The end of one Era. The beginning of another.

Moving forward, a hybrid event strategy will combine aspects of the Pre-Covid and Covid Eras.


Pre-Covid Event Strategy (... - 2019)

  • Film festivals
  • Conferences screenings and presentations
  • Theatrical and semi-theatrical screenings with a live experience 

            i.e. in-person screening and Q&A at a theater, university or community venue

  • Securing event sponsors and licensors

            companies, nonprofits, advocacy groups


Covid-Era Event Strategy (2020 - 2021)

  • Virtual film festivals
  • Virtual conference screenings and online presentations 
  • Virtual events with a live experience 

                i.e. streaming window and live online Q&A

  • Securing virtual event sponsors and licensors

                companies, nonprofits, advocacy groups


Post-Covid Event Strategy (2021 - ...)

  • *Hybrid film festivals
  • Hybrid conference screenings and online presentations 
  • Hybrid events with a live experience

               i.e. in-person event plus online streaming window 

  • Securing hybrid event sponsors and licensors

                companies, nonprofits, advocacy groups

  • Hybrid events with universities

Even after Covid, virtual events are here to stay.

Virtual events aren’t going anywhere. They have revealed too many conveniences and advantages for filmmakers and audiences alike. 

Innovative filmmakers we work with have used virtual events to do some astounding things:

  • One connected with over 1 million viewers during a 72-hour screening window 
  • Two different filmmakers have each generated $75,000+ in sponsorship fees, ticket sales, and donations for their virtual event campaigns

These and many other successes have been possible because virtual events, compared with in-person events, make it easier to reach more people and make more money. For instance:

  • An in-person event has a limited audience (seats at the venue) 
  • A virtual event can have an unlimited number of viewers
  • An in-person event is for viewers for a specific, limited geography
  • A virtual event can include viewers from from across a state, country, or the globe
  • An in-person event costs more money to organize (venue rental and travel expenses for the filmmaker)
  • A virtual event doesn’t require the most expensive aspects of an in-person event: venue rental and travel costs


More options. More opportunities.

By taking the best of the in-person past and the virtual present, you’ll have more options to promote, monetize, and add value to your events

In some cases, you may want to do in-person or virtual events. In other cases, you’ll choose both happening at the same time or one following the other. Decide based on your needs, your event host’s needs, and the needs of your viewers

Here are a few ways live, virtual, and hybrid options will grow your event opportunities:


LARGER AUDIENCES

PRO TIP: next time you organize an in-person screening and Q&A, add a virtual event encore

  • Have your event host or partner send a follow up email after your live event inviting their email list to a 48-hour virtual encore screening
  • If someone missed the live event, they can stream it
  • If they came to the live event and loved it, they could forward the virtual screening to a friend

You’ll reach those who could attend the in-person event and expand your audience to those who choose to stream from home.


MORE SCREENINGS

PRO TIP: if you offer live, virtual, and hybrid screening event options to potential event hosts and partners, you’ll end up booking more screenings. 

  • Some event hosts and partners prefer in-person events for the excitement of gathering a group of people
  • Some will prefer virtual screenings if they want to share your film with people across a state, country, or even internationally
  • And others choose hybrid because they want the best of both

MORE MONEY

PRO TIP: the best way for you make money with your event is to get paid an event licensing fee

  • A huge advantage of virtual events: they are less expensive to organize so you can charge less and do more events
  • Being able to offer a screening event with your film for a lower fee means you open yourself up to booking more events 
  • Event hosts like nonprofits, universities, and other event hosts that couldn’t afford an in-person event licensing fee, can now afford to pay to host a virtual event for your film, promote it to their network, and help you grow your audience

Learning from innovators.

The most successful filmmakers will look to what worked best in the past while embracing the future

Filmmakers are already blazing hybrid trails. Some who pivoted from in-person events to virtual during Covid are already pitching event hosts partners and booking hybrid events

We all miss the human connection of watching, discussing and connecting over films we love. We also have grown accustomed to the convenience of on-demand content. The future belongs to those who take an all-of-the-above strategy.

If you'd like to read more, join the free interactive webinar with Sarah and Keith as they discuss how to leverage the best of both in-person and virtual events. This revealing 60-minute webinar will take place on Thursday, June 17th @ 1pm PT.

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