Lights, Camera, Action! These are the 3 words synonymous with the film and screen industry. All the movies from the big blockbusters like StarWars to the small independent films use this same phrase at one point or another. However, unlike the movie Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner says “if you build it they will come,” movies require a ton of marketing and pre-release promotion in order for them to be successful. Well before the curtain goes up, tickets are printed, and the popcorn is covered in butter, the movie executives are heavily promoting their film to generate buzz and get people excited about the premiere. One method that seems to work really well is the trailer.
The term “trailer” is defined as an advertisement or a commercial for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema, the result of creative and technical work. The term “trailer” comes from their having originally been shown at the end of a feature film screening. That practice did not last long, because patrons tended to leave the theater after the films ended, but the name has stuck. Trailers are now shown before the film begins. Most trailers usually last 3 to 4 minutes and they have become a standard within the industry because although short in time they can have a big impact drawing people in by giving them a taste of what a movie has to offer. You might be thinking, what does this have to do with my venue? Well, probably more than you think, so keep reading.
Thanks to the advancement of technology this slick marketing tool is now accessible with anyone that has a smart phone or tablet and internet access. As you look at ways to differentiate your venue from your competitors you must answer the question what makes us unique. Is it the facilities you offer or maybe your location? Is it your friendly staff or a master chef that prepares meals at your site? Once you answer that question, take your phone or tablet and create a short 2 to 3 minute video making sure to incorporate the things that make your venue special. Once you have a video completed, upload it to Youtube and make sure you share it through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, a video is priceless. You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to create an interesting video, but here are a few tips you might want to consider before you start shooting:
- At the Google Play Store or App Store you can check out all kinds of video apps that will help create a professional looking video. There are number of free apps that will do the job and the following link to Tech Insider does a really great job of listing some different video apps along with their pros and cons.
- Don’t wing it! Make a plan of what you want the video to capture and the feeling or emotion you want the visitor to feel. I like the idea of creating a storyboard to map out each scene. This also helps with organizing your team if you decide to make one of your staff a star.
- Tell an interesting story that is specific to your venue. Does your venue have a special history? Is there a fun menu item that only your chef can offer? Avoid showing boring, empty meeting rooms unless the meeting room has a neat story to tell.
- Get a customer testimonial since this provides a simple method to add credibility to your trailer and provides a real world example of what your venue can provide that others can’t.
- Keep it Short! You are not making a sequel to Ben-Hur. If your trailer runs over 5 minutes, it’s time to do some editing.
- Invite some colleagues to watch it before you upload it to Youtube or share with your social media channels. An early release, screening can provide some good feedback and give you a chance to make changes prior to your premiere.
For little to no cost you have no excuses to not try to create a short trailer for your venue. In this case, like the Field of Dreams movie if you shoot it, and share it, they will come. Now dim the lights and let’s get this show on the road. Quiet on the set!