Lock Chicago

Lock Chicago provides Escape Room Games to the greater Chicagoland area. From Corporate Team Building to unique Private Events come check us out!

Finally Moved! Lock Chicago's New Escape Room Facilities

Hello Again!

We know it's been a few months since our last post and it's been a crazy 60 days as we've fully transitioned out of our original location and onto our new facilities at 820 Davis Street, Suite 151 in Evanston. Have no fear as we're still literally one block away from our prior location just with some new upgrades.

We have an additional 2,400 square feet to work with for a total of 4,000 with 2 new escape rooms coming by the end of 2017! We have added some new features to our existing "Sunburn" and "Malfunction" escape rooms and increased the capacity to 10 players each for "Private Rooms". They will still remain 8 players each for the "Public Room" function.

Feel free to stop by at our new spot to chat or take a sneak peek at our upcoming escape room concepts as we look to build on our new Lock Chicago location!

Best Regards,

Brian, Bane, and Alex - Lock Chicago

Lock Chicago's New Escape Room Location!

Hello Again!

Our team at Lock Chicago is excited to announce we're moving to a brand new location (still in Evanston don't worry!) to 820 Davis Street. This facility will be close to 4,000 square feet and triple the size of our existing space.

This will allow us to add 3 additional escape rooms and enhance our existing rooms even further to provide the best possible experience for our guests. We're delighted to be able to leverage our new innovative technology in our 3rd upcoming room which will launch in July! More details to come in a following post :)

Stay tuned as we will be passing out some hot new deals and promotions on our new room!

Cheers,

Lock Chicago

Understanding Humans and Running an Escape Room

Hello Again!

In this next installment of our Blog we're going to talk about what we've learned about human interaction when people are put in a new situation. It's funny, we initially thought that Private Escape Room groups would be more congenial or civil towards one another seeing as they are already friends/family but that is not necessarily the case! 

Our Public Group players even tend to be the nicest towards one another. Maybe it's because they're strangers and are trying not to look especially mean but who knows. When players are put in a unique situation they haven't experienced before they tend to also try things they might not have before. It's especially entertaining noticing younger kids or children with their families taking on more of a leadership role as parents try to scatter throughout the room without a sense of direction.

Our corporate partners/clients are also great examples of this when in many cases the central manager or organizer is not the one taking charge where you might find a more typical introverted employee stepping up and showing their skills.

It certainly keeps our time at Lock Chicago entertaining and we always welcome our friends from Evanston, Chicago, and all over to come try it out for themselves!

Best of Luck,

Lock Chicago - Escape Rooms

Lock Chicago/Life Movie Partnership Contest

Hello All!

We're excited to announce a contest we're hosting with the upcoming movie "Life"! We're offering free screening passes to the AMC 21 early screening on 3/22. Visit either of our Escape Rooms from now until 3/22 for a chance to win or visit or Facebook page for contest details: https://www.facebook.com/lockchicago.

We also have free "Life" swag including multi outlet charging cords, metallic water bottles, sunglasses, and more so come check us out!

Good Luck - Lock Chicago

Northwestern Dillo Day & Lock Chicago Escape Room Partnership

Hello Again!

We're excited to announce our 2017 partnership with Northwestern University's Dillo Day festival for 2017! Last year we had the great opportunity to partner with their organization and host our mobile escape room on the festival grounds. We also hosted "Championship Week" which pits Northwestern's best and brightest students and faculty against one another as they battle for Escape Room supremacy.

This year we will continue that tradition with a brand new 20 minute mobile room on the festival grounds once more as well as an updated "Championship Week"! With two months to go until the event we have begun testing our new mobile room and look forward to seeing a new round of competitors go through.

Those who were able to play last year will have the chance to do so again in a different environment with new technology and puzzles at their disposal! We look forward to hosting everyone at Lock Chicago and good luck to those competing in the coming months!

Cheers, Lock Chicago

Lock Chicago and the Escape Room Festival Season!

Hello Again!

Today we're going to talk about Escape Rooms and the unique opportunity they bring to different street festivals, concerts, and outdoor events throughout the community and city. While escape rooms initially started out as designs built specifically for in-house locations the industry and experience has grown so much beyond that point. Larger companies and brands such as Zelda, Resident Evil, Ford, and more are crafting unique mobile experiences that they can take from city to city that not only promote an upcoming event but drive awareness for the unique experiences of an escape room.

Us at Lock Chicago are no different as we initially began our foray into mobile games with our partnership with Northwestern University's "Dillo Day" student-run music festival. We set up a 30 minute mobile escape room on the festival grounds back in 2016 and we look to ramp that up even further in 2017. 

The nice thing about being able to create an experience on the go is that you can take it virtually anywhere. As Spring and Summer inches closer keep an eye out for all the local community festivals in the area. Evanston has an abundant amount in their downtown area which makes a perfect opportunity for you to contribute and drive awareness of your own escape rooms brand in a fun and innovative way.

Just make sure you're prepared for any weather situation as that can put a damper on the outdoor escape room experience as well as durable props (us at Lock Chicago learned that the hard way).

In any case best of luck as we get through this seemingly mild winter and onwards towards warmer weather!

Cheers,

Lock Chicago

Now Hiring Escape Room Game Masters/Operations Manager at Lock Chicago!

Game Master 
Lock Chicago Escape Games – Evanston, IL 60610 
$10 an hour - Part-time

Do you want the coolest job you've ever had? We are currently looking to add multiple part-time team members to our Lock Chicago team at Lock Chicago - Escape Games.

We are a rapidly growing, team-building, design consulting and retail entertainment company. We are looking for someone with wide ranging talents to work in conjunction with our current Operations Manager and learn the business as we expand to our new location in the coming months.

The positions we are looking to fill will be titled "Game Master". To be considered please submit a resume with the subject of "Game Master Application" to info@lockedchicago.com.

Game Master:

  • This is a unique and one-of-a-kind job! You will educate our guests on how it all works. You will inform them of their objectives while in the room. You will work in a control room and coach the guests while on their journey to escape! You will be their guide when they stumble and offer them hints if needed. You will then prepare the Escape Room for the next group of guests.
  • You must be fun and enthusiastic as you are a big part of the whole guest experience from beginning to end.
  • Prior to applying to this position you must first familiarize yourself with the concept of Escape Rooms and the worldwide phenomenon that is spreading fast across the US. Escape Rooms stimulate the mind, your sense of curiosity and your ability to work with others in an effort to escape.
  • Please visit our website at www.lockedchicago.com to learn more.
  • If on one hand you like video games, playing chess, and solving puzzles/riddles, while on the other hand you like designing, building and/or fixing things, you have found the perfect job!

This job requires you to be:

  • Remotely view and monitor games in progress and assist participants
  • Customer Service focused
  • Professional, polished and well-spoken
  • Hands-on and handy with tools and gadgets
  • Game or puzzle-minded
  • Creative thinker
  • Flexible with regards to work schedule

This job requires the following experience:

  • Retail, amusement or hospitality experience.
  • Comfortable engaging with both small and large groups of people.
  • Public Speaking experiences a plus!
  • We'll teach you the rest!

Escape Rooms and Advertising! How Lock Chicago Can Build Your Brand.

Hello Again!

As entrepreneurs who are constantly trying to build our brand presence on and offline we understand the importance and how companies are using escape rooms and other unique methods to increase their presence. We recently had the great opportunity to partner with McDonald's and help unveil their 3 new "Big Mac's" to the world as well as assist in delivering over 10,000 bottles of their secret sauce to the loyal fanbase!

We were initially contacted by a production agency tasked with making it all happen and knew from minute one that this was going to be no ordinary escape room design project. The task seemed simple enough - develop one escape room that could be replicated 3 times to be live streamed across the world on 3 major social media platforms of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

We worked closely with the props teams to develop puzzles that incorporated McDonald's legacy and culture as well as facts about the new Big Mac rollouts. All in all it was a very unique and creative way for McDonald's to get their message across (with over 100,000 views currently across 3 platforms) and we expect to see many other companies/brands hopping on board with this trend!

Even now we are seeing the video game "Resident Evil" launch their nationwide live escape room tour to advertise and promote their newest version of the game coming out. Companies are getting wise to the way that they can interact with their fans and escape rooms provide the perfect venue to do so.

Us at Lock Chicago certainly support that notion and are here to lend a hand for those looking to venture into this space and those who are just curious to find different escape games coming to their city! Until next time...

Cheers,

Lock Chicago

Lock Chicago Data and Escape Room Statistics

Escape Rooms have been around for over a decade across the world but within the past 3 years have recently begun to gain mainstream popularity across the United States. But are they just a fad or will they follow the same path as Laser Tag or other similar games? We spoke with guests and other escape rooms to pull together some interesting key data pieces about the state of the industry in the United States. Special thanks to King's Escape Room for information from their infographic! 

  • From a survey of 1,000 33.9% of respondents said they had never heard of an Escape Room before!
  • 100% of respondents ages 18-24 loved their Escape Room experience.
  • 50/50 there was no correlation between male/female on opinions of escape rooms.
  • 84.9% of those who had visited an Escape Room in the past year "loved" their experience.
  • There are over 2,300 escape rooms in the United States compared to 2,200 in Russia where the industry has been thriving.

There is no doubt that this industry will continue to grow at a staggering rate but all things must eventually slow down especially as others look to play in the same space and join the market. It is up to the customer to decide on what makes the most special experience and escape rooms to keep up and continue to provide that experience. 

If you haven't tried an escape room yet what are you waiting for?? 

Cheers,

Lock Chicago

Who Would You Do An Escape Room With?

Hello Again! 

We've seen hundreds of amazing groups come through our Lock Chicago escape rooms over the years and we love seeing the different compositions whether it's coworkers, friends, family, college/high school students, and more. As escape rooms continue to grow in popularity it's nice seeing celebrities and public figures making headlines as they bring their own friends to take up the cause.

Most recently actress Kristen Bell brought fellow coworker Ted Danson and his wife along to do an escape room which went interesting to say the least! Patton Oswald, Chris Evans, and others have used Escape Rooms to donate money to charities and other organizations while having fun at the same time.

Who's your ideal person to do an Escape Room with? Sound off! 

http://www.contactmusic.net/kristen-bell/news/escape-room-game-was-a-big-challenge-for-kristen-bell-ted-danson_5523967

Escape Room Gift Cards and Lock Chicago Donations

Hello Again! 

We're only 4 days away from Christmas and hopefully if you're reading this you've gotten most of your holiday shopping done. Lucky for you Escape Rooms offer a great gifting opportunity for family and friends who are looking to take on new experiences!

Gift cards are also a great way to contribute to the community and your favorite charities. Whether it's a silent auction, raffle, or giveaway it's a great way to contribute to a relate able cause and introduce people to escape rooms.

What are some of your favorite Christmas gifts you've given or received? What could be better than spending time with family trying to uncover buried treasure or escape a zombie?

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and finds everything they are looking for!

Cheers,

Lock Chicago

Happy Holidays From Lock Chicago, Our Escape Room to Yours

With only two weeks away from Christmas and New Years we wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays! It's been nearly a year since we opened and been an amazing experience meeting other owners and sharing our love of escape rooms with the community.

When we initially opened Lock Chicago we wanted to create the ultimate experience leveraging puzzles and games no other escape room was utilizing. While it's impossible to know what's being offered throughout the world we have had an amazing time connecting and networking with other owners who share a passion for the industry. 

It is important that all escape room owners help each other out because the last thing we want is for a new room to open and fail causing first time escape room goers to be turned off to the industry. I'm sure it's been a busy year for everyone so take some time during the busy holidays to rest up, relax, (maybe repair your rooms from the holiday madness) and spend time with friends and family.

We know we will!

Cheers,

Lock Chicago

Christmas is Coming to Lock Chicago!

Hello All,

We hope everyone had a Happy Halloween and now that election mania has passed we can focus on the brighter things such as Holiday Parties and the Thanksgiving/Christmas season!

Escape Rooms provide the unique opportunity to be tailored in a wide variety of ways. Many rooms change themes based on the season, holiday, and more with Halloween and Christmas being the focal point of this. Generally escape rooms tend to be busier during the winter months as the weather gets colder and people look for more indoor recreational activities when there is a foot of snow on the ground (at least here in Chicago).

Themed rooms provide a unique experience and us at Lock Chicago are happy to provide that to our customers. Many escape rooms will open a completely new themed room for the holidays where others might opt to adjust the existing theme to make it more festive.

Corporate Christmas/holiday parties are a large factor in this as well as companies look to venture outside the box for their get togethers. What better way to celebrate a successful year than pounding back some egg nog and saving Santa's reindeer?

If anyone's come across a stellar holiday-themed escape room feel free to sound off in the comments or send us a message! As always we love hearing from you and can't wait to get our snow on this season.

Cheers,

Brian, Bane, and Alex - Lock Chicago

Moving Lock Chicago Locations

Hello Again!

Welcome back to Lock Chicago's blog. Today we're briefly going to chat about the process from moving your escape room from location A to location B. 

Whether it be growth, a better rent deal, or anything there are many reasons why you would want/have to relocate. It's crazy to think that it's almost been one year since we signed our lease for our current address and while we have certainly had our ups and downs, it's time that we increase our space to create more rooms for our awesome customers!

We were lucky enough at our original Lock Chicago location to find a space with pre-built rooms where we didn't have to do anything other than construct the escape room itself. Now that we are looking at a new 5,800 square foot space across the street there is a lot to be done in terms of sectioning out the space. 

It's one thing to concept an escape room out of an existing space but now with the absolute freedom to design a room how we want it opens it up for endless possibilities. From negotiation commercial leases to working with the city of Evanston to get the necessary building permits, fire inspections, and more there's a lot going on but the most important advice we recommend is to be thorough! There will likely be nothing more damaging to a successful move than missing something and having to backtrack to get an updated business license or installing sprinklers because the fire alarms didn't quite cut it.

Get a good lawyer, realtor, and architect and it will make your job significantly easier! 

Cheers,

Lock Chicago

Curating Escape Room Social Media Content by Lock Chicago

Hello All!

Today's post will feature how we manage our social media content most notably Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

In a world where more and more of our news sources are coming from news feeds instead of newspapers it is extremely important that all businesses, not just escape rooms utilize their advantages to stay relevant. We've seen so many other escape rooms simply post pictures of their teams which is great, but let's be honest your followers only care so much about viewing strangers successes and failures.

Memes, videos, Boomerangs, and more have taken over the social media scene in an innovative way to capture the 1-2 second attention span many of us have as we scroll through various apps. It's important to show what you do and where you came from, but if you want to engage your followers you need to post and craft entertaining content which will cause people to react. Contests are another great way to spread the word as you can keep followers coming back to your pages to see if they won or if there are any updates.

Stay on the cutting edge folks! Social media is your friend and if you want to continue to reach a new fanbase every day you need to make sure you have content that they will be interested in. Lock Chicago out! 

Check us out at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lockchicago

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/1023578797/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lock_chicago

Cheers,

Brian, Bane, and Alex

Halloween at Lock Chicago

Hello Again!

T-26 days until Halloween and we'll be dressing our escape rooms up with some spooky flair. The concept of Escape Rooms is interesting because how it is many times tied to the themes of Haunted Houses and other various "scare factor" attractions across the world. There are a few even in Evanston this time of year where we are located.

Halloween plays a big part with this because not only are you fully immersed in an experience but many times as a guest you are playing the part of a character in a plot/movie. Escape rooms truly capitalize on this and provide different unique opportunities to celebrate the season other than getting the wits scared out of you by a mindless zombie (nothing against all our friends with Zombie rooms out there!)

What will YOU be dressing up as for Halloween? Feel free to leave a comment here!

Cheers,

Brian, Bane, and Alex - Lock Chicago

Escape Rooms: Where Are They? (Not Just Lock Chicago!)

Hello Again!

We wanted to follow up our last post to highlight a growing trend in the Escape Room Industry. When we began in Evanston back in January we were 1 of 15 companies in Illinois operating some form of an escape room. Just under 10 months later we are now 1 of 40 companies.

Escape Rooms are growing at an extremely rapid rate which is great for the industry as it continues to spread the word and increase exposure for this exciting and fun activity. More mainstream outlets are getting on board as well as we see hit television shows such as "The Big Bang Theory" and more highlighting Escape Rooms on their broadcast.

Disney recently announced a new "Guardians of the Galaxy" themed Escape Room in their park. The success of rooms throughout the country will undoubtedly spur an increase for larger outlets to capitalize on the success. 

To us at Lock Chicago this is great news because it continues to challenge us and other Escape Rooms to create the best possible experience for the most important person, our guests. If you're looking for nearby escape rooms feel free to visit the popular website: http://escaperoomdirectory.com/ which has a large index of rooms across the world!

Until next time take care and happy escaping!

Cheers,

Brian, Bane, and Alex

Lock Chicago and Partnering with Local Escape Rooms

Hello again! It's been a while since we last posted but don't think we took the summer off - today's feature is regarding connecting and partnering with other Escape Rooms in your area. Last night we met with a dozen other escape room owners in the Chicagoland area at another location (thanks to DOA for hosting)!

In an industry that's growing faster every day it's important to understand the dynamics at play and what's working across the business. The worse thing that can happen to the industry is poor quality escape rooms opening and turning potential customers off to the whole idea. This is why escape rooms must continually help and push each other to create the ultimate live experience for their guests.

We are currently working on forming a Chicago Escape Room Association which will give us leverage when working with as many partners as we do. All escape rooms need the same things, insurance, building materials, building space, and if you can work together as a team to reach these common goals you have a lot more power than if you stood alone.

While it can be challenging to unify those in the industry with as many new rooms appearing across the United States and International community, the nice thing is everyone understands what one another has to go through within their own escape rooms and by sharing ideas and fostering a helpful community it will only continue to further grow the business.

That being said please feel free to reach out to us at Lock Chicago if we can provide any advice, tips, or just conversation regarding anything Escape Rooms!

Cheers,

Brian, Bane, and Alex

Contact us at: info@lockedchicago.com