Marc Ferman of KeepItClassic.com
I had first heard rumblings about Tugg last year, not much more than just its basic concept. When I attended SXSW this past March I was hearing more about the new company and decided to check out Tugg.com and learn more. Being a HUGE film geek, the idea of bringing indie films that might not get a wide theatrical release, or classic films that I grew up with to the big screen here in Miami, Florida got me all types of excited.
Right after SXSW, I contacted Tugg and built a good working relationship with Alex Dobrenko, who I have now done two screenings with and am currently promoting my third. My first two Tugg films were THE FP which sold 54 tickets and COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE which sold 59.
Keep in mind that even though those do not seem like large numbers, it was my first time promoting Tugg screenings, which had never been done in Miami before and I did not give myself enough time to promote, which was one of the first things I learned: always give yourself enough time to promote a screening. A 30 day window would be ideal.
Even though I was not able to fill up my first two screenings, I still made sure those who attended had a good time. I even gave out prizes from companies I got to donate. For example, for COMIC-CON, I got a local comic book store to donate comic books for me to give out.
A Happy Comic-Con Crowd Shows Off Their Door-Prizes
For my upcoming ROBOCOP 25th Anniversary screening in Miami, Florida, I contacted NECA toys and they donated 6 collectable ROBOCOP figures which I can give out as a special prize during the screening. Adding those little extras to your Tugg screening helps make it a unique experience.
Going the extra mile, Marc created a personalized poster for his upcoming screening.
After Speaking with the theater manager, Marc’s poster was placed front and center at the guest services desk. Not every theater can do this, but it’s another great example of how a little initiative can go a long way.
Here are a few other things I have learned…
1) Location is key. Just like any business, you want to pick the theater that is easiest for your audience to get to, not what’s easiest for you. Just because you have a theater down the street from your house, does not mean the people in your social networks can get to that theater just as easily. Find out where the people you are promoting your screening to are located.
2) Posting on facebook and twitter is important, but that may not be enough. Make it personal. The first tickets you are most likely to sell are to people you know. Contact them, tell them what you are doing and try to convince them to support the event. More people will be willing to buy tickets once they see that they are actually starting to sell, so contact your friends first.
3) If tickets aren’t selling as quickly as you had hoped, don’t give up. It ain’t over till it’s over.
4) Get to the theater an hour beforehand to make sure everything is set. I learned this the hard way on my first event when I discovered the theater hadn’t cleaned the auditorium between shows.
5) Introduce the movie, thank the people for attending, and make sure they know how much you appreciate that they supported your screening.
Tugg is offering something great for movie-lovers, and I am very happy not only to be the first person to bring Tugg to Miami, but to be able to do more screenings in the future.
If you live in South Florida, make sure to grab tickets to my ROCOBOP 25TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING on June 21st here.