When it comes to private events, nontraditional venues like theaters and restaurant-theater hybrids are growing in popularity. And with amenities like A/V accessibility, signature food and drink options, and a built-in fun atmosphere, it’s easy to see why. We’ve rounded up five ways to make the most out of theater events, complete with help from a pro.
Highlight the community aspect
“Independent theaters could make great venues because they’re usually set up to accommodate large groups of people, they are familiar landmarks with instant recognition, and share a preconceived community vibe,” says Mike Jipping, special events coordinator for Bear Tooth Special Events in Anchorage, Alaska. “With many events, traffic flow and venue familiarization can really go a long way to initiating a solid customer experience.”
Consider your customization options
Just because your theater already has its own decor or feel doesn’t mean clients can’t add special touches to make it their own. “We allow decorating options within the theater as long as they are removed prior to the screening or won’t inhibit or take away from the feature presentation,” explains Jipping. “We’ve had many events that build off of a movie [for the] menu, decor, presentation, games, etc., that we can assist with in-house.”
Take advantage of technology
Unsurprisingly, a perk of hosting an event at a theater space is the ready availability of audio-visual equipment. This makes an ideal setup for things like presentations, training programs, and other video-viewing opportunities. “Theaters are developing as digital venues,” adds Jipping, “and it can be easier to hook into and utilize the house systems.”
Play up the venue’s signature dishes and drinks
Nation’s Restaurant News recently reported that movie theaters have increased their food service spending by 20 percent from one year ago, according to SupplyTrack data. These elevated menu offerings mean good things for prospective clients when considering booking spaces for events. “The Bear Tooth has a good sized stage and we are known for our pizza and craft beer,” says Jipping, “so we offer a pizza buffet, and noteworthy tap selections to pair with their food, movie or presentation.”
Promote the fun factor
“To host your event at a community landmark has a special vibe and appeal,” Jipping adds. Since theater and restaurant-theater venues are on the rise, it’s the perfect time to begin marketing your theater as a prime event space, able to accommodate all types and sizes of events, with built-in attractions and a fun atmosphere that’ll result in a solid experience for customers and their guests.
Now that you know how to host a successful theater event, request a live tour of Gather to see if it’s the right fit for you!