In November 2011 Disclosure Group were lucky enough to be involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week at Channel 4 (see our blog ‘Global Entrepreneurship Week @ Channel 4’) and as part of that week the spotlight went firmly on us, as for one night only, we were given the full run of their in house cinema in London. We pondered what to do with it and came up with the perfect idea... we screened the 2 pilot episodes of our flagship comedy Going Nowhere.
As a result we thought we’d compile a brief guide to putting screenings together as it can be a tough and daunting prospect so without the right advice things can go pear shaped very quickly! Been there, got the T-Shirt!
Getting an appropriate venue isn’t easy. In the case of our Going Nowhere screening we were fortunate to have Channel 4. Screening venues can be costly so it’s worth ringing around and getting some options. It’s important to get somewhere accessible so think about location.
This needs organisation! So often we at Disclosure Group have left our invites far too late (well that’s what you get for keeping so many plates spinning). We have learnt that five to six weeks is adequate notice to guests. It’s not too short that people will have plans and it’s not too long so people will forget.
Meet and greet
For our Going Nowhere event the evening started with a small meet and greet in the main cinema reception with nibbles and wine. It may sound incredibly pretentious but having nibbles and wine at any screening will guarantee some people will say yes to coming. Anything for a freebie!
Once everyone is ushered into the auditorium and settled in it’s a good idea to have a short speech. For Going Nowhere Robert S J Lucas gave a five minute talk on why he does what he does as a writer which went down very well. A speech could be about a context for the screening, about the show itself or even plans for the show going forward. Just make sure it’s relevant. It’s a clear indication to the guests as to why they’re there.
The main feature
Make sure this runs smoothly. Ensure the right technology is in place and have a complete run through of the show in the venue before it’s officially screened. You’d be surprised at the things that can pop up out of nowhere to ruin the show. Think sound, screen and style.
It’s not a necessity but it does give a show a little context and allows audiences to engage with some of the people who are part of it. It gives the show and the event a little personality. Make sure questions and answers are discussed first and have an impartial presenter if you can, just to give it that level of professionalism.
Drinks and Follow up
After the screening you’ll no doubt want a drink! Keep it sober though, people will want to ask questions they didn’t ask at the Q&A and it’s a great networking opportunity. Remember to follow up any and all contacts you make as soon as you can after the evening. Take as many cards as you can and above all be humble.