DFW Scavenger Hunt was founded as an outdoor events company. Two of our core values are getting people working together and getting them out of the house. You can imagine the challenges we faced when it became very clear that for the foreseeable future, neither of those activities were possible. But a few of our other core values include staying positive and thinking creatively. And both of those things became essential as we considered how to pivot to a new offering.
Our inspiration came from all sorts of places, and we recognized that there was a need that still needed to be met. There were families stuck at home, looking for something to keep them entertained. There were teams used to the camaraderie of working side by side suddenly suffering from colleague deprivation. And everyone was looking for a diversion. People still wanted something to do! Remote team building was needed. Online kids' parties were in demand.
What became immediately clear was that we could address those needs through a unique product in our trademark style. And while our outdoor hunts were driven by a passion for celebrating the places where people lived, we could now find a way to celebrate the places people really lived. Certainly we could build scavenger hunts that inspired people to get up, explore their home, and still use their brains and creative energy to solve challenging puzzles. That's how our Stay Home Scavenger Hunts were born.
Offer a New Product -- Or an Old Product in a New Way
Building new events from scratch was our first step. Well, almost from scratch. Our outdoor scavenger hunts have always included a few puzzles that required no walking at all, not just to give folks a rest, but to add to the diversity of challenges. So we looked at some of those, and found ways to incorporate them into a home version. But there was still plenty of work to be done. In order to truly create a special experience, we needed to build custom games that couldn't just be solved at home, but also could only be solved at home
In our neighborhood hunts, we typically challenge people to find landmarks in order to help them solve a puzzle. Track down a historical marker and find the old mayor's middle name, for example. In the home version, it’s the reverse. Solving a puzzle becomes the first step in knowing what you need to go find. Perhaps you unscramble a phrase (COLA NERD) that prompts you to go fetch your colander. Or you’re identifying a pop song then running for the object named in the title. (You do own a wrecking ball, don't you?)
Another thing that’s always been important to what we offer is a real, live host. There are lots of scavenger hunts that just ask you to download an app and send you on your way. But we like the personal touch, and want to be there to offer guidance, hints, and, when necessary, judgement. And even when we couldn’t be there in person, we knew that having a real host would prove just as essential. Besides, now that we're all so distant, socially, it's crucial to include human connection wherever possible. We want to make sure every event is special, beyond the typical dreary Zoom meeting or everyday chat. We do that with a host who's new to the party, ready to get everyone excited, and always ready with a zinger.
Let Your Network Know
An unexpected benefit of our circumstances? Going national. The odd twist of everyone being stuck in one place meant that we now had a much wider reach, and suddenly our North Texas business was able to offer a product to people around the country. This also meant we could reach a much larger network of people to spread the word. And sure enough, our first bookings came from Michigan, California, and North Carolina. All through word of mouth.
We got busy on our company social pages, but got even busier on our personal pages. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and anywhere else we could post (or hadn't posted in a while) became fertile ground to sow our message that we were open for business. If there was any time to rely on the kindness of friends, this was it. And we're so grateful for the way our people came through. Everyone knew someone with a business looking to shake up meetings, or a mom trying to throw a birthday party, or just a bored group of friends. The referrals we got in those first few weeks kept us very busy.
Meanwhile, we were reaching out to past clients, through our newsletter and even direct contact. We knew that many of them would be excited about offering something to their teams, and letting them know we were available just made sense.
To be clear, we are very lucky. If you’re even able to consider a pivot, you’re lucky. Many businesses, many people, are facing genuine danger. We are just a small team that’s trying to find ways to have fun, and we would not trade our troubles for anyone’s. We're grateful for our situation and grateful to the friends, family, and clients who keep us going. If you'd like to discover what one of our stay at home hunts is like for yourself, get in touch and find out what sort of adventure we can create for you, even on your own couch.