Last post I talked about the three initial things we had to get organised for the event, in the three weeks leading up there were a few other things we took care of as well.
Firstly, marketing. We had three weeks to fill a cinema. And no one – not even our own Church – knew about the event. So we devised a marketing strategy. Now before anyone gets uppity about this not being cutting edge marketing and all aren’t-you-meant-to-be-a-creative-churchish on me, settle down. I’m trying to demonstrate how easy it was to organise.
Initially we needed to get our own people onside so we showed the trailer in our service, we attached it to emails, did all the things you need to do to make sure people understand what the event is for and what kind of people they could invite along. There is a fear associated with these kinds of films that they will appear biased but one of the great things about the film is that both Hitchens and Wilson both heartily endorse it as a fair representation, with no “points” scored on the editing floor. There are youtube clips of both of them speaking to that effect.
Then we needed to create street noise about the event. Because it’s Newtown, we had a heap of posters and postcards printed using the templates thoughtfully provided by Level 4, the company behind Collision. We stuck them in all the cafes and telegraph poles along King St we could. We gave bundles of the postcards to our congregation so they could give them to their friends.
Then we continued with the web stuff. We used all the social networking sites our people use, work notice boards, we had the event put up on the Jesus all about Life Facebook group (which has a surprising number of atheists as fans), we blogged.
All up the advertising cost around $200.
Secondly we organised a bookstall. As I mentioned last post the film was sired from a book launch, so it made sense to get the book as well as copies of the DVD for people to buy. The Dendy were happy for us to do this. Bookstalls are really great because it gives people a place to congregate if they are awkward about not being in a conversation after the event.
Thirdly we had to get together a run sheet. This is what we came up with:
6.00pm – table set up in foyer for DVD sales until 7pm
6.15pm – prior film ends, cinema cleaned, DVD ratio checked, mic installed
6.40pm – cinema opened
7.00pm – intro w mic, film start
8.30pm – film ends
8.30pm to 8.45pm – Q&A session
8.45pm – disperse
In the last post in this series I’ll talk briefly about what we could have done better from the feedback we received.