- What does hosting a screening entail?
- Where can I host a screening?
- What’s in our screening kit?
- How much are screening kits?
- Do I have to buy a screening kit if I don’t have a big budget?
- If I already have a copy of the DVD, do I still have to buy a screening kit?
- Do you have a preview version the host (team) can view?
- Is the movie appropriate for kids?
- Can I use this film as a fundraiser for an organization?
- How do I find sponsors?
- How much should I charge for admission?
- How should I handle ticket sales?
- What if I prefer to have no admission/free tickets?
- How many volunteers should I have at the event?
- Will people come? How do I get them to come?
- Can we get one of the filmmakers or film stars at our screening?
- How do we empower viewers to take the next step toward a more plant-based lifestyle?
What does hosting a screening entail?
Lots! It may be easier than you’d imagine though, especially if you recruit a team to help.
When you host a screening, you are organizing the event. It’s your event, so it’s up to you to choose the date, time, venue, partners, team and other details, then promote it within your community and coordinate the event the day of.
While some people do all the organizing themselves, we recommend putting a team together to help with planning, promotion, and most definitely support the day-of. Local veg-friendly animal, environmental or health organizations make great partners too and might be able to lend support and volunteers–a big plus!
Where can I host a screening?
A Berlin community screening started off as a girls movie night but because of community interest blew up into the sold-out European premiere of our film held in the event space at Veganz, a vegan supermarket in Berlin
Where can you not!?! You can host one at your local library, local university, independent movie theater, yoga or dance studio, food co-op, café, comedy club, place of worship, or even in your own living room–really, any place that has room for people to sit and the audio visual equipment you need. For a larger crowd, you’ll want a projector, screen, dvd player (can be a DVD player on a laptop), and the cords to connect everything. If the space is large or if you have a softspoken host or guest speaker, consider using a microphone to welcome people, introduce the film, and answer questions at the end. If you’re in a theater or other large space, feel free to get another microphone to pass around to audience members for Q&A questions.
What’s in our screening kit?
- two copies of the DVD
- a license to show the film publicly
- a discussion guide
- custom printable fliers to promote your event
- a custom Facebook invitation for your event, and
- a listing of your screening through our website and inclusion in our e-newsletter
Plus, U.S. community screening organizers who buy any kit that’s $95 or more can request:
How much are screening kits?
As you’ll see in our e-store, it depends on the estimated audience size and whether or not you plan to show the film more than once.
For up to 24 seats:
- with a one-time screening license: $35
- with an unlimited screenings license: $95
For 25–100 seats:
- with a one-time screening license: $95
- with an unlimited screenings license: $250
For over 100 seats:
- with a one-time screening license: $250
- with an unlimited screenings license: $600
Do I have to buy a screening kit if I don’t have a big budget?
Yep! With appropriate planning, you’ll be happy to see the kit’s cost coming back to you. Here are just a few ideas to cover your event budget, and maybe even have moolah left over so that your time and energy are covered:
- Charge admission
- Find a local vegan-friendly sponsor who wants publicity for his/her products or services in the community and will chip in for the kit in exchange for some promotion
- Get a team of volunteers or a vegan-friendly eatery or company to donate some food or snacks to give for free to bring added value to the cost of a screening ticket or to sell in addition to the screening ticket. (The dinner-and-a-movie model has proven very successful at past screenings.)
- Find vegan-friendly stores and individuals to donate goods and services, then sell raffle tickets. The copy of Ninety-Five that you’ll get in the screening kit is a perfect item to raffle off
- Buy a DVD bundle in our e-store and sell DVDs at retail price at your event
- Apply to VegFund for a reimbursement of your expenses
If I already have a copy of the DVD, do I still have to buy a screening kit?
Yes again! The DVD makes up a very small fraction of our screening kit costs. The money goes towards our time providing you with resources and services to help you have a successful event. If it’s a larger screening, the money also goes towards recouping our own film production costs. We are waaaay in the red. (The average documentary costs $350,000 to make–ouch!). If you’re not sure what to do with those extra two DVDs we’ll send as part of the screening kit, feel free to sell them at retail price ($23.99) at your screening. That’s more than the cost of a $35 screening kit recouped right there. Booyah! Or you can raffle them off at the event.
Do you have a preview version the host (team) can view?
We encourage people to buy a regular DVD or watch for as little as $2.99 through digital portals to preview the movie for their needs. DVDs are available through our e-store, Amazon.com, and other online retailers.
Is the movie appropriate for kids?
The movie is not rated. It does include explicit language and some graphic footage of factory farming and the like. We recommend viewers be at least in high school. Like an R-rated movie, though, it’s ultimately up to a parent.
Can I use this film as a fundraiser for an organization?
Please do! We’d love to support organizations that do great work. We just ask that the organization you choose not exploit animals or promote animal products. If you’re not sure, shoot us an email, and we’ll look into it.
How do I find sponsors?
Moviegoers across America enjoyed free frozen treats from our national tour sponsor, So Delicious.
Vegan companies make perfect sponsors. Your audience is their target demographic. If you don’t have a vegan sponsor, perhaps there’s a local business such as a veg-friendly restaurant, health food store, or yoga studio that might benefit from being exposed to your audience. At Vegucated screenings, food sponsors have been super popular. Serving delicious vegan food at your event is always a draw, but coupons work too, as do door or raffle prizes. Feel free to put that creative hat on to see how you and your sponsor can benefit mutually from the event.
What’s in it for sponsors besides exposure to the people who are there? Well, exposure to everyone you invite to the screening. Feel free to add their name and web link to any invitations you send out online. When you market the event on Facebook and Twitter, include shout outs to them and tag them if they have Twitter accounts or Facebook pages.
We ask folks to be mindful around sponsor language, as we already have national sponsors, including Mary’s Gone Crackers, who is supplying samples to domestic screenings, plus So Delicious, and Obsessive Confection Disorder, who have supplied viewers with product and/or coupons.
How much should I charge for admission?
Great question. We recommend you think about your goal. Is it to recoup costs or to bring attention to the issue or to a veg-friendly charity? Or both? You know your community best, but we’ve had luck pricing near local movie theater prices when we have free food and/or a panel afterwards. Of course, you could also have a suggested donation amount to accommodate various viewers’ budgets.
The organizers of the second packed screening of Vegucated in Sacramento priced tickets at $12 and paired it with a free vegan dinner.
It might be useful to do a budget for all cash costs (venue, eats, drinks, screening license, speaker(s) expenses, etc.). Then add 15% to that, because sometimes, well, things happen, and you need to make more photocopies, etc. And then divide that amount over the number of seats you think you can fill.
We strongly suggest pricing tickets bought online or at the door day of the screening a good $2+ higher. That’s to help people to decide earlier on if they’re coming so you can see how much more event promoting needs to happen, and offer a deal to those who want or need one.
How should I handle ticket sales?
Some movie theaters and event spaces will have their own policy/box office for ticket sales.
Volunteers used guest list printouts from EventBrite to help check people in at the DC premiere.
We’ve enjoyed using EventBrite to sell advanced tickets online and to check viewers in at the door. Of the many things we like about it, you can use their mobile phone app to scan tickets or check people off the ticket buyers list. EventBrite also allows you to reserve comp tickets if you need to keep a close eye on your seat count.
If you decide to use EventBrite, please use this link for Vegucated to receive credit! Again, we recommend selling tickets for a slightly higher price at the door or online on the day of the event to encourage people to buy tickets in advance so they’re more likely to attend and so you have a more accurate sense of how your marketing is going.
If you are combining your screening with a special event such as a vegan dinner or dessert reception with your panelists or other special guests, you may consider offering an additional deluxe package that costs more and includes the fancy pants experience.
On the day of the event, we encourage you to have cash on hand to make change for people who buy tickets at the door. To take credit cards on site for selling tickets and/or DVDs, we recommend Square. It’s fun, compatible with an iDevice + WiFi and fits in your pocket! If you order it 2-3 weeks ahead of time, they will mail one for free. Or you can pick one up at an Apple store for $9.99 with a rebate for the same amount. Note that Square will keep 2.75% of all credit card-swiped transactions.
What if I prefer to have no admission/free tickets?
Fine by us!
How many volunteers should I have at the event?
Hm. It depends on the scale of your event. Our experience says you’ll need one to four people to check people in via EventBrite; one to take cash or credit cards via Square at the door, and two for food samples if applicable. If you’re selling DVDs afterwards, you can recycle two of your check-in volunteers for this purpose.
Will people come? How do I get them to come?
The eternal question! Rest assured knowing that if there are people who care about animals, the environment or health in your community, people will come to your screening as long as they know about it, and it’s not at midnight on a Monday…unless the club scene is part of your target demographic and if so, please take lots of pictures for us.
Make it an Event
The Tempe, AZ screening/premiere was a sold-out success due to smart thinking: having free food samples, teaming up with local organization Vegan Arizona, touting the Arizona premiere status, and having a post-film discussion with a rep from the org, Cathy LaSusa, and ASU School of Sustainability Professor Chris Wharton.
The more value you can add to the event, the better. And the more you can turn it into a community event, the better. Experts are a draw, as are food and prizes. So are dancing girls and guys. But we digress…
We recommend partnering with a local veg business or local animal, environmental or health organization who can reach out to their mailing list and community on your behalf. Organizations will be more motivated to market for you if you ask them to table at your event, ask a representative to be a speaker on the panel after the event and/or offer to turn the event into a fundraiser for them, where they share in any profits from the event. There are lots of ways to partner with an org that will help gets tushies in seats, awareness raised, and good karma spread all around.
Other potential panelists who could reach out to their community for marketing the event might include local leaders and experts such as vegan authors, chefs or restaurant owners, vegan-friendly nutritionists or MDs, environmental or animal law professors, local veg TV or radio personalities, vegan athletes, vegan acrobats, etc. (You might have to take out extra insurance for the acrobat part.)
If You Feed Them, They Will Come
Free yummies at the Albuquerque premiere/community screening helped to make it a sold-out, successful event.
The words “free” and “food” are an instant draw, especially when used together. You can offer free vegan food, turn it into a dinner or potluck, or offer a special schmancy dessert reception for an extra price. Feel free to get creative.
Submitting to Press
The press is your friend. They want to feature cool community events, and you’ll have one to provide. Win-win! With a month or more lead time before the event, we recommend you submit the movie to calendar listings in appropriate local papers from the smallest to the largest. Feel free to send out a press release to local newspapers, magazines, websites, prominent blogs, radio stations, and TV news channels. You can pull language from our website about our film festival awards and what veg leaders are saying about the film. If local media would like to use stills from the film, please point them to our Facebook photo album Images from the Film or to the higher resolution stills page on our site.
Blanket the Town
Grab some recycled paper, a printer or copier, and blanket the town with the custom-made digital fliers we make for your event. We have “poster-style” fliers that fit on a sheet of regular-sized copy paper and “leaflet-style” fliers that fit four on a sheet of paper. When you’re posting fliers, concentrate on locations where your target veg-curious demographic hangs out, whether it’s veg or veg-friendly restaurants, cafes, health food stores, yoga studios, gyms, college campuses, and community centers.
Having a mounted poster added a certain caché to the sold-out Sacramento premiere and lent itself well to fun photo opps.
Posters mounted on foam board and placed on an easel make a fun photo opp at screenings and provide a great way to spread the word about the film and your event within social networks.
If you’d like to print full, movie-size posters, we can send you a digital file for that as well. Just let us know. We’ve been quoted between $60 and $80 per poster (mounted on foam board). Feel free to call FedEx Kinkos, Staples, or your local print shop for a quote. Staples tends to be a little cheaper than Kinkos. Build in a few days for turnaround just to be safe.
Have fun with the custom Facebook invitation we will make for you: invite your friends, encouraging them to help you spread the word, tweet it out, make a FB contest for people who repost the invite, etc. Maybe the winner gets free tickets to your event or a prize? Please note that you must RSVP “join” or “maybe” to the FB invitation yourself before you can invite others. We encourage you to tag us in status updates about the event. We’ll post the FB invite on our page as well.
Tweet up a storm about the event, using our @vegucated handle, and nudge people to retweet (including us!)
At the event itself, please encourage audience members to tweet us before and after the movie, using our @vegucated handle and #vegu or #vegucated as a hashtag.
Please also encourage viewers to check in at the venue on Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook and the like, noting the movie’s name to create buzz. Encourage them also to take pictures in real time as people check in, get seated, and during post-screening discussions and then post them on Facebook and Twitter, tagging vegucated when they can.
We hope you take photos of your event too! You’ll enjoy having a record of it, and we would love to have them to show others how fun community screenings can be.
After the event, we appreciate your audience members reviewing us on Amazon.com, iTunes and IMDB. Glowing reviews only, please! (Just kidding. Sort of.)
Tout Any Premiere Status
In many cases, you are hosting the movie’s local premiere. Fun, fun! This should add some excitement to your event, and be an easy hook to gain more attention. Someone on our side will email about this when your market-specific poster and fliers are being created.
Can we get one of the filmmakers or film stars at our screening?
We’d love nothing more than to be there! Between two producers, the writer-director, the three main film stars and the many experts who appear throughout the film, you will have plenty of special guests who might be able to make a guest appearance and help with Q&A at the end. Most of us are based in NYC, so for screenings outside the city, we ask that travel costs be covered as well as a small stipend for that person’s time, plus a hotel or a home stay if necessary. If travel isn’t an option, we might be able to organize a Skype chat with one of the filmmakers or film stars.
How do we empower viewers to take the next step toward a more plant-based lifestyle?
So glad you asked! We created the Vegucated Challenge and the Vegucated Schoolhouse Online Community for this very reason.
Please direct people to the Challenge on our website, where they can sign up to either go vegan for a month or go vegan within a month, phasing out an animal food group every week until they end up vegan by the fourth week. They will receive free daily emails with tips, tricks, and inspiration for 30 days, then receive bi-monthly Vegucated Challenge e-newsletters thereafter.
Invite viewers to take the Vegucated Challenge or join the Vegucated Schoolhouse Online Community to get help with next steps.
Please also direct them to the Vegucated Schoolhouse Online Community, where they can post questions and participate in discussions in the forum, post pics, blog entries, and videos about food and their experiences trying veganism. They can use the Member Map to find vegan mentors or buddies in their area. They can also join one of the two Vegucated Challenge Groups, which functions like a listserve, to email other members going through the same things.
You can also create your own local Group if there are people at your screening who want to take next steps, and you want an easy way to stay in touch, foster discussion and offer support. Again, this would function like a listserve, where each member’s post will lands in everyone’s email inbox (as long as you haven’t disabled the ability to receive group emails in your settings.) Just have them join the Community and your local Group! You might want to pass around an email sign-up sheet at your screening, then send a follow-up email that includes a “thank you for coming” note and links to the Challenge and Community to make it easy for them to join.
Finally, for something physical for people to leave your screening with, many organizations such as Mercy for Animals, Compassion Over Killing, Vegan Outreach, and PETA offer Vegetarian Starter Kits for free or low cost. It might be worth contacting the organizations and asking if they have local staff or volunteers who can donate and pass out kits for free.