Are you looking to love on your past clients and have fun with your team at the same time? Well how about throwing an exclusive movie screening event? If you’re not sure where to start, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think. Follow the steps below and you’ll be hosting your next great event in no time.
1. Find a nearby movie theater that’s family friendly and known to your audience. You should probably steer clear of the local art house theater that shows only French films.
2. Ask about group rates that include a ticket, popcorn, and soda (which you will spring for, of course). Don’t forget to ask about multiple theater rooms, too, as you may need to rent more than one depending on the size of your database.
3. Create a budget. What are you going to include beyond the ticket and a few treats? Will you be handing out candy, including branded swag, need to get a photo backdrop, etc? Make sure you account for all of this and spend wisely.
4. Consider a sponsor. Worried about how much this will cost? Don’t. Your partners should be more than happy to help pay for your event if you offer them co-branding opportunities. Just ask!
5. Select a date. After work on a weeknight or early on the weekend usually works best for busy families.
6. Pick a movie (duh)! We recommend something family-friendly like a new Pixar or Dreamworks movie, but anything PG should work.
7. Create a schedule for the day that makes sense. Make sure you leave enough time to check in (it shouldn’t take longer than 30 mins) and then leave a gap between check in and the movie start time (again, a half-an-hour should be good). If the event starts at 9:30 AM, schedule your check in 9:30-10 with the movie starting at 10:30 (but don’t tell people when the movie starts to avoid late check in).
8. Create an invitation with Eventbrite and make sure you include the date, time, location, parking details and sponsorship information.
9. Invite your clients! We recommend sending the Eventbrite link through email, text and posting in your VIP Facebook group (if you have one). Bonus Tip: You can make multiple links for the same event in Eventbrite, so if you want to track which communication method gets the most traction, you should use that feature!
10. Report your guest count to the theater. Remember that there will almost always be 10-15% less in attendance than signed up, and expect a few walk-ins, too.
11. Determine and prepare your check-in process. Since the theater is open to the public, make sure you set up a check-in table, create signage to let guests know where the check-in line is, and open up Eventbrite on a laptop or tablet to check your guests in. Show up early with enough time to prep everything so you aren’t running around last minute, and don’t forget to ask your team for help!
12. Open the doors and let the fun begin! Greet all your guests as they arrive and make sure they know what to do, where to go and any other info that’s important. Make sure you document the event for your social media, blog, newsletter, etc. and share it with your audience during and after the event to let them know the benefits of being a client – like free movies with the fam!
One last thing: Think about the goal for this type of event. Is it to reconnect with past clients? To just simply do something cool for your sphere? Or are you trying to get more referrals? Most movie theaters will let you create custom slides to play on the screen before the movie starts. Think about the messaging you want to convey while they are waiting. You can ask for referrals, reviews, show them available listings in the area, play a commercial, or even a special video message from you thanking them for attending. And don’t forget to use QR codes to make it easy to collect some data, if that’s what you are trying to do.
Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!