Game Night

Game Night is a business my friend and I started in Boston in 2013. We host adult game nights for adults at different local bars in the Boston & Cambridge areas.

Goals

Let’s Roam is a scavenger hunt company that uses a mobile app to help users explore and learn about their surroundings.

Challenges

Let’s Roam is a scavenger hunt company that uses a mobile app to help users explore and learn about their surroundings.

Involvement

Co-founder
Community Manager
Event Organizer

The Results

Featured in the Boston Metro

Boston Game Night has been featured twice on the cover of the Boston Metro Newspaper.

Expanded to 4 Locations

Boston Game Night has continued to grow in popularity since we started the business in 2013.

Rated Top Boston Event

We’ve been rated as one of the top things to do while visiting Boston.

Game Night's History

Decision #1

Overcoming Limitations With Simple Solutions

In 2013 I visited Portland ME, and found myself at a video game bar called Arcadia. The experience was amazing, people were drinking and playing games together, connecting with one another, and the house was packed all night long.

I knew from that moment Boston needed something like this. However; opening a bar in Boston is nearly impossible due to the limit on liquor licenses, and scarce (bar approved) retail space.

I decided this problem was one that needed solving and if I couldn’t bring a game bar to Boston, maybe I could bring the games to the bar instead.

With the help of my friend Damian (a bar manager, and popular local DJ), we made the dream into a reality and created Boston's first weekly game night event.

Decision #2

Understanding Our Audience

If Game Night was to be a success we needed to understand what the people in our area were interested in. Why would they leave the comfort of their home and come out to play the same games with us? And how could we create enough interest with only $500 to spend on equipment?

It came down to research. We needed to understand what other events were popular in the area, who attended them, what their age range was.

We interviewed local card shops and their attendees, attended gamer meetups, browsed Boston subreddits, and researched popular video games.

Within a few weeks we had a pretty good idea of our target demographic and developed 3 customer personas around them.

1st persona: Bill (m), age 18 - 25
Bill enjoys competitive video games (2 - 4players), has expendable income, goes to college, travels primarily via public transportation. Most loyal customers, not old enough to drink, limited income.

2nd persona: Geoff (m), age 21-35
Geoff enjoys casual games, loves to sit down and play as a group, is put off by competitive gaming, has a full-time job, and enjoys drinking and is free most weekday nights. Most likely to spend the most while at the bar, is very likely to invite their friends.

3rd persona: Nikki (f), age 21-35
Nikki goes out primarily with her specific group of friends, is a social butterfly, likes gaming but enjoys more simple games like the ones she grew up with. Works or goes goes to college in the area. Not as likely to discover or attend the night on their own but happy to invite others once they’ve gotten comfortable.

After understanding who our most likely customers were, we decided to spend our initial investment on games and consoles that spanned across each of our personas. We also knew that wherever we held our events we needed to be near public transportation.

Decision #3

Location, Location, Location

Given our customer personas we wanted to start with a bar that was well known and easy to get to. The first location we pitched our night to was Good Life Bar in downtown Boston.

Good Life Bar is a very popular bar in the area, close to 3 major train stations, limited street parking (which is a rare find in Boston), and about 1800 sq feet spread across 2 floors.

The owner happened to be a long time friend of Damian’s and after we presented our business plan they signed us for a 3 month trial period as that tends to be the average lifespan for “themed” weekly events.

We were a hit almost instantly, bringing in an average of 70-100 attendees each week, completely eclipsing any other weekly event the bar was currently running.

Conclusion

Since launching Boston Game Night we’ve seen a lot of success as well as our fare share of failures.

New competitors have entered the market and Boston has finally opened their first ever video game Bar which has affected some of our traffic.

Even though the night is 6 years old, we continue to enjoy a cult following and it shows no signs of stopping. We’ve brought on 2 new partners to help us grow the business, we’ve also expanded our reach to 3 additional locations, including our first ever restaurant.

Next year will be our 7th year in business. Our plan is to add another location in the Allston/Boston area before the end of 2020.

If it wasn’t for our due diligence when it came to researching the market, spending our money where it had the largest impact, and finding an excellent location, we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the success we have had.