The Reality Escape Convention is a conversation for the escape & immersive game industry. With core tenets of knowledge, connection, and immersion, RECON opens dialogues. By attending RECON, you will gain new insights and a broader community. RECON supports a sustainable escape room industry now and in the future.


For years, people have been asking when Room Escape Artist would host a conference. In 2020, we saw the needs of our community were not being met so we responded with the inaugural RECON event: RECON ‘20 Global.

Our convention is born out of a love for these games. It is about growing this industry. It is about realizing potential – of creators, of experiences, of storytelling.

We see escape rooms as a new medium for storytelling and play. Our goal is to turn it into a medium that is timeless like theater, music, tabletop games, video games, film, and the written word.

From Room Escape Artist

RECON is presented by Room Escape Artist, your source of well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous escape room reviews, design tips, player tips, and industry commentary… and your source for industry reports, coveted awards, escape room tours, and media appearances. We are wry cheerleaders, critics, and ambassadors of the escape room world.

Take a look....

The Organizers

David & Lisa Spira

Room Escape Artist

Lisa and David Spira founded Room Escape Artist in 2014. There they publish daily well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous escape room reviews, design tips, player tips, and industry commentary.

Their professional expertise includes User Experience and Speech Writing (David) and Language Technology and Data Analytics (Lisa). They have experience managing projects, teams, and products in different areas of technology.

They are best known for:

Lisa and David have been featured as industry experts in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on a CBS Sunday Morning segment. They are the escape room industry’s most prolific leaders.

Kate Wastl

RECON Producer

A project manager by day, Kate is the producer of RECON and a writer for Room Escape Artist. She is an escape room addict from Western New York whose favorite hobby is hopping flights to marathon rooms with the REA team and other enthusiasts.

Kate appreciates immersion and set design in an experience, and she values puzzle-y, non-linear design. When she is not playing, planning, or writing about escape rooms, Kate volunteers as an EMT and adores playing euchre.

Brendan Lutz

Technology & Infrastructure

Brendan is the invisible support and structure behind RECON. He has led 50+ person technology teams to success in various industries by continually pushing boundaries.

Today Brendan leads the Information Systems department at Blue Apron, overseeing the DevOps, Network Engineering, and IT teams. He is a professional technology generalist who is passionate about bringing cutting edge tech into people’s day to day lives.

Brendan has been an escape room player since 2014, and he is a 2-time Great Gotham Challenge Champion & Runner Up. He loves the thrill of a good search and discovery escape room. He also loves being a part of growing companies, events, communities and is a bit of a startup junkie.

Cindi Saiewitz

Sponsor, Speaker, & Attendee Coordinator

Cindi is providing the answers to all your questions about attending RECON.

In her professional life, she’s an experienced communicator known for developing teams, solving problems, and getting things done. She has over 30 years of experience in IT management, development, support and global project leadership with Fortune 100 companies and is Project Management Professional (PMP) certified.

As an avid escape room enthusiast with more than 200 escape rooms completed, Cindi chose to get more involved in the community and push the industry forward.

Theresa Wagner

Games & Graphics Goblin

Theresa is a chaotic neutral goblin from Washington, DC, who has trusted strangers to lock her in rooms 283 times. When not trying the same code 8 times in a directional lock (of course the combo is right!), she can be found playing Warhammer, video games, board games, Magic the Gathering, or looking up videos of Mariachi bands playing for beluga whales. She used to compete in Super Smash Brothers Melee and Rainbow 6 Siege, but now focuses her video game energy on speedrunning, including Portal 2 and Sly Cooper. Oh, and she also has a bird named Wally.

Lee-Fay Low

Programing Lead

Lee-Fay is coordinating the RECON Remote talks and discussions. She spends a lot of time thinking about how people experience things, and how to improve that experience. Her day job is as a psychologist and researcher.

You can find her simultaneously on the Escape Room Discord, walking the coast of Sydney, baking, knitting and wishing she was playing more games.

Richard Burns

Escape Room Philosopher

Richard is a player enthusiast from Wisconsin. Being conveniently located in the Midwest makes it easier for him to plan escape room trips that crisscross the country in irresponsibly tight time windows.

He is a writer for Room Escape Artist, a RECON volunteer, and a bit of an escape room philosopher. For him, reading, writing, talking, and thinking about escape rooms and what they can be is just as interesting as playing them. Always on the lookout for innovation and advances in the industry, Richard appreciates the business of escape rooms as much as the games themselves. He sees a bright future for the industry as it evolves into a more mature storytelling medium.

Heather Burns

Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

Heather is an organizer, planner, mom, First Responder, small town treasurer, RECON volunteer, as well as an experienced escape room player. She is often heard saying “I just want to play fun rooms” when her husband gets too far in the weeds discussing escape rooms with his nerd “friends.” She brings her special ability to worry too much about every little thing to the RECON team.

“Eat well and travel often” is her motto. Taking trips to Las Vegas and attending rock concerts are some of her favorite activities.

Ryan Brady

Volunteer Coordinator

Ryan brings over a decade of convention staffing experience to bear on ensuring that the RECON volunteers have the support they need to make RECON run smoothly.

Together with his wife, Ryan forms an enthusiast pair who enjoys working escape rooms into their travels around the country and world.

When not working a convention or being immersed in adventure, he has been found doing less interesting things such as operating a nuclear reactor or being a laser scientist.

Our Amazing Thoughtful Hard-Working Well-Spoken Dedicated Energized Eloquent Caring Volunteers

Amanda Dupuy

Andrew Reynolds

Andria Bancheri-Lewis

Bill Chang

Brett Kuehner

C.J. Smith

Cara Mandel

Dan Egnor

Darren Miller

Denise Kuehner

Evan Broder

James Cobalt

Jenn S

Jeremy Cain

Kataze Skunk

Lindsay Froelich

Manda Whitney

Matthew Stein

Michael Andersen

Myra Ramdenbourg

Neda Delavapour

Nora Nicklis

Paige Kasper

Peter Droeste

Phillip Ho

Ryan Brady

Scott Olson

Shannon McDowell

Shuai Chen

Sim Lauren

Steve Ewing

Theresa Piazza