National Canadian Film Day 150 is approaching fast, and we know you’re just as excited as we are about celebrating great Canadian films. There is nothing more satisfying than planning an event that is well-attended and goes off without a hitch, but worrying about how to draw a crowd isn’t fun. Are you unsure about how best to ensure a great turnout for your NCFD 150 screening event? Well, worry no more! We’ve compiled a checklist of our top five ideas for how to drive an audience to your event.
These are suggestions only, and you may not need to do them all. You know your community best, so pick the ones that work for you, your volunteers and your local community!
- We have a page specially designed to help partners (like you!) in planning events. When you visit our Partner Resources page here, you will find a metric-tonne of resources, downloads, and information to help you plan a perfect event. We have posters for you to put up around town to help promote your event, social media materials to add to all your pages and help them stand out in the digital crowd, and information about acknowledging Indigenous territory. You can also download our special compilation book of 150 Canadian Films to share for all the cinematic completists out there!
- Believe in the power of promotion. Audiences can’t come to your event if they don’t know it’s happening. Don’t underestimate the effect of a well-placed, eye-catching poster (in a store window or at a local community centre, etc.) or word-of- mouth from businesses and organisations who might share your affinity for Canadian film.
- Take advantage of the local media. Press coverage can have a huge effect on how many eyes and ears your event reaches. Contact local newspapers and radio stations to see if they can run an announcement or promote your screening in their community events listings.
- It’s 2017. Use social media to your advantage! Join the conversation using the hashtag #CanFilmDay in English and #JourCineCan en français. Your audience is just a post and a tag away! You can even let us help cross-promote the event on our social media platforms: just tag us @CanFilmDay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to connect with interested individuals and organisations who you think might want to celebrate Canadian film. Send an e-mail blast to your mailing list, post about the event on your blog or website, and create an online ticket system or Facebook event so people can have something to remind them of what’s coming up.
- Invite high-profile guests. Do you have a local celebrity who could help drive traffic to your screening? Make sure they know about it! Invite industry folks, like-minded community organisations and local government officials such as mayors and MPs. Even if they are unable to attend in person, they might be willing to spread the word through their social platforms and bulletins. A tweet from a coveted blue checkmark might be just what you need to secure additional interest and boost attendance.
And don’t forget to keep your NCFD 150 Coordinator up to speed with all the promotion you’re doing. We love hearing about your progress and are excited about helping ensure your event is a success. We’re all in this project called Canada together, so let’s get as many people as we can involved in this country’s biggest party ever!