A pop-up escape room experience, aimed at giving our clients a delightful break from their conference activities.

Brief

Background

Every year, our company goes to a conference hosted by one of our clients (and attended by a number of other current and potential clients). And every year, we try to think of ways to make our participation at the event delightful and unique.

This year — much to my own surprise — I managed to convince my boss to let me design and construct an 8’x8’ pop-up Escape Room for our vendor booth, complete with electronic puzzles, a 20-minute time limit, and magnetic locks.

Yeah. Seriously.

As a company, we’ve started to hone our brand and our positioning as a creative studio: we’re not an agency, we don’t do AOR contracts, and we’re not a deliverables factory. What we do is make radically collaborative, high quality stuff. We make websites and apps and feature films and pop-up experiences. We work directly with our clients to deeply understand what stuff we should be making, and to ensure our messaging aligns with their strategic goals. If we don’t have a capability in-house, we hire the best.

Which doesn’t exactly fit many people’s expectations of a creative agency.

The Escape Room idea was born out of three business goals:

  1. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from the crowded field of shops specializing in fast, cheap video. We aren’t just technicians — although our production department /is/ excellent. We’re expert storytellers and strategists, and we wanted to /show/ that we knew how to leave a lasting impression on audiences — not just tell them.
  2. We wanted give our clients a fun, premium experience. We put a lot of effort into make working with us delightful. Conference booths are notoriously boring — and our company ethos is that we would rather die than be boring.
  3. Making a great escape room sounded incredibly difficult and fascinating, and I was itching to sink my teeth into something new and challenging. Okay, so that’s not really one of our company’s business goals, but who’s counting?

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Ellen Marie Bartling