Are You Involved in Movie Theater Marketing?
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A Fresh Idea When Marketing for Movie Theaters
by Lu, OTL City Guides & Seat Fillers
My brother went to the opening night of The Quiet Place Part II in a cinema in Iowa. He was excited to be back in an actual theater seat and impressed with an opener by John Krasinski thanking the audience for attending.
What he found surprising, though, was a theater with just four other people at an early evening show.
His story got my wheels turning and prompted me to post this blog about marketing for movie theaters.
Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Marketing Movie Theaters
Whether you’re a manager or in the marketing department for an independent cinema or a regional or national chain, you’ve probably done your share of brainstorming. After all, you were forced to adapt to a new COVID-19 world, and movie theaters were hit hard like other businesses and services.
I’m not here to share every out-of-the-box idea that comes to mind, although I have posted other marketing blogs detailing some fresh approaches. But instead, I’ve dedicated this article to one particular idea that you might not have in your marketing toolbox already.
So, here it is - have you considered inviting seat fillers to your screenings?
No, I’m not talking about award show seat fillers. I’m referring to the new and modernized concept of seat filling across the US and throughout London. We call them community seat fillers because they attend all kinds of local shows, events, and activities.
OTL Seat Fillers is one of the most extensive seat filler networks, with participants across the US and London. However, there are others, and I’ll include links to them below. But I will continue my marketing for movie theaters information with specific references to you and OTL seat filling.
Why Consider Seat Fillers in Your Movie Theater Marketing Plan
You might be initially hesitant about using seat fillers as part of your movie theater marketing strategy. But let me share why you might want to consider the idea (and, yes, I’m biased, but I still have good reasons!).
When we share the idea of community seat filling with venues, the response is often “we’re here to sell tickets.” And, yes, we get that, which is why we have a strict “privacy to shows” policy at OTL. But we also know that our members buy concessions, pay for parking, and don’t expect a 100% free ride with everything they attend.
Benefits of Inviting Seat Fillers When Marketing for Movie Theaters
Private – Reputable seat filler clubs never publicize the names of their entertainment partners. That means your regular ticket sales aren’t negatively impacted by patrons who become seat fillers just to receive free movie tickets.
Free – OTL never charges for its seat filling service. You provide the number of seats you’d like to offer. We privately post the opportunity for members and build a will-call list. We send the list to your box office to distribute the comps.
Flexible – You designate all of the specifics. That means if you want to offer matinee performances or you want more attendees to a premiere event, it’s entirely up to you. OTL can post regularly scheduled events or one-offs.
Effective – While we can’t guarantee that all tickets will be claimed (especially coming out of the COVID lockdowns), seat fillers are required to attend everything for which they reserve tickets. So, if you offer ten seats, typically all ten are filled, barring last-minute emergencies.
Fast and Easy – Once we receive the pertinent details (movie theater, contacts for reservation list, etc.), you can shoot us an email any time you have a few extra tix to offer to seat fillers. It’ll take you a minute or two, and OTL will turn around a reservation list for you. We love to keep things simple!
Nothing to Lose – Adding OTL Seat Fillers to your marketing for movie theaters toolbox won’t impact your budget. It’s a last-minute resource that can fill a few seats for you and increase your F & B sales.
Let's Fill Some Movie Seats Together!
You'll find that OTL members are in many major cities across the US as well as in London and there are a few other reputable seat filler-free tickets clubs.
OTL Seat Fillers - Website
PluginVegas - Website
Seat Stir - Website