With the recent global pandemic, many businesses have faced enormous challenges to keep trading, and at Murder to Measure, things have been no different. With the imposition of Lockdown in March 2020, we lost or had to cancel dozens of bookings and were forced to find new ways of putting our talents to good use, continuing to entertain the blood-thirsty sleuths out there with new mysteries. The obvious answer was to provide our stories online, although this presents a fresh set of challenges, as many of or existing stories feature a death or deaths midway through the evening, which is difficult to incorporate when the suspects are separated. Our stories are also greatly enhanced through interaction with the audience, giving much more spontaneity and wit, and we were reluctant to lose this aspect, which is part of our unique offering.
A solution, of sorts, presented itself through the use of emerging technology. People are getting used to attending and hosting virtual meetings through platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams, although Zoom seems to be the platform of choice for the more casual user. We worked hard to produce new stories that would work in an online environment and then had the added challenge of publicizing and selling tickets securely online.
Our new story, Zoomraker,a James Bond inspired story went live on June 6th, and we enjoyed it immensely, learning a great deal about what was possible along the way, leading to our second story, Ariana Bones and the Temple of Zoom the following week.
This still presented many technical challenges, although we were grateful that many of those present the previous week joined in again.
We shall be continuing to produce new stories and to line up new dates for events – possibly even beyond lockdown, as the format is such that although it takes a lot more time to produce and rehearse the stories it greatly reduces the time we spend on the road. We have had to rely on a huge number of technology companies to make this work, and I would heartily recommend Zoom, Stripe and Zapier as vital tools which are available relatively cheaply, or for free and don’t require a huge amount of technical knowledge to get working for you.
It certainly hasn’t been easy, but I hope that those of you whose businesses have been curtailed by travel restrictions will look carefully at what you could offer remotely and will examine the technologies out there to get your business back up and running during lockdown and beyond.
Do watch this space, as new stories will be coming online soon. If you haven’t joined us yet, we’d love to see you…