Why Arcades and Game Spots Are All the Rage for Events

Written by Caroline Cox

Why Arcades and Game Spots Are All the Rage for Events - joey the cat

From go-kart tracks to bowling alleys and modern video-game emporiums, it’s clear that arcades and game spots are on the rise when it comes to events. With the built-in fun factor, it’s easy to see why. These spots are a great event destination for celebrations, team-building, and almost everything in between.

For more of the 411, we chatted with our clients Joey the Cat Skeeball Rentals and Events in San Francisco. Founded by a former three-time National Skeeball Champion, they produce amazing events for clients, rent out their arcade games and house a plethora of other games and photo booths as well. Below, Joey the Cat’s managing partner Alex Lane explains why these venues are on the rise, what makes them stand out, and how Gather helps them succeed.


People want a unique, outside-the-box experience

To attract crowds these days, organizers often have to get creative when it comes to event venues and themes. For employees, in particular, game outings are a great way to excite, reinvigorate and reward them. And if you think only millennials are into gaming venues, think again. “Our primary business is corporate off-sites, team-building events, and holiday parties,” says Lane. “Along with that, we do smaller numbers of birthday parties, non-profit fundraisers, and local community events.”


People want to inspire their teams

“The era of boring happy hours is over!” exclaims Lane. “People want an interactive activity nowadays that gives them options to play and connect with their colleagues and friends. Classic arcade games appeal to everybody and provide options for people who do not drink as well.” Plus, games encourage camaraderie, teamwork and let people show their true colors outside of their usual office mode. The nostalgia of being able to play some of your favorite childhood games doesn’t hurt, either — guests are sure to walk away with a memorable experience they’ll be telling others about. 


People want to get in the game

Lane says having a fully private, intimate space where people can really focus on a challenge and let loose has done wonders for their business. “We are intentionally not open to the public, so when a group does an event here, it is much more of a unique experience than going to a bar or public venue,” he says. “We always hear guests ask the event planners, ‘How did you find this place?!’ To add to that, we keep the outside discrete to add to the speakeasy arcade vibe.” The closed-off nature of their venue allows people to feel comfortable, focus on the task at hand, and immerse themselves in being fully present in the moment, unlike at normal mixers where people often turn to their phones during lulls in conversation.


People want venues that go the extra mile

Lane says their most unique offering is a custom Skeeball tournament. “We produce branded trophies for our clients, using their logos and design to make them stand out,” he adds. “Our energetic emcees get the crowd hyped up and guide them through the whole tournament, including a projected bracket with their teams shown.” For dinner and cocktails, he says they collaborate with local vendors serving up offerings and menu options “that always wow our guests.” Even simple offerings like encouraging guests to use an on-site photo booth or offering each attendee a bag of coins for endless gaming shows attention to detail and to the guest’s overall experience. 


Lane says Gather has helped him and his team streamline their event sales and management. “We used to do manual contracts and BEOs,” he explains. “It was an inefficient process and we’d have to re-do them for any minor change. Now we have an easy event portal where we can communicate with our clients.” Lastly, he says, “Play more Skeeball!”


Now that you’re up to date on the games-and-arcades venue trend, why not request a live tour of Gather to see if our cloud-based event management software is right for you?

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Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Specialist. She also co-runs an arts blog, spent years as an editor for multiple print magazines, and has written about topics including arts, culture, food, spirits, entrepreneurship, entertainment, wellness and more. Her most recent article was Problems Multi-Location Venues Face — And How to Solve Them.