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Frequently Asked

RECON '21 will take place August 22 - 23, 2021 from anywhere you can access the internet.

Convention Background

How did Room Escape Artist come to host a convention?

Room Escape Artist has been an active member of the escape room industry since 2014.

 

Co-founders David and Lisa Spira have been attendees, speakers (including keynote), panelists, panel moderators, exhibitors, media, and special guests at industry events all around the world. That’s where they honed a vision for a highly curated event with world class speakers and an emphasis on community conversation.

 

RECON was originally planned as an in-person immersive games convention in 2020, but REA adapted in the face of the pandemic, translating the vision into an accessible, digital, global event. RECON ’20 Global was a resounding success with over 900 attendees from more than 60 countries.

Why is RECON '21 an online-only event?

The Reality Escape Convention exists to support a community and industry that loves, designs, and operates immersive games. As we emerge from a global pandemic, we continue to prioritize safety and access by making RECON digital again in 2021. We feel that a digital event is best way to build momentum for this industry right now.

Why does RECON take place on a Sunday + Monday?

Escape room & immersive game owners tend to prefer weekdays when business is slower. Players generally prefer weekends when they’re off work. We’re splitting the difference with a two-day event. And we’re steering clear of everyone’s Saturday.

Is this an annual event?

Yes! Next year’s is already in the works. RECON ’22 will take place in Boston.

Can I get involved?

Contact us with our handy-dandy form or email us at RECON@roomescapeartist.com and we’ll get back to you.

Curation

How are you selecting the speakers?

We’re not just dropping speakers on digital stages; we’re curating an experience. Each talk will give different information and our programming team works closely with each speaker to produce the content.

 

We’re looking for 4 qualities in the people that we will put on stage:

  • Deep knowledge of their craft
  • Willingness to give of their knowledge
  • Charismatic (virtual) stage presence
  • Ability to put a creative spin on the content

We know a lot of people in the escape room and adjacent worlds. In some cases, we reached out to speakers and asked them to share their expertise in a certain area. In other cases, the speakers reached out to us, or answered our call for proposals, and together we determined that they’d be a great fit for RECON ’21.

How are you ensuring the quality of talks?

In one word: Actively.

 

David Spira leads the RECON Programming team in supporting each and every speaker to ensure the talks are:

  • Written well in advance
  • Crafted thoughtfully and skillfully
  • Fact checked
  • Rehearsed
  • Produced for digital delivery
Will REA be speaking?

If you put a microphone in a space full of escape room people, David & Lisa will find their way to it.

You can expect a “well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous” talk.

I've been to other events where the talks were basically sales pitches. How are you avoiding that?

These talks won’t be sales pitches. They will be focused on delivering actionable escape room insights. They’ll aim to make you reflect.

 

Some of these speakers don’t currently have a product or service to sell you. That said, we’d never fault a speaker for briefly mentioning an offer, especially because it might be relevant to your needs.

Will the talks be similar to last year?

RECON ’21 brings you new speakers, and new topics. All the Featured Talks will be tailored to the needs of this industry now, in 2021.

Last year’s talks are available to you for free here.

We intend to continually build the conversation each year with new content that addresses new ideas and is relevant at a different point in time.

Will the talks be available after RECON?
During RECON, you can only watch the Featured Talks at their scheduled times. Later this year, we will make the Featured Talks available on YouTube. The live discussions, workshops, and other conversations will not be available later.
I've already been to an escape room conference. Will the talks be the same?

You may have heard some of our speakers before… however the talks will be unique.

 

Our emphasis is on 3 central goals:

  • Supporting the growth and evolution of escape rooms
  • Fostering escape room community conversation
  • Creating a sustainable escape room industry
I didn't get anything out of another conference. What will I get out of RECON?

It depends what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a convention that can magically provide all the insights you need to turn your escape room business into a super power overnight, you probably won’t find that anywhere.

 

At RECON, we’ll have a curated lineup of exceptional featured talks from knowledgeable speakers, all crafted for the audience of 2021. We’ll have conversations in our digital venue, the RECON Discord, where you’ll meet new people with a shared interest from all over the world. Most importantly, RECON is different from other events because you’ll feel a sense of community.

Digital How-To

What timezone is RECON in?

The RECON schedule is built to accommodate a range of time zones. The Featured Talks take place between 10:00 – 19:00 (New York time). All times on the RECON website are listed for New York.

What's the RECON Discord?

Discord is a conversation platform with channels for text, voice, and video chat. It’s effectively our digital convention center.

 

When you join our Discord server you can chat with attendees, join facilitated discussions, talk to exhibitors, and even play games. 

How do I join the Discord server?

Shortly before the event, all ticket holders will receive instructions on how to join. Your ticket (Basic, Pro, or VIP) and any ticket enhancements (Play Pass or Virtual Escape Jam) determines which channels and features you’ll be able to access in the RECON Discord.

How do I watch the featured talks?

All Featured Talks will be streamed on the Main Stage page of this website. You can watch this stream from your browser without joining the RECON Discord.

Tickets

Do I need a ticket for the free or Basic levels of RECON?

Yes, you will need a ticket in order to access the digital venue, the RECON Discord. To take full advantage of everything RECON has to offer, even at the free level, you’ll need to get a Basic Ticket.

How do I get a ticket?

Get your ticket here!

Tickets start at $0!

What's included with a ticket?

That depends on what type of ticket you’d like. There are three types of tickets (Basic, Pro, and VIP) plus optional ticket enhancements for playing games (Play Pass) and building games (Virtual Escape Jam).

 

Please visit our ticket information page for additional details and pricing.

How many talks are included in my ticket?

All of them! Every RECON ticket (Basic, Pro, VIP) includes access to all the talks. There will be 14 Featured Talks at RECON ’21. RECON isn’t a collection of disconnected seminars; it’s a curated experience. For more details, check out our ticket information page.

If I get a Basic ticket now, can I upgrade later?

As long as there are still Pro and VIP tickets available, yes, but you will need to contact us to upgrade.

What does "Suggested $30" mean?

You can pay what you want for a RECON Basic ticket, and we’re suggesting $30 as a good value for the content we’re producing. Select the amount that feels right to you at checkout. Any amount is appreciated, but if money is tight, feel free to select $0; it’s more important to us you can attend.

Is there a cap on the number of attendees?

There are limited quantities of Pro Tickets and VIP Tickets, as well as of Play Passes. We expect to sell out all of them. (The Virtual Escape Jam ticket enhancement is already sold out.)

How do I buy multiple tickets?

You can select multiple tickets at checkout. However, because each ticket needs to be associated with a separate individual, we encourage you to contact us to make sure your RECON sign-in process will go smoothly for each person. Otherwise, have each person in your party complete their own checkout process.

What time is the workshop on the Pro ticket?

Workshops take place at 14:00 (New York Time). All 4 workshops will run simultaneously, once on Sunday and once on Monday. You get to choose your workshop during checkout when purchasing a Pro Ticket.

Can I attend multiple workshops?

Because the workshops run simultaneously each day, it is not possible to attend more than 2 workshops. To attend 2 (one each day), you’ll need to purchase 2 RECON Pro tickets. If you purchase 2 Pro tickets for the same individual, we recommend contacting us to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Will I miss anything by attending a workshop?

Yes, but that’s the nature of a convention; there’s always something else going on. We will program more player-focused featured talks during the workshops.

Do I need any special skills or tools for the workshops?

No, all experience levels are welcome in all workshops. Workshops are entirely digital – you won’t need physical materials. But we strongly recommend attending on a desktop computer rather than a mobile device.

What if I purchase a Pro ticket, but don't want to attend the workshop?

A workshop is included with your Pro ticket and we encourage you to select the one that interests you most and think of it as an opportunity to build connections in the industry. If you are sure you won’t attend any workshop, we’d appreciate if you’d contact us to let us know.

Do I need a separate ticket for each member of my household?

Generally, yes. The only exception is if multiple people in the same household are sharing a device and a Discord login. If that is the case, they can share one RECON ticket as well.

How do I get tickets for my company/class/group?

Please contact RECON for group and special purchases.

What's included in the Play Pass?

Included in the Play Pass is exclusive access to these three limited-run games from top creators at Trapped Puzzle Rooms (Minneapolis), Deadlocked Escape Rooms (London), and Club Drosselmeyer’s Green Door Labs (Boston).

Other Play Pass-only benefits include:

  • More games from other favorite creators
  • 1 large-group game during RECON
  • First opportunities to play brand new games
  • Access to Game Hall channels in the RECON Discord for finding teammates, discussing games, and other entertainment
I already attended last year's Escape Jam - can I attend again?

This year’s is already sold out! Should any spots open, you can purchase the ticket enhancement for the Virtual Escape Jam regardless of your experience creating games, in this format or any other. For returners, this Virtual Escape Jam will be an opportunity to build another digital game with a new group of people.

Room Escape Artist & Ethics

What are you trying to accomplish?

The Reality Escape Convention exists to support a community and industry that loves, designs, and operates immersive games.

 

We believe immersive games like escape rooms are a new category of storytelling, with the staying power of other media that came before. The companies thriving today are innovators and we’re excited about the innovations that will come next.

 

RECON strives to support these businesses and to help grow a strong, sustainable industry.

What if I sent a nasty letter to REA because of a review I didn't agree with?

You’re still welcome at RECON. David, Lisa, and all the writers at REA have thick skin.

 

Does RECON compromise the impartiality of Room Escape Artist?

No, it furthers our mission to provide valuable insights to this community, just as we do through the reviews.

 

The reviews that REA produces are part of our constant and ever-deepening analysis of escape rooms as a medium. Our bread and butter is studying the construction of these games, not serving judgment – it’s one of the many, many reasons that we have zero interest in ascribing ratings to games.

 

When we review, we call the experience as we see it. Our integrity has never been for sale… and even if it were, it would cost a whole lot more than a ticket to RECON.

Does RECON have anything in common with the Escape Immerse Explore tours?

It’s similar in that it is a gathering of people with a love of escape rooms and similar types of entertainment. Everything else is different.

 

The Escape Immerse Explore tours are all about visiting world-class escape rooms with others who share this passion, and experiencing the games together.

 

RECON is all about positioning this industry for a sustainable future by providing resources and connections to assist creators, business owners, and consumers in these efforts. We all succeed together.