Avoid A Four-Legged Fiasco & Other Movie Event Flubs

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Jul 24, 2013 Under Event Productions, Tips

Pets at outdoor movie events Don’t let Fido and friends cause an outdoor movie fiasco.

Forgetting the details can cause a big problem for movie events, particularly when they are held outdoors.

Learn from the cautionary tale of the Fulton River Park movie series in Chicago. Dog feces has become such a problem at the park, not only were movie attendees offended, so were the event sponsors. In fact, one of them pulled their advertising and the movie series had to be cut back.

Leash law enforcement at this park has been lax, and it is turning people away from the park. This in turn means lack of funding for the movie series’ event planners. It’s the worst possible scenario for a problem that may have been avoided.

Heed the following do’s and don’ts about the details in your movie event planning.

Before Booking the Venue

Do some research! Check for reviews, news stories (like the unfortunate one in Chicago), anything you can find. If the particular venue or its owners have been investigated before or have been the defendants in a lawsuit, these are red flags.

Don’t forget about safety. What is the crime rate like near these venues? Most newspapers and local law enforcement agencies provide a report of crimes happening in the area. Consider alternative venues if anything seems suspicious.

Do ask around. Contact the planners of other events at the venue and ask about their experiences. Some venues may offer references before booking.

After Booking the Venue

Don’t skim over the fine print. Reading the contract terms, rules and regulations (such as leash laws!) several times is another important factor before the movie event begins. Do not miss a single detail and ask as many questions as possible.  Write down any questions or concerns and make notes as they are addressed.

Do remember to keep everyone abreast of the details. If vendors or advertisers involved, go over your findings with them or have representatives do a walkthrough (more on that later). If Southern Outdoor Cinema has used the venue before, we would be happy to give you tips on what to expect.

Do a site visit and a run-through of the event. Depending on the movie event, more than one walkthrough may be required. Check to see if the area is well lit, and there is nothing obstructing the view. The Fulton River Park movie series folks had to move trees so folks could see the movie. This is something that can be avoided if planned in advance.

Before the Event

Don’t forget to check the weather. It’s not just about checking for rain! Make sure the temperature and humidity will be comfortable for guests. If it’s going to be a scorcher, make plans to provide refreshments such as bottled water or a sno-cone machine.

Do provide back-up plans well in advance of the event. Utilize social media and on-site volunteers to make sure everything goes smoothly.

After the Event

Do leave the area better than you found it. That’s a mantra for any situation involving the clean-up process. This will please your guests, those in charge of the venue and your sponsors.

Do not forget to include everyone in future planning. The Fulton River Park folks may have benefited from polling their guests and sponsors every year after the event. If dog feces was a recurring problem, changes could have been made, and they would still have their movie series intact.

What are some other details to remember when planning an outdoor movie event? Let us know in the comments.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema
“Bigger Screens. Brighter Images. Crisper Sound.”

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Beef Up Your Next Corporate Picnic With an Outdoor Movie

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Jun 12, 2013 Under Event Productions, Tips

outdoor movie event concessions Listen up, bosses and HR folks.

We know you’d like to get rid of – er, donate – your branded drink holders, pens and notepads to your employees as gifts. But the desires of your employees are not much different than when they were students.

The delightful word folks at work want to hear is “incentive.” Well, and the word “fun.” (Of course!) Incorporating an outdoor movie with an incentive-based and fun corporate event is the key to employee satisfaction and participation.

Besides, you get to have some fun, too.

The awesome part about having an outdoor movie event is you can craft it to be as small or as ginormous as you want. Do you want it to be just your employees and families? Fine. Want the whole community in on it? Do it!

When we asked the social media universe what they think of when they hear the words “corporate picnic,” we got some great responses, including our favorite:

“Hot dog in a suit, holding lemonade away from self to avoid spillage, avoiding sitting down to avoid getting suit dirty.”

We love the idea of making the event a pool party. Here are some other event planning ideas for creating the perfect corporate event using an outdoor movie rental.

1) Fundraising: Does your company support a charity? Fabulous! You can use the proceeds from concessions to go towards your charity of choice.

Have attendees collect donations in advance of the event or during the activities. If you have been considering a charity and haven’t found the right one, check out Charity Watch or Charity Navigator for reputable organizations.

2) Volunteering: Consider calling for volunteers to help run the outdoor movie event. Think about giving the employees who participate a couple of hours off  for helping out.

You can also turn the event into a canned food drive, coat drive or any kind of physical donation event. You’ll be encouraging your employees to give back, helping your community and enjoying yourself all at once.

3) Rewards: You can make this outdoor movie event a reward for outside volunteerism, a great sales quarter or anything you choose! Remember, “incentive” is the key to engaging your employees. And what better incentive than treating your employees to a free movie on a theater-quality screen?

4) Competitions: Remember those field days back in school? Before the movie, have a sack race, bean bag toss or other games available for your employees and their families.

There are a lot of different possibilities when it comes to hosting an outdoor movie event for your company. Our turnkey system will take the stress out of event planning. Your only problem will be deciding which great activities to choose from.

And maybe you can give away the branded swag before watching the flick.

We’ve given you a few activities to get started in creating a memorable corporate picnic that includes an outdoor movie rental. What activities would you add?

What marketing tips would you give those planning this type of event? Let us know in the comments or our Facebook page!

All Rights Reserved
Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC
“Bigger Screens. Brighter Images. Crisper Sound”

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About Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema takes the stress and guess work out of hosting a movie theater-quality event outdoors and under the stars. Southern Outdoor Cinema doesn’t just rent movie screen equipment, but instead we share nearly a decade of movie event production experience with our clients to help them produce outdoor movie nights that are extraordinary. For a free consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com

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Tips on Hosting a Smooth Downtown Movie Event

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Apr 17, 2013 Under Tips

outdoor movie downtown movie

“Outside of downtown, yes. But not outside and downtown!”

This was one funny response when we posed this question via social media: “Have you attended movies downtown?”

Chambers of Commerce and downtown development districts typically host outdoor movies during the summer months, so it’s time to start prepping!

Though we did find a few folks who have never attended a movie downtown, we also found a lot of folks who have.

Are you thinking about hosting a movie at a downtown location?

Here are tips from attendees to make sure you have a successful event and how we can help.

“I’m not really an outdoorsy kind of gal so as a reader, I’d like to read something that would convince me to give it a try.”

That’s right. Print media can assist in getting your event known. Contact local newspapers (along with radio and TV stations) to get the word out about your event. SOC is always a phone call away to assist with your event marketing.

“Be weather prepared and bug proof. Can you bring a picnic?”

Make sure you suggest bringing comfy chairs, blankets and bug spray for the summer. Have food and water available or allow moviegoers to bring some sustenance for the warm summer movie showing.

“I’d say set up early and do a dry run of playing the movie to be sure everything is okay before the set movie time.”

No problem! We always set up during the day where there’s still ambient light. This allows for any technical difficulties to be hashed out, and folks can get comfy without worrying about the dark.

Another awesome benefit: if you get sponsors, their ads can be shown on the screens before the movie starts.

Here are some of our tips and benefits to putting together a downtown movie event.

1) If you’re a shop owner, you can work together with other businesses to pool together for funds. Then you can advertise on our screens before the event!

2) Smaller screens are utilized well here. This allows more space for seating and makes the event ever so cozy.

3) If space is an issue, consider setting up in a store parking lot. Careful! Asphalt can get hot during the summer months. Also be sure to hash out proper permission to use parking lots.

4) So your downtown area tends to clear out after 5 p.m.? This is the best way to keep folks in town after work. Get the word out early and organize outdoor store sales or other special activities before and after the movie to keep the people flowing.

For other ideas and tips for hosting downtown-area outdoor movies, check out our other blog posts related to these events.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema
www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com

 

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Venue Lighting For Your Outdoor Movie

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Jul 4, 2012 Under Tips


Today I want to talk to you about lighting your outdoor movie area.

Number One: if you’re using a rear projection screen, that is the projector is behind the screen, set them in front. Then you’ll want to make sure you do not have any light sources directly behind the screen as they will come through the screen as well as the projection.

Number Two: never place a screen directly under a street light or flood lights. Any light that hits a screen will reflect back including streetlights and bulb lights as well as the projection itself.

Number Three: attention to where there is ambient light where the screen and the audience will be. Ambient light is just a bright area that’s caused by street lights or floodlights lights. Oftentimes your audience doesn’t need to be sitting in pitch black dark. That’s fine if there’s some ambient street light around or something like that. But you don’t want it directly on them, they don’t want to be sitting in a very bright area. As well as you don’t want the screen in a very bright area as it’ll wash out the screen.

Number Four: make sure you do have lights for your bathrooms. If you’re in an area that needs port-a-potties, make sure you have lights inside the port-a-potties, it can be as simple as a glow stick, or push light, or something else, but people have to see what they’re doing when it’s dark outside in a port-a-potty.

Number Five: make sure that you have lights in a concession area. Now, people can’t see that you have a concession area or that they’re at the concession area and they can’t see the products, they’re less likely to actually buy something. So make sure you have a well lit area, something that’s Always possibly an issue is that lights attract bugs so make sure that you consider that as well. Broke lights work well, sometimes you can get the yellow lights instead of the white lights that will attract bugs less. And sometimes it’s not an issue at all, but it’s at least something you should be considering.

Number six: if you have it available, make sure that you are turning lights on at the conclusion of the movie so that as people are getting up and they’re getting ready to leave that they can find their wallets, and their cellphones, and their children. And definitely, if you don’t have field lights in the area, make sure you rent or buy some floodlights that you can turn on so that people can see what they’re doing.

Number Seven: Make sure you have lights near the parking area. Normally, it’s easy if you have a parking lot where there are overhead parking lights, but if you are in a field or somewhere where there’s not lights for somebody whose parked, make sure have some general lights up in the area so that people can make their way to their car in safety.

All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2002-2012
Southern Outdoor Cinema

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Want to use this article on your website or your own blog? No problem! But here’s what you MUST include:
Southern Outdoor Cinema is the largest producer of PREMIUM outdoor movie events in the country. They are leading the industry with NEW & UNIQUE outdoor movie events. To begin planning your outdoor movie event contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com or visit their online photo gallery at www.facebook.com/SouthernOutdoorCinema for event ideas.

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Preparing Your Movie Viewing Area For An Outdoor Movie Event – Part 2

Posted by Paul Murray on Monday May 28, 2012 Under Tips

Today I want to continue to talk to you about preparing your viewing area for your movie event. One of the things you should think about, is putting out trash cans. Also consider when putting out the trash cans, where people will be sitting, putting them out evenly dispersed, and not too close to where the screen will be.

Don’t Leave your Crowd in the Dark
Consider having some lights on hand if you don’t field lights for your location, or parking lot lights that you can turn on after the event. Make sure you have portable floodlights that you can bring to your event so that people can see when they are leaving. Also make sure that you have bathrooms available, whether they are a port-a-potty or they’re inside a building, have them clearly marked.

Check for Power
Make sure that you have enough power. Especially if you’re running concessions, make sure you have enough power for all of for all of your concessions, because things like popcorn machines can pull a lot of power. Make sure that you have all your power lines visibly marked so they are not tripping hazards.

Additional things to Look for
Make sure when prepping your location that any additional things on the field area, such as goose droppings, dog droppings, or anything else that somebody would not to step in or sit on, are cleaned up. Also, make sure, in addition to marking your cords, to mark any unsafe area such as a sudden dip in the land or a ditch or something somebody could easily walk into when it’s very dark outside.

All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2002-2012
Southern Outdoor Cinema

###

Want to use this article on your website or your own blog? No problem! But here’s what you MUST include:
Southern Outdoor Cinema is the largest producer of PREMIUM outdoor movie events in the country. They are leading the industry with NEW & UNIQUE outdoor movie events. To begin planning your outdoor movie event contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com or visit their online photo gallery at www.facebook.com/SouthernOutdoorCinema for event ideas.

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