There’s a new way to powerfully engage with employees and customers nationwide while delivering a corporate message that sticks—and it takes place in your local movie theater.

Like you, I have sat through dozens of dry, boring and sometimes mundane corporate videos, webinars and all-employee meetings. My employers were always well-intended, whether it was to make the necessary information conveniently accessible to me and my colleagues, or to try and foster a sense of community by bringing us all together. The challenge was that it was always hard to either dedicate the time, stay focused and engaged with the presentation, or retain the information a week (or even days) after the meeting concluded.

Little did I realize while watching or sitting through those presentations on my laptop that the answer for how to engage employees in a fun and entertaining way lived right down the street from my office. Those seemingly forever-monotonous corporate communications vehicles are being challenged in our very own local movie theaters, which offer something unique, entertaining and far more powerful.

In the Beginning

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say everyone has gone to a movie theater at least once in their life. When I was young, I recall it being a magical experience. Movie theaters give attendees the feeling of being a part of the world on the screen. It is inherently awesome, entertaining and brilliant because you don’t get it anywhere else.

Companies are beginning to recognize this opportunity. The nearly 40,000 movie screens in the U.S. are not just for movies anymore. Whether it’s an annual meeting, executive address or employee or customer appreciation event, employers can use leverage these venues to motivate their work force and consumers in an unforgettable way.

Innovative businesses who want to ensure their message is not only received, but adopted, are now using these fun, interactive and one-of-a-kind solutions for marketing and corporate communications—everything from customer appreciation events to new product launches, team building, crisis communications or a corporate-wide rebranding.

Effective and Efficient

Producing a company-wide event can feel daunting, especially when the company has historically used the same format and achieved the same results. But the idea of presenting new ideas in theaters brings about change in culture—generating enthusiasm around the company’s latest initiative while promoting employee and customer engagement by delivering a remarkable and unforgettable experience.

Furthermore, live in-person training or customer events can be expensive, particularly for large audiences spread out geographically. But utilizing theaters eliminates the need for traditional roadshows, which require extensive travel, time and resources.

Movie theaters offer a high impact way for businesses, entertainment companies, brands, and other organizations to engage, inform, and activate privately invited audiences through the unmatched power that only the big screen cinema can deliver. Corporate communications implemented on the big screen can be further amplified with branded handouts, tchotchkes and other fun giveaways and activities, whether it’s new company apparel, employee handbooks, contests or interactive games—providing even greater return on the investment. Live attendee questions and comments offer a collaborative experience on a nationwide scale.

Moreover, you can celebrate your best customers and employees with the glamour and excitement that surrounds the big screen, reward employee accomplishments or enhance your loyalty program through an invite-only screening of a blockbuster film. Even cable-TV networks are using this tool to create a buzz and engage fans with a high-impact way to showcase their upcoming programming with bigger-than-life viewer screening events.

A Happy Ending

Before planning your next corporate event, consider giving your entire staff a front row seat, and watch their attention and retention increase in the distraction-free surroundings of a theater.

Craig Wilmes is corporate sales manager at Fathom Events and leads business development, strategic positioning and account management for the company’s private B2B/B2C events vertical. He spent many years in experiential staffing as well as affiliate sales and marketing with both Comcast and TechTV.