By Mike Nelson, Vice President, Sales, NCM Fathom Business
All too often, the national sales training meeting is a universally dreaded experience. It’s just another night in a hotel, additional time spent traveling, and less time to get work done. Instead of looking at it as just another sales training, wouldn’t it be great if your sales team looked forward to it?
Imagine this. At the same time, salespeople across the country drive to their local movie theatre, enjoy tasty snacks, network with fellow colleagues, and settle back into a plush cinema seat. After everyone settles in, the company CEO appears on the big screen and makes a live national address broadcast via satellite to local movie theatres. Following the CEO address is a presentation of the features of the new products on the big screen. After the event wraps up, the sales team visits a live product display before going to an impromptu local happy hour together only a few short hours after they arrived.
Providing a sales team with well-organized and informative sales training events can have a substantial impact on your company’s bottom line. To see the ROI of your sales team training, it’s vital that this valuable content is presented in a convenient and engaging setting, such as the cinema.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) saw success when it transitioned from the traditional approach of holding multiple individual trainings for retail sales associates to holding sales training events in 74 cinemas across the nation. Launching its new HP Photosmart Premium AIO with TouchSmart Web and hoping to ensure positive sales results in a crowded retail environment during the holiday season, HP was able to effectively engage its audience and reach them in their local markets nationwide, resulting in a creative and memorable experience for its retail sales force.
So, what are the key steps to planning a successful sales training event in the cinema?
Select a venue that works. The cinema offers a unique approach to a venue, as it’s a place where people are accustomed to focusing on what’s in front of them and tuning out distractions such as cell phones and e-mail. Those who have held events in the cinema have reported higher message retention, greater attendance, and bigger returns.
A direct-selling giant attracted tens of thousands of distributors to its event solely by making it easier for them to attend. Rather than requiring travel and time away from home for a destination event, their independent sales force was able to go to their neighborhood cinema to witness a company-wide training event, which was delivered live in local theatres via satellite broadcast. Attendance was better than ever, allowing the company to reach and educate a record number of key salespeople.
Confirm the details. To craft your messaging and cater to your sales team’s needs, you must ask yourself the following questions:
Develop memorable and impactful content to inspire and motivate. You’ve heard the phrase, “content is king,” and for cinema events, content definitely runs the show. You want your sales team to leave the cinema motivated and ready to sell, so:
Drive attendance. While cinema events typically drive higher attendance than traditional events, you want to ensure that your sales team is excited to join your company for their cinema sales training meeting. Set a good tone from the start by taking a creative approach with the invitation. Here are some ideas:
When trying to get your sales team excited for their cinema sales training meeting, it is important to ensure that they understand what the goals of the meeting are and how it will help them enhance their job performance.
You’ve gotten your sales team to the movie theatre, engaged them with relevant and motivating content, and hopefully helped them to be more successful in their jobs. There is one last step: Follow up. To ensure ROI, touch base with attendees after the sales meeting, reiterating the actions you encouraged them to take. Remind them of key points from the training meeting and share helpful resources to continue to stay on top of sales trends and industry news. If you’d like feedback for the next event, share a survey along with an incentive so you can learn about what they took away from their cinema sales training. Use this feedback to further improve your next cinema event.
Naturally, people go to the cinema to tune in and engage with what’s in front of them. Consider the impact that capitalizing on this event approach with your employees can have on message retention and getting your point across to a national audience in a time and cost-effective manner. Light up the big screen with your company’s content and motivate your sales team to action.
Mike Nelson is vice president of Sales at NCM Fathom Business, the home of exclusive, engaging cinematic experiences. Parent company NCM Media Networks connects more than 1,400 theatres through a joint venture with AMC, Cinemark, Regal, and other theater affiliates. Fathom Business Events reinvents corporate communications, offering cinema events in movie theaters nationwide. Corporations leverage the cinema network to communicate mission-critical business messages to audiences nationwide with efficiency, reach, and impact. To learn more about Fathom Business Events, visit www.fathombusinessevents.com.