room is figuring out how to close off potential exits. This could be done with curtains, blankets, or other items that can be tied up or glued together. Make sure to check these out as many ways as possible before designing yours!
Blog post: Tips for Running An Escape Room Event
Most vendors offer discounts online or through their social media accounts. By being aware of these discounts, you can save money while still giving the same experience!
Running an event takes time, and a lot of things must be prepared ahead of time.
Choose the puzzle
The next step in creating your escape room is choosing the type of puzzle you want to use. There are three main types of puzzles, with each having its pros and cons.
The first is a challenging puzzle. These are puzzles that require logic or problem-solving to be solved. For example, finding hidden objects, figuring out how to operate gadgets, or decoding a message.
Challenge puzzles can get pretty mental, making it hard to distract people while they work on them. However, if someone else figures out the solution before you do, then you’ve failed!
A drawback of challenge puzzles is that people may grow tired of trying to figure things out, especially if there are multiple challenges per person.
If this happens, then it becomes harder to create a sense of urgency, which is what makes an escape room fun. You have to make people actively try to solve the puzzles instead of just walking away because it looks too difficult.
Another downside is that some people may feel overwhelmed due to the number of challenges. It could even put off people who hate doing creative projects.
Luckily, there are two other types of puzzles that can be used in place of challenging puzzles.
The second is a discovery puzzle. A discovery puzzle doesn’t require any reasoning, only a physical action or element. For instance, lifting a box, opening a drawer, or grabbing something off of a shelf.
Practice the puzzle
The next step in creating your escape room is to practice the puzzles that make up your experience. There are many ways to do this, and it depends on what kind of team you have.
Some teams may prefer doing work rounds where everyone brings their A-game and then puts together the pieces. For these types of groups, having a party with all members or getting some one-on-one time can be used to test out new puzzles.
For other groups, practicing with less intensity can help them feel more comfortable trying something new. These individuals may choose to go through a few parts of a puzzle only to find the solution later when they’re alone.
Whatever method works best for your group, make sure to enjoy yourself! Having fun while solving puzzles will keep the mood light and supportive. If someone looks like they are struggling, offer tips or solutions so they can give it a try on their own.
Do the room properly
The final stage of escape games is creating the challenge! This is typically done through three main components-the setting, puzzles, and obstacles.
The setting can be anything from designing it as a space shuttle to exploring other planets. Puzzles are things like doors that must be opened or locked mechanisms that require manipulation. And lastly, there’s the obstruction – something within the space that limits your ability to run away.
These types of challenges have you walking a fine line between solving the puzzle and finding new ways to navigate around the obstacle. For example, if the puzzle requires you to get into a certain position, how do you move without breaking down? Or how do you push aside objects when there isn’t much room to work with?
Teamwork is also important in these situations since people may need help moving or manipulating something. Having a plan before going in can prevent any unnecessary conflict.