Tips for Online Movie Event Registrations

There is a great sense of pride and excitement each and every time a screening host brings Pioneers in Skirts to their community! We obviously want it to go well — so we created a digital Pioneers in Skirts Screening Kit for hosts to better plan for what to do before, during, and after their event.

Our screening kit is designed to ensure high impact, a post-screening dialog that is productive, as well as instigate follow-on actions that keep the conversations and activism moving forward. In our kit we provide examples for how to market the movie, but — for many — we have to provide more assistance.

The Challenge: Interacting With Online Communities

It’s about a year and a half since we all shifted to online everything. Book clubs, team meetings, networking…movie watch parties!

We started to screen Pioneers in Skirts online in March 2020, and since 

then, Ashley and I have learned a lot about what online screening hosts need and what viewers want.

Today, after months and months of online events, screening hosts need to do a better job at packing their online movie theater. People are experiencing “online burnout” and — if they are to carve out time to plug-in online — viewers want a fun and interactive time of it! They not only want a distraction from the mundane, they want to feel like what they are doing is purposeful and impactful.

So, in the spirit of helping movie event organizers trying to figure out how to grow their Watch Party attendance, we’ve jotted down what we’ve learned along the way.

We would appreciate hearing what YOU have learned too! So please comment below. Then, Share/RT and Sprinkle this article around!

We’ve come to learn that people are much more excited to attend an online movie screening event when we create an experience for them.

Here are a few tips for creating a fun and impactful experience:

  1. When you first begin planning your screening event, it’s important to clarify your goals so that you know where to direct your planning efforts. For example – do you want to build awareness for the work your organization is doing? Or, would you like to begin a dialogue about social issues in your community?

  2. When you know what you’re aiming at, it’s much easier to answer key planning questions like…
    • Who do I want to attend my event and what actions will I need to take to convince them to attend? Create a fictional persona of your perfect attendee. The key is to know as much about them as possible so that the only people on your target audience list are the ones who are most likely to register for, and show up to, your online event. And, since you know them so well, you’ll have a better idea of what to say in your promotions, where to promote, and how to influence them to book a ticket.

    • Who should I ask to be a prominent part of my event?
      • A Co-host(s) can help bring in a larger attendance and provide much-needed skills that your organization may be lacking in.
      • A Sponsor(s) are excellent partners who can help fund and strengthen your marketing and outreach capabilities.  In our case, we encourage screening hosts to partner with:
        a) Organizations that are advocating to improve the lives of women and girls, or
        b) Like-minded businesses who are willing to take a stance against biased behaviors and decisions, or
        c) Associations and clubs looking for innovative ways to offer DEI value to their membership.
      • Panelists or a guest speaker can help make the post-screening dialogue fruitful and informative.
        a) Plan to discuss topics that arose in the film, answer questions from the audience.
        b) Ask members of your organization, local professors, or the filmmakers to be a panelist or speaker. Secure a dynamic individual as Moderator.
        c) She can help make the discussion a true conversation. Ideally she’d have some sort of public presence that can also help increase registrations and inspire people to show up on the day of the event.

A Run of Show is a sequence of detailed actions that identify what each person involved in the event should be doing during the timeline of the event.

    • What needs to happen to get my audience to register for my event?
      • Registration Page
        a) Create an online registration area that’s very easy to use and understand. The page must contain
        A title that is short and attention-grabbing…like: How can a robotics team experience lead to a successful career?
        A description of the event. This is what is read first and needs to engage people quickly. What will happen at the event, who will be speaking, and what will the person get out of attending? Provide useful information that doesn’t over-generalize.

      • Social Media/Blog
        a) We encourage the use of LinkedIn and Facebook to create event pages that push the user to the Event Registration page. That allows followers and supporters to share, tag and comment about the event in these two channels. It also allows them to invite all of their connections!
        b) Use social channels to create a thread for general conversation around the event that can help build awareness and excitement for the event.
        c) Create an event hashtag that is consistently used in all forms of communication.
        d) Twitter is a great place to ask for feedback and encourage a community to come together and feel connected.

    • How can I make my event fun AND informative?
      • Games and contests are a lot of fun! Attendees like winning content that allows them to show their support for the cause and for the film.  Here are some ideas:
        a) “Pandemic Fatigue” has everyone missing interacting–and laughing– with fellow humans. About a week before the movie screening event starts, hold a virtual happy hour with free-flowing conversations and fun games. This can certainly help drive up attendance for your event, and it’ll give you a great opportunity to connect with your audience on a more personal level. TIP: Use the QuizBreaker platform to create and distribute quizzes that highlight fun facts about your happy hour guests. Each will learn a few things no simple conversation would have revealed!
        b) Promote that people will receive a free item after they register. (We have created a set of relevant Giveaways.) Then, if you are able to send this free item to registrants prior to your event, hold a social media contest that asks people to post a picture of their item, tag you, and tag 3 friends who might want to attend your event. Each person who posts a picture in social media will have the chance to win an even bigger prize!
    • What needs to happen for attendees to Take Action on their own?

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