Small things to do to make EXTRA MONEY while hosting private events at your Theatre!

Special events in theaters are missing out on some key revenue opportunities. Time to put your event planners to work! This week we are focusing on maximizing your event side of your business. Any of these ideas below can be adapted to any movie with a little legwork and research.

When you are presented with the opportunity to do a life celebration (birthday party, mitzvah, rehearsal dinner, girls night out, book club night out, valentines day etc), it is the desire for the customer to want their life easier (otherwise they host this event at their home).  Everyone loves to receive VIP treatment. When they are presented with unique ideas, packages and service offerings, they are all in. They often do not want “to hear about the labor pains, just produce them with a baby”. They will all have different budgetary price points, but you can work with that. With little effort on your part, you can offer celebration packages. You can become a “one stop shop” by providing entertainment, food and beverage and personalized favor boxes. The key to doing this well is to provide items that look expensive (but are not), and are personalized to the theme. But don’t forget to take your markup!

Balloon garlands add to any party. They are typically between $15-$45 on Amazon. If you hire a balloon company to do this, their fees are around $500. I do suggest purchasing a balloon air machine ($15). The garlands are a little time consuming, but insanely easy to do. It is not brain surgery. The insignificant cost them allows them to be disposed of immediately after the event while providing a significant impact.

For case studies, I looked at Star Cinema Grill and Fridley Theatres. I selected a movie they are currently showing and adapted a menu card from the items listed on their menu. These menu cards can be placed at each place setting for the party. This will allow your menu to stay the same, but by renaming items for an event, it adds that special touch.

All theaters should have the following “Must Haves” in their inventory. The items below are on the more fiscally conservative side, but you also can go more expensive. The step and repeat (banner) as well as the spandex table linens should be branded with your logo. They will be kept in your inventory for multiple uses. It allows the party to be taken to the next VIP level.

Fridley Theatres is showing Field of Dreams (one of the best baseball movies!). All of the items below were found on Amazon and are priced at per person (minus the balloon garland which is a one time fee). You most likely could get better prices through your distributors on the food.  The sunflower seeds, cracker jacks and coaster (personalized by a high school staff member as the girls all practice fancy writing:)) will go in the gift box. The dessert will be served in the baseball helmet (they can take it home) and the birthday guest will have the baseball candles (or not). The balloon garland will be draped on the corner of the step and repeat as the guests walk into the theatre.

There are so many things available for Star Wars and the fans are endless. In Austin, there is the 501 1st Legion. Yes, life size Star Wars characters who go to an event. They can be your greeters. Traditionally, they accept a donation to the charity they support and add an amazing touch to an event. Yes, there are many of these organizations around the United States. In addition to Amazon, make sure you become familiar with ETSY. You will be amazed at the personalized items you can find on that website of artsy small business owners. You should also consider developing a synergetic relationship with a bakery to get personalized cookies for your guests.

For the adults looking to have a fun evening out, they still like to have treats. Make their night special as well! You can located custom tshirts on Etsy for the guests to wear as a fun touch. Yes, they might even put the catchers mask on during the movie:)

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