Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Movie Night of Martial Arts!

Last month I hosted a first ever "Movie night" for a martial arts school the turnout was a huge surprise! Over 45 people attended (the estimate was originally 25) and attendees were happy to be able to enjoy a community feel while enjoying food, mingling, and watching a free movie (not to mention parents loving a few hours free on Friday night)! It was a fun event to plan because it was simple but still creative, unique, and fun! Here are just some of the things we did to create a "Movie Night" mood.

Choosing the right movie. Since this was for a martial arts school, obviously everyone was going to love action movies. We decided to go with a movie that featured the master of the school ("Ninja Turf") and that brought a lot of students in because it was a hard DVD to find. Attendees has a blast watching this "classic," and afterward we did a Q&A with him and the writer.Everyone loves food! We know everyone is struggling with the economy, so we didn't want this to be an expensive event to attend. Instead we offered this as a FREE event with a movie, popcorn, and soda. Then if people wanted pizza, we asked for a $5 donation. We called our local pizzeria and they were able to give us a great discount and even donated a gift certificate to raffle off. The pizza is always a big hit, and since our first Movie Night they've gotten even more business from the school and want to continue offering their pizzas at the event.

Add some fun accents. Since there wasn't much to decorate for the Movie Night, we had to get creative with the decor and fun additions. We popped fresh popcorn and put them into clear individual bags with the school logo on it to show off that school pride. We also made a mini candy station for the kids to enjoy in case they wanted something sweet. We were able to find old vintage posters of the movie, so we hung them up before the movie so that people could get excited about it.Ask for Feedback. Since this was the first social event of its kind, we wanted to see what the feedback was from the attendees. Immediately following the movie, we passed out "raffle cards" which basically had 5 questions about the event and how to rate it. We motivated people to fill it out and return it by making it a raffle drawing. After the Q&A, we collected all the cards and raffled some martial arts equipment, and of course, the Pizzeria's gift certificate. The school was able to pull together the pros and cons of the event and keep what worked and change what needed work.
Making friends is easy when there's food and a movie!
This event was a great way to build a community amongst the students without having to spend extra money. As the word spreads, more and more people are asking about the next Movie Night and what movies they'd like to see. Whether you do this with friends at home or as a social activity for work, it's a great way to build relationships while having fun!

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