The Benefits of Using an Escape Room Waiver Software
Posted in Escape Room Business Management by Mairi Nolan on Wed 26 October 2022
Waiver on Through!Escape rooms give their players an incredible level of immersion, whether that’s the chance to travel through space on a rocket ship, explore an old haunted house, or step aboard a pirate ship. But where there's immersion, there's a chance for a heavy handed player to get too excited and damage themselves or the equipment. This is where an escape room waiver comes in.
A waiver is a document all escape room players should sign before stepping into a room. When used successfully they can help ensure safety, compliance, and legality at your escape room.
But how should an escape room use a waiver? And is it actually legally enforceable? Well, the answer is a little complicated. But here’s why having not just a waiver - but a digital one as part of your check-in process - can be a huge benefit to your employees, your escape room, and your players. Here’s how:
Your Waiver, Your Rules
Say goodbye to bulky paper-based waivers that get filed away in a drawer and promptly forgotten about, say hello to a digital waiver. With an integrated digital waiver system like Buzzshot, the waiver is emailed to the booking holder automatically before the booking or signed directly at your escape room.
When a waiver is sent ahead of the booking, a player is more likely to read it and pay attention to the content. Exactly what to include on a waiver will vary by country, by region, or even by individual escape room. That is unique to you and your business. But, as a general rule, waivers are flexible documents which can set expectations between players and business ahead of the experience.
For the most part, the psychological effects of a player signing a waiver reminds them that they need to follow the rules at all times inside the room. This is quite often for their own health and safety, as much as it is to protect the room. A waiver reminds them of their responsibilities. It can also make a player feel safer in your room. A room protected by a waiver is a room that has considered the player’s health and safety.
Perhaps most importantly however, a waiver is signature proof that the player visited your venue, they played an escape room, and they agreed to the terms and conditions of an experience. This can later be used to prevent credit card chargebacks.
There are many legal reasons an escape room should use a waiver, but here are a few reasons why you may want to use a waiver.
Escape Room Waivers as Photo Release Forms
Players want two things, they want to have a good time, and they want to document the experience. This means photography – props and all!
Most escape rooms send their photographs to the lead booking manually. If a business is lucky, that player might then upload that image on social media and tag the business. It’s a clunky process with little guarantee of return on investment. So where does the waiver come in?
The best waivers include a photo or video release form, which is then signed by every single member of the team. A photo release form is a tool you can use to send everyone their photograph, but this also grants you permission to use the same photographs in your own marketing and advertising efforts. We’ve all seen funny videos on TikTok of escape room jumpscares, and we’ve all wished that we could show the world just how much fun they'll have when they book your room. A picture tells a thousand words and no picture is more compelling than the happy faces of players enjoying themselves!
Not to mention that by getting everyone to sign, you’ve just upgraded your database by not just one email, but by two, four, six, or even ten.
What to Include in an Escape Room Waiver
In one easy-to-use system you can customise exactly what goes into a waiver, and change this as your business grows and adapts. Whilst every country, region, and individual escape room has different risks and needs, a digital waiver allows for easy customisation. For example, yours might include:
The Player Takes Responsible for Risk: “I hereby assume all of the risks of participating in the activities associated with this escape room that may arise from my negligence, including but not limited to…”
The Player Agrees they’re in Fit Physical/Mental Health: “I have no physical or mental illness that precludes my participation in a safe manner for myself or others. I am not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or…”
The Player Agrees to Abide by the Rules: “In permitting me to take part in this action, I agree to the following rules…”
The Player Agrees on a Consequence of a Negative Action: “I agree that all staff may, at their sole discretion, determine it is unsafe for my participation and remove me from the premises.”
The Player Agrees not to Share Secrets: “I understand that photography and videography is not allowed within the room, and I will not share spoilers of my experience or how any puzzle works online.”
A waiver can also be a fantastic marketing tool as well, and as such a waiver can also be used for:
Photo / Video Release: “I agree to allow the escape room to record my participation, and I give permission for my photos / videos to be used to promote the organisation.”
And a well placed additional checkbox may also be used to collect email addresses for marketing purposes. Though be sure to follow the marketing rules of your local region when deciding whether or not to add this:
Marketing Consent: “I agree to further communications from the escape room for marketing purposes”
Is an Escape Room Waiver Enforceable?
It's clear there are many benefits to having a waiver, but one of the main arguments for not having one is the question of whether a waiver is actually legally enforceable. Does a waiver in one region hold legal weight in another?
Without consulting a lawyer there is no way to know whether or not the precise wording of your waiver has any enforceability. It’s true there have been cases of an escape room waiver holding up in court (notably in Kelowna, British Columbia, if you’d like read more!) However what is enforceable and legal in Canada, may not be in another country.
It’s important to keep in mind that waivers aren’t only used to protect owners from liability for accidents, they can also include clauses protecting businesses from player damage. We’ve all had an over-enthusiastic team on a Friday night using excessive force and if you’ve just spent four or five figures refurbishing your room, a waiver can help with recovering the costs of damage. Whether using a waiver to lower the cost of insurance, or making it easier to recoup costs on damage later, it's important to have one in place.
Naturally we hope it never gets that far, which is where waivers help too. Waivers can affect a team’s psychology, giving the players time to reflect and pause on their attitudes and actions before entering a room. Whether it’s enforceable or not, a waiver reminds players that damages have legal consequences. Psychology works.
The Best Escape Room Waiver Software
An easy to use and digital waiver system is the best way to protect your players, your employees and your escape room business. It can also be used to supercharge your marketing efforts by opting in players to your database and gaining use of their photography. With a well worded waiver, your business will become more efficient, save time and money, and instil a sense of trust.
With Buzzshot’s integrated waiver system, all your waivers sit in one convenient place alongside branded photographs, information about the individual player or the team, their post-game survey, and your communications. There’s a reason Buzzshot is the #1 escape room waiver software, we’re loved by thousands of escape rooms worldwide!
So, do away with a paper-based past and waiver on through!