Word of mouth can help get an audience outside for a film event

by Bob Deutsch

word of mouth can really help draw big crowds to outdoor movie festivalsFestival organizers can use the natural interactions between community members as a means of building up interest around an event that employs an outdoor screen.

As this blog has said before, a regular movie series that takes place on outdoor screens can be more than just a way for a community to distinguish itself and enliven dull summer months: it can help tie communities together. This same local interconnectedness can also be seen as a helpful tool for organizers, as it “can get the word out” quickly and effortlessly, resulting in a well-attended event that could become a seasonal ritual in the long term.

In a recent article for the Washington Business Journal, author Rebecca Cooper notes the way this word-of-mouth effect, while not always reliable, can be used to organizers’ advantage.

“The buzz surrounding an event, not to mention the hundreds or thousands of consumers passing through a neighborhood to see the movie, can be hard to quantify, but many festival organizers consider it invaluable,” she writes. Her article also mentions various area events that occurring this summer, including the “Screen on the Green” and the Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival.

She makes a good point in that organizers centering festival events around outdoor screens may find a natural draw after such an event is announced. Public screenings that involve well-known areas hold with them an inherent appeal that can be a source of much interest, and within densely populated areas, that interest may build with relatively little intervention needed from the organizers.

This can be just one natural perk to the use of large movie screens in an outdoor setting. There’s no guarantee that news of such an event will take off like wildfire on its own, of course, but the ease of access to such an event may lead to curious attendees arriving just to check it out.

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