You just grabbed your second clue and it might be crazier than the first
"Hike through Torrey Pines until you reach the bench at the cliffs. Sit down and wait for further instruction." Today is getting more exciting every minute! You make your way to the cliffs, sit down, and wait. "Are you the Scottsman?" a stranger asks as she walks up and produces another wax sealed envelope. "I was instructed to give you this." Just as she hands off the envelope, she turns and walks away.
The handoff method is very simple
You have someone planted in a location to personally hand off a clue to your adventurer.
This helps mitigate risk. Aside from making a memorable adventure, that is your biggest goal.
So that's it?
Absolutely not. Handoffs are simple and safe, but vary quite a bit. I'll be spending the rest of this blog illustrating the variety.
Incorporating businesses into an adventure is a fantastic way to create a magical experience. I've been doing this for a quite a while now and very rarely do I find a business that isn't excited at the possibility of being a stop. Here types of businesses I've used:
- Laser tag
- Go karts
- Massage parlors
- Party busses
Make sure you call well enough in advance (usually a week or two is fine but be aware of time, seasonality, and the type of establishment). I recommend opening by saying "Hi there! I'm hoping to do a special kind of event. Could I speak to a manager to see if your restaurant might be a good fit?"
Once you get the manager on the line, just tell them what you're hoping to accomplish. Have plenty of information handy. It's good to have the party size, approximate time, and to pay in advance. I always request their most theatrical staff member. I let the manager know to put 20% gratuity on the card once it's been run. After that, it's just important to check in with them a day or two before to make sure they're all set. Let the server know what they need to say and when they need to hand over the clue. If it is something that needs to be decoded, it's best to have it waiting at the table when your target sits down. Then they can spend the meal figuring it out. Otherwise, it's a great experience to have the server hand out a clue instead of the bill and say "everything has been taken care of, I was instructed to give you this."
Using friends to handoff clues is rewarding but not without it's risks. I strongly urge you to choose reliable people because nothing torpedos an adventure like a missing handoff because someone is late. ( Shameless plug: This is one of the reasons people hire us) You'll want to make sure your adventure is mapped out so you can give your inside players the time they need to be there and then the approximate time the target should show.
One more thing to think about:
If your inside man/woman is someone the target doesn't know, really think about how the target would react to being approached by a stranger. This brings me to my second rule:
2. Know your target
While you're building your adventure, really think about who it's for. The first question I ask on a consultation is "would this person actually like an adventure?" Adventures are fun but they usually take people a bit out of their comfort zone. Always keep them in mind, and if a stranger is going to approach your target, maybe they'd like some heads up!
It's time for your homework!
I'd love to have you build an adventure using method 1 & 2! You'll need the same materials as last time, we're just going to swap between dead drops and handoffs
1. Start with a dead drop. Perhaps they're just getting home from work, or they get a text from you.
2. Send them to a restaurant. Cover the meal ahead of time and have the server give them a clue instead of the bill!
3. Another dead drop. Place it somewhere public, like a park, library, or museum but ensure it's in a place only they can find.
4. Handoff. Have them trek to a great landmark or even another bar and await further instructions.
5. Final dead drop. Perhaps make it close to home!
6. Finale. I love surprise parties. Why not have it end with that?
Did you make a small adventure for a significant other or family member? Tell us about it! Send us an email or post on our Facebook! if you need inspiration, you can check out our Instagram. Finally, if you need help, call or email us! Always happy to have a convo and give some advice. Adventures are for everyone!
Previously: Method no. 1: The dead drop Up week: Method no. 3 - The Decode