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Open bookings vs private bookings

Do you require a full party of players to book a slot in your escape game, or allow players to book one by one until the game is full?

It’s a question of exclusivity versus profitability. You have spent time and effort building your room, not to mention money. How you handle bookings makes up a large part of your business model.

We take a look at the pros and cons of open bookings versus private bookings...

Empty or cancelled games

Some exit game owners require each time slot to be full before the game can go ahead. If you allow open bookings, where players can add themselves to a desired time slot one-by-one until the game is full, you risk an incomplete game. If this means you cannot go ahead with the slot, due to staff restraints or running costs, you risk a cancelled game and disappointed would-be players.

Might lose out if games aren’t full 

One argument for insisting parties book in groups of four, six, eight or however many it takes to fill your room is that all the games you run will be full. The success of this strategy depends on your pricing structure – do you charge by the room, or individually? If you charge per head and allow individuals to take first-come-first-served slot, you might not make such large profits. 

Private bookings put small groups off 

If a group have enough players to fill the room, they would probably rather not have strangers play with them. However, if you ONLY allow private bookings, players in smaller groups of one, two, or three may be put off. Bear in mind there’s no guarantee that only large groups will want to play.

Be flexible 

Exclusive group bookings work well for private parties and work events, so are well worth offering. At the same time, avoid pricing players in smaller groups out of your game. Whether you operate an online booking system or take bookings over the phone, be as flexible as your business allows for maximum profitability.

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Open bookings vs private bookings