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How Mobile Surveys can take your Film Festivals from good to great

by Michelle Kratzer
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Survey Strategies

Did you know that this year there will be 2000 to 3000 film festivals in North America alone? Almost every major US city boasts several film festivals, all trying to find that one movie gem. That one needle in a cinematic haystack. Some festivals begin as a labor of love, providing a platform for undiscovered artists. Some originate to support a cause, like the GI Film Festival (films by veterans or for veterans) or Autfest (films promoting autism awareness)

Whatever the reason, we tend to forget that film festivals are first and foremost businesses. While artistically they shine a light on non-studio productions and educate audiences on the importance of independent cinema, in reality they bear huge expenses (this includes: renting theaters, festival advertising, promotions, operational logistics, film awards and payroll).

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Although usually a non-profit enterprise, film festivals need to make money and gain recognition (unless sponsored by the government or a very generous donor). So, how do you stand out to attract the brightest film makers to your film festival? How do you generate more revenue from ticket sales, workshop sales, catalogue sales & ads, black-tie award show sales, sponsorships and patronage? You offer participants immediate feedback. You go mobile.

Here are 3 ways mobile apps help to lure in both artists and investors:

 

1. Movie Reviews in Real Time

By using mobile app surveys, festivals can offer artists film reviews immediately after screenings, while audience thoughts are fresh. By waiting to send audience members an email, you risk losing up to 70% of valuable viewer insight. Going mobile means taking a survey on site.

 

2. Make Workshops, Master Classes and Q & A Sessions Interactive

Mobile apps provide a way for artists to interact with participants during sessions electronically. Real-time communication opens the door to interactive sessions of many types. For example: audiences can vote on which questions they'd like answered in Q & A sessions, Master Class participants can vote on issues, and workshops can include participant insights -- all on site, in session.

 

3. Derive Marketing Insights

Use mobile apps to glean marketing insights by attaching new movie trailers and having your film's audience vote on how likely they would be to see it too. By doing this, you can detect which movies will be good marketing matches for cross promotion.

 

Mobile apps also help with the practical operations of running a film festival. Here are a few ways that mobile apps help you:

 

1. Point of Experience Feedback

Once again, mobile apps allow you to obtain real-time customer input during events. Why does this matter to you, as a festival director? Since most, if not all, of your audience is carrying cell phones anyway, why not use them to find out what little tweaks can be made? No need to wait until next year, or even tomorrow, to correct the problem. Change up your festival while it is in progress.

 

2. Mobile App Rewards

Attaching a reward for taking a survey not only improves the odds your customers will complete it, it may help generate revenue. For example, attaching a reward for 20% off festival t-shirts or posters drives more foot-traffic to your souvenir shop.

 

3. Obtain Audience Contact Information

Most of your customers will visit the festival with a friend and usually only one of them will go online to buy tickets and give their contact information. This means you are missing out on a great number of audience contact information. Mobile apps can be used to collect the missing contact information. Don't sell yourself short by only using an email list to speak to moviegoers. Get those point of experience contacts too!

The world of film festivals is growing at a remarkable pace. Seventy-five percent of North America’s film festivals were founded within the last 10 years, and there are no signs of it slowing down. Take your festival to the next level. Go mobile!

 

A Word about Data Mining:

Be vigilant! Some survey companies' services come with the caveat that they themselves will own the information your customers share. Make sure that whatever feedback or contact

information you get will not be shared or mined through your survey company. If you're not sure, call us at SurveyMe -- where the data you collect is yours alone.

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