Outdoor Movie Night – Client Appreciation Event
Message from Marguerite
Outdoor Movie Night
Client events are an amazing way to connect with your clients, deepen relationships and build rapport with prospects…they’re also an AMAZING way to generate massive referrals in a short amount of time and have fun while you’re doing it!
Before we dive in here’s a little backstory…I got my license in 1993, I knew from the start I didn’t want to cold call, door knock or work FSBO’s. Don’t get me wrong, I know it works for some, it just wasn’t my style.
I started holding client events annually early in my career as a way to meet with clients and show my appreciation, I had no idea how successful they would be and how many referrals they would generate at the time.
Truthfully, the first events started small with only 15-20 people and each event would grow. Now my Annual Summer Carnival’s top 300+ guests and are typically paid for by participating sponsors…we’ll get into that later. 🙂
Bottom line is, real estate is ALL ABOUT relationships and the more you can connect with your clients the more likely they are to continue to work with you AND send you referrals.
There is no better way that I’ve found in 23 years of real estate to generate more referrals than holding a Client Event…
I’m talking handfuls of SOLID referrals in just a few hours… AND YOU GET TO PARTY at the same time, it’s a NO BRAINER!
In fact one of my recent events yielded…6 Referrals in 3 Hours which turned into $47,832 in Commissions.
I look forward to hearing your feedback and success story’s!
Planning Your Movie Night
Okay, so before you go throwing everything together let’s discuss some key things to consider when holding an Outdoor Movie Night Client Event!
STEP ONE: DECIDE THE DATE & TIME
Time to Make Some Decisions
This might seem like a no-brainer but doing a little due diligence can aid in the overall success of attendance for your event.
- Weather is always a factor, so do your best to monitor weather. Obviously you’ll be planning weeks in advance…so again just do your best.
- Take in consideration sports schedules (Friday night football), school events, etc.
- Search online to see if there are any major events happening in your area that may draw from your attendance. Concerts, Carnivals, Sports Events, etc.
- Whatever the date, give yourself at minimum a few weeks to coordinate the logistics and get the word out.
REMEMBER: The day you pick will not be ideal for EVERYONE but doing some research and planning will aid in the overall success of attendance for your event.
STEP TWO: PICK THE FLICK!
What Movie to Watch
- Choose a movie that will appeal to both adults and kids. Any Pixar movie should do the trick.
- Classics can also be ideal due to the kids maybe never seeing the movie and adults feeling reminiscent. (i.e. Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Honey I Shrunk the Kids)
- Consider the theme you may want to use when deciding the movie. Food/Drink you serve that plays off the movie, handouts that can be personalized that associate with it, marketing items, etc.
- Ask friends on Facebook for recommendations and choose the most mentioned movie.
STEP THREE TWO: DECIDE THE LOCATION!
Where To Have It
- We recommend starting off on a smaller scale (30-50 people) so a typical backyard or front yard can be a suitable place to hold the event
- If possible a Cul-de-Sac or Non-Through Street could provide the ideal solution.
- When scaling up, check with your City to find out if a park could be a potential location. **Keep in mind, wherever the location you will need electrical plugs for the equipment and…bathrooms.
- Consider reaching out to local business owners that may have ample space to hold more people.
STEP FOUR: SPONSORS
Help Pay For It
Sponsors are a GREAT way to offset the overall cost of an outdoor movie night.
- Loan Officers
- Home Warranty Companies
- Pest Inspectors
- General Contractors
Reach our to your strategic business partners to gauge interest and overall commitment to the event to establish a budget. They can also be there to help set up and assist during the event .
STEP FIVE: LOGISTICS
Coordinating the Event
Depending on the scale of your event, you can decide to outsource certain items or take them on yourself. Things Like:
Movie Screen / Projector / Sound System
- Smaller events can be simply done with a laptop, projector, white wall/sheet and quality speakers that can connect to your computer
- For larger crowds you may consider using a company that supplies the inflatable screen, HD Projector and speakers. Packages run around $500 (FunFlicks.com)
- They will also include a microphone if you plan to address the guests before/after the movie.
- Providing chairs can be optional, in your marketing you can announce for guests to bring their own lawn chairs if you don’t have enough.
- Notify guests in the invitation to bring blankets to lay on.
- If you would like your guests to have chairs, outsource to a company like CelebrationsPartyRental.com or something similar in your area. Most companies will deliver and pickup for a reasonable price.
- Hot dogs, hamburgers are an easy way to feed the masses. Most rental companies can provide hot dog cookers and bun steamers so you don’t have to cook.
- Renting a popcorn machine is a great idea to bring that classic movie food to your guests.
- Offer a candy or snack bar that kids can pick their own treats
- Bottled water, soda, Capri suns can all be cooled on ice at a self serviced station.
- If you have a fire pit, create a s’more station!
- Estimate the amount of ice you will need, then double it!
- Smaller events do not take much time to set-up or tear down. Only areas where the food/drink will be served and any signage you choose to display.
- For larger events anticipate 1 person to help per 20 guests and allow at minimum 2 hours for set-up.
- Make sure to have enough garbage cans available for guests. This will assist with clean up considerably.
- Use 1 container or tray for food/candy/snacks to limit the amount of trash. (see example)
- If you have a pool make sure it’s lighted or a safety fence is up and secure.
STEP SIX: HOW DO GUESTS RSVP?
Your best bet is to have some type of online registration for your guests to RSVP in order to have an accurate headcount and capture their current contact information. This can be accomplished in many ways, here are a few suggestions:
- If you have the ability, create a simple landing page with details for the event and include an opt in form. Some current CRM’s offer such a solution (AllClients.com) Register a domain (RealtyFirstMovieNight.com) name and forward it to the hosted page.
- Create a Facebook event. (Likely the easiest solution for most)
- Evite, FreeRSVP.com, Eventbrite, Etc.
- Call to RSVP
Promoting The Event
Client events are a great way to show appreciation to your existing and past clients AND They are a great way to build rapport with new contacts. If space allows, the more the merrier and the larger your database gets!
PROMOTION OF THE EVENT SHOULD CONSIDER BOTH ASPECTS.
1) Invite people you know 2) Invite people you don’t know.
STEP ONE: INVITE YOUR DATABASE
Use Your Database
The majority of your guests should come from your database consisting of past clients, family friends, strategic partners and current clients or prospects.
- Send an email blast announcing the event with a link to the registration page or instructions on how to RSVP
- Include details and a formal invite in your monthly mailer or newsletter.
- If you don’t have a monthly mailer, use SendOutCards.com
- Evite: send digital invitation to your sphere/database
STEP TWO: INVITE FRIENDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Utilize Social Media
Create a Facebook Event and Invite your friends. Make sure to create as a “Public” event and select the option to allow for friends to be able invite others.
- Create an image for the Event and post on Instagram with a Call to Action to RSVP directing them to the landing page. (Use Canva.com if you’re not a Graphic Designer)
- Use Facebook Live Video to announce the Event and include the link to RSVP in the post.
- Do multiple FB Live Post leading up to the event talking about what you have planned to build excitement.
STEP ONE: SHOPPING LIST
Coscto, Sams’s Club is the way to go! Buy in bulk to save! Here’s a list of items we purchased for our recent Movie Night.
|Hot Dogs||Water Bottles||Paper Food Tray’s|
|Mustard, Ketchup, Relish||Variety Soda Pack (cans)||Roasting Sticks for S’mores|
|Individual Bags of Chips||Glow Sticks|
|Hershey Chocolate Bars||Plastic Utensils|
|Individually wrapped candies|
|Individually wrapped fruit snacks|
|Fresh Produce (For Hot Dogs)|
|Individual bags of Gold Fish Crackers|
|Microwave Popcorn (Give Away)||Total: $494.71|
STEP TWO: DECORATIONS
Don’t Forget to Decorate
If budget allows, it’s best to hire a Professional Party Planner to take care of the decorations. If not, just get as creative as you can with your budget. Consider the overall experience and how you can WOW them throughout the process.
- Consider how the enter and make it special
- Decorate a guest sign in table
- Create “Featured Showing” Sign
- Movie posters and decorations can be purchased online
- Napkins, plates, cups with the movie
- Create/purchase signage for food areas, drinks, s’mores station and photo areas.
- Create a personalized item that the guests can leave with to remember the night.
STEP THREE: LAYOUT / SET-UP
Where to Put What
You should already have the layout in your mind, however here are some things to consider.
- Consider any exterior lighting that may take away from the quality of the projection
- If at your home consider the sound from the speakers disturbing neigbors and plan accordingly
- Consider how you would like your guests to enter.
- Place food, drinks etc. behind or away from the guests so they are not constantly distracted when others get up to grab something.
- If you have a pool, make sure it’s lit and/or you have a pool fence around it.
STEP FOUR: GUEST SIGNING IN
Get Guest Info
It’s important to get updated information from past clients and vitally important to get contact information from those that may not be in your database. We recommend having ALL guests sign in at a designated table, offering a raffle prize to those that enter is a great way to add incentive.
STEP FIVE: RAFFLES / PRIZES / GIVE AWAYS
Give to Get
As mentioned, raffle prizes are a great way to ensure your guests sign in. Include areas for them to enter their name, email, phone number and address so you can update you list. Prizes don’t need be extravagant. Gift cards a perfect solution.
Make sure all the kids are happy by making a trip to the dollar store and spending $30-$40 on miscellaneous toys. Before the movie starts, call all the kids up to pick a prize!
Considering your budget, offer a take-away gift for everyone to go home with. Our recent event offered a personalized microwaveable bag of popcorn that had a message that read: “Thanks for Popping By, We hope you enjoyed it” From, The Crespillo Group
STEP SIX: TAKE PHOTOS / VIDEO
Document the Event
Consider hiring a photographer/videographer for the event. If it’s not in the budget ask around for a teenager or college student to take photo’s for a small fee.
- Event Set-Up
- Photo’s of the Food & Drinks
- Photo’s of Guests/Families
- During the Event
- Create a photo area with silly costume accessories
Photo’s are a great resource for post event engagement as well as documenting the process and layout for future events!
**Create a Hashtag for the event and encourage guests to #hashtag when they post pictures. This will allow guests to take their own pictures and you the ability to view them easily by searching that #hashtag.
Here is a video of our Movie Night!
STEP ONE: POST PHOTOS
Show Everyone How Much Fun It Was!
Post event marketing can be a great way to get exposure and build excitement for a
future client event. Here are some tips to keep the excitement going.
- Post event pics to Facebook Event and tag guests in the post
- Post event pics to Timeline and tag guests in the post
- Thank your sponsors in the post
- Add a section in next month’s mailer/newsletter for photo’s.
- Post to your blog/website (If applicable)
STEP TWO: KEEP A LOG
Know Your ROI
You’ll most likely continue to hold client events, so it’s great to keep a log of all expenses, vendors and notes after each event.
- Save all receipts so you have an accurate cost for the event
- Add all the vendors (if applicable) to your database or contact list
- Create a “Event Name” Folder and store all digital files
- All marketing material
- Guest Cards
- Any additional information
HERE’S A COST BREAKDOWN OF OUR EVENT:
Movie Screen Package – $500.00
Food, Drink, Etc. – $500.00
Decorations – $200.00
Raffle/Prizes – $200.00
Total Cost $1,400.00
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
- Client events can be a GREAT source of referrals but shouldn’t be the only reason you hold one.
- Client events should not consume you, ask for help or hire it out.
- Start off small and build on each event.
- Take time during (if possible) and after to write down thoughts on what could be improved.
- Interact with your guests, make them feel welcome.
So, hopefully this guide has provided a ton of insight to consider when holding your event.
Client event’s can be a great source of good, quality referrals in a short amount of time, however, referrals should not be the only reason you hold them.
Much of the success I’ve been able to experience in this industry comes from the service level I expect to provide my clients. If you build your business right and deepen relationships you will not have any competition.
I would love to hear your feedback and success stories!
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