Simon Davison, Founder and CEO of Escapology, learned the value of grinding, and staying ahead of competition quite early in his career. He was a race car driver before he started his journey as an entrepreneur for Escapology. Today, Escapology, the live game escape model of entertainment has reached the likes of Spain, and continues to further its reach in the US. Simon took the lessons of thrill, adventure, and following your passions fearlessly from his days as a race driver. His passion for the business and the personal nature of this iconic business continue to draw crowds for Escapology, even during the travesty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Partnership as an Investment
Simon and his team at Escapology have worked tirelessly to create a legacy for the Escapology operations. The journey started with creating memorable experiences in the automotive industry. It has only become more rewarding with the introduction of new games, and adventures for consumers in recent times. The company recently signed deals with Star Trek, Scooby-Do, and Murder on the Orient Express to make their offerings a lot more promising. Simon says, “The response for these games has been tremendous. These licensed games have turned out to be best-sellers for the company with tickets being continuously sold out in advance.”
Escapology will likely need more games like these in its repertoire, and concrete plans to further expand its franchise model. Simon and his team have put forward extravagant support system for its franchise partners. These include support for training, systems, marketing, processes, and a creative war chest of games. Based on his 5 years of experience in the industry, he says, “It would be crazy for anyone to run this operation on their own.” The sales figure of Escapology suggests the same. With the help of this franchise model, partners have registered 25% higher-on-average sales. Moreover, for a one-time marketing fee, partners have been able to reduce their costs significantly for drawing bookings. Describing the core strength of his franchise model, he says, “Wrap all that up with super nice people to partner with, and working with us is really a no-brainer.”
Branding as a Stepping Stone
Simon is determined to carry the Escapology franchise to its success. When he was a race driver, he liked the spirit of being his own boss. During this time, he worked with his team, sponsors, and managed his own upkeep as well. These lessons have come in handy for Simon as he works with the likes of Warner Bros, CBS and Agatha Christie Limited to up the entertainment quotient for the franchise. Moreover, he also manages the marketing for the franchise at one-tenth of the cost. Simon believes the journey for Escapology will likely remain growth-oriented even during the rough times of COVID-19.
He said, “We are quite lucky to have one of the safest entertainment models in the business.” The nature of entertainment essentially remains private. Hence, people can maintain social distancing without a hitch during the actual entertainment, which is a major plus. During the crisis, Escapology has invested ample resources to maintaining a clean and hygienic setup. Simon believes this is the face of the brand to the public, and following the guidelines will likely make it safer for consumers to flock for more entertainment.
A Clear Strategy
According to Simon, the journey with Escapology has become far more fulfilling and meaningful on a personal level. While he worked for events, the experiences lasted for a day or two as he headed back to marketing, and collaborations. However, with Escapology, the memorable experiences follow, and guide him every day towards brighter horizons. His journey continues to get richer as Escapology extends its armory with more games – making the total to more than 20 games today. He believes he has found the mantra for success in the gaming genre those appeals to crowds today. Escape rooms is an escape from the mundane reality, and ordinariness of our lives. Hence, most Escapology games focus on hero themes like saving lives, saving the world, or similar passions.
The Long Road Ahead
Simon is optimistic about the journey that lies ahead for him. He is running a successful operation alongside Escapology. His side business of managing events, marketing, and training within the automotive industry provides a solid support for his main entertainment-driven operation. Moreover, being a professionally managed setup, it allows him to focus solely on core operation as the business expands to new regions. As the entertainment business opens its master franchise in Spain, along with several new stores coming up, Simon is busy all-year designing new games. He says, “My favourite indulgence is heading up the creative team designing new, and exciting games.”
Simon never seems to be out of inspiration. He stated, “I see inspiration almost everywhere I look! Escape Games are so much fun and the create shackles are completely off. With car launch events I was always constrained to four wheels, an engine, a truck etc. but with escape games – if I want a deranged minister – I can have one (7 Deadly Sins) – if I want a submarine at the bottom of the ocean – we just do it (Under Pressure) – if we want the president’s plane hijacked and careering towards earth – we free to have it (Mayday) – and if I want a chat with Scooby and Shaggy – I can just call them.” The long road ahead will likely be cheery ones if the inspiration remains a bright spot on the horizon.