DAY 2 : Audience, my love

Thursday 15thNovember 2018

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY VIDEO

The morning session of this second day of lab focused on a core element in the cinema exhibition equation: audiences !

Maxence Delamare from the Europa Cinemas team opened the ball by introducing a survey which was recently done by the association concerning what are the network theaters’ approaches to better target their audience, a lot of exhibitors answered and Michael Gubbins is currently drawing the conclusions of the results.

Olle Agebro whose cinema Fyriosbiografen recently received the EC Innovation Prize as it managed to increase its attendance by 50% in a very short lapse of time, shared with his usual benevolent smile some of his strategies. From this initial speech and what will follow, the assessment is that, data, apps and other modern digital booking system certainly helps but must not be without organic and human factors! The Sevilla labs is a beautiful illustration of the fact that human discussion, paying close attention to one another and instincts bring a lot of energy and good change.

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As Olle puts it, one should “Take the mindset of digital optimization and adapt it to soft data.” and at his venue, simply having volunteers chatting with the audience and removing the glass of the entrance booth were audience-friendly revolutions ! Marvin Wiechert from Yorck Kinogruppe in Germany after introducing their use of Movio and Vista made the room smiled when he exemplified how one can catch easily the attention of potential movie goers: with sharp deadpan lines like “If you felt like shooting him on the moon after La La Land” for First Man.

In fact, any approach to better understand one’s audience whether through the help of consultants or some apps, or surveys will always prove useful and worth the try on the long term.

Smart Lee Shelton reflecting upon his experience with the promotion scheme of Varda’s Faces Places and ultra dynamic Jon Michelena describing Cartoon’s Kino anniversary respectively showed exhibitors how to reach out to other associations to build beautiful animations around the release of a film or urged cinema teams as small as they may be to really connect with audiences, by sharing problems with them or simply by involving them in bringing their memories for a celebration for instance. Get togethers like Labs are places where one get a lot of ideas, points of views and energy and the creation of events are what differentiate a cinema contends Eleonora Russo of Kino Visionario in Italy where she establishes gateways to other art forms through amplified evenings with cocktails and warm hosting conditions…It was also about time for the jolly innovation bunch to also get Food for Thoughts as our Post of The Day winner Christos Ringas put it!

Post of the Day 1

©ChristosRingas

It was a good thing the lab attendees got some tapas forces since the following panel entitled SESSION 3: EUROPA INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPA CINEMAS JOINING FORCES featuring guest Jean-Christophe Simon, President of Europa International and head of Films Boutique was pretty intense and crucial as it dealt with the connections and relations between distributors and exhibitors working for the circulation of quality European Cinema and the connection of films with the market.

A lot was said about

– the difficulties to access certain films for some modest art house venues,

– the distributors lack of insight about a city or region “context” because of a reciprocal lack of exchange and dialogue with the exhibitors (Lab leader Maeve Cooke related her experience of “a speed dating” programme for distributors and exhibitors which could help…),

– about the role of one and the other in specific and clever marketing (cf. the creation of new artwork for the posters),

– about the American illustration of aggressive locking down of market seeing theaters being refused films to the profit of huge circuit.

– about the Netflix threat and how to overcome the scapegoating of this giant to move forward in a positive way and try to protect diversity as hard as it seems to be.

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Some of the afternoon speakers happened to have enlightening prospects to share concerning the diversification of content and its protection. After a teeming group picture with the Europa International visitors was taken, Isabel Moir gave an inspiring speech on the functions of ICO (Independent Cinema Office) in the UK. With workshops, panels, help for the rights, presentation of previews, brought together packages to encourage communication, marketing advice, material, the organization basically gives access to film to programmers! Sylvie Larroque in the very specific territory of the Basque Country also managed to create a short circuit with producer, sales agents, distributors and creators of subtitles to optimize the screening of films.

Besides the prestigious ceremony of the Post of The Day award, the day ended on a praise of subtitles as a determining asset to reach out to wide and niche audience, to expats etc. Renewing and diversifying audiences will be the subject of Friday’s first panel…TO BE CONTINUED

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TOOL BOX OF THE DAY

  • Use data but don’t lose the human connection
  • Work with other associations to promote events
  • Entrust your audience with your theater workings (its challenges, history)
  • Find new ways to reach to distributors so everything is more contextualize

Charlotte Wensierski

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