How to Create the Perfect Laser Tag Briefing
The brief is the first step to every laser tag experience. All of the players gather in the briefing room where they learn how to play, what the rules are, and all the safety information. Too often, operators treat the laser tag brief as an afterthought; a necessary legal precaution before the players can have fun. But this is the wrong approach. The brief is a crucial step in the laser tag experience and should be treated as such. The brief is a guest’s first impression of your laser tag attraction, and it sets the tone and expectation for everything to come. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to create the perfect laser tag briefing experience.
Your staff members have announced the game and gathered all of the players into the room. Too often, operators will let their game marshals move directly to the video, which is the next step below. But before that happens, the game marshals should give a quick welcome and introduction. They should tell everyone their names and what their roles are. This helps your guests see the marshals as go-to authorities for safety and questions during the game. The video portion below is all about how to play and what rules to follow, so the welcome gives the game marshals the opportunity to tell the story of your laser tag attraction.
Every laser tag attraction is story-driven. Whether your theme is outer space, an urban battleground, a jungle adventure, or anything in between, there’s a story. This story is what bridges the gap and explains why guests are going from a family fun center environment into an urban battleground. Without the story, this transition feels odd. Our client Lazer Legacy in California is a great example of story-telling. Their website even has an entire page dedicated to the lore and back story of their laser tag experience.
Once the stage is set and the story is told, it’s time to play the briefing video provided by your laser tag equipment company.
Video briefs are excellent additions to a briefing experience. We use the term “addition” because a video should never replace your game marshals. Guests are paying good money to get an experience they can’t get at home, and you shouldn’t cheapen that experience by removing the personal touch (more on that below). The video brief is great for explaining the basic safety rules and how to operate the laser tag equipment.
The safety part is especially important. With the video, you know the key safety elements are always explained. Every guest will always hear the safety rules, no matter what. This protects you if a guest ever gets injured while breaking the rules (eg running down the ramps). If that guest ever tries to file a lawsuit, you can use the video as part of your defense; and your liability insurance provider will be happy this is documented. Your game marshals will still reiterate the rules and monitor the arena during the game – which we’ll explain below – but the video helps avoid situations where a guest tries to claim, “they never said I couldn’t run.”
Both during the welcome section and here after the video brief, it’s important to give your game marshals the latitude to personalize the experience to make it more fun. You don’t want game marshals who are lazily going through the motions and repeating the exact same thing over and over again in every brief. This is boring for guests, especially those who have been to your center and seen the brief before.
Your game marshals should have specific points they always have to cover, such as reiteration of the basic rules from the video, as well as more specific rules for your particular attraction. But let them have fun and come up with new ways to personalize the brief for the audience. Maybe they want to call out specific birthday guests to help demonstrate how to put on the equipment. Or perhaps they have a fun rap they wrote about the laser tag (seriously, we’ve seen this). Ok, a rap might be a bit much, but you get the point.
Or maybe you have a corporate group who’s been enjoying adult beverages. In these kinds of situations, it’s important to let your game marshals “read” the audience and cater the brief accordingly. After all, the way you communicate with a group of pre-teens in birthday parties is very different from how you communicate with adults. Your briefing experience should reflect these differences.
We could probably write dozens of blog articles about the good, the bad, and the ugly we’ve seen during laser tag briefs in our 20 years. But for brevity sake, we’ll leave you with these final thoughts. The laser tag briefing is important. Don’t overlook it or rush through it just to get guests into the arena. Let your video cover the safety rules, and then reiterate these rules with signage and additional explanations from your staff. And lastly, put yourself in your guest’s shoes. Would you want to hear the same boring thing over and over again every time you play? Probably not. So let your staff have a little fun.