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UNIC Cinema Days 2018


This week, UNIC welcomed over 170 industry executives and key figures from the field of cinema exhibition to Brussels for its 5th annual Cinema Days. Huge thanks to everyone who joined us for 2 days of insightful discussion and dynamic workshops, aimed at providing an opportunity for exchange on the latest developments in the ever-changing cinema business.

After some welcoming words from UNIC CEO Laura Houlgatte, Day 1 kicked-off with a keynote debate with Finnkino’s Veronica Lindholm and The Walt Disney Company’s Tony Chambers, in which they explored key industry trends with moderator, UNIC President and UKCA CEO Phil Clapp.  Following on from this, the first panel of the day welcomed Suzanna Holmqvist (CMO, Svenska Bio), Shauna Lyons (Public Affairs and Marketing Director, Irish Film Institute), Manuelle Gautrand (Architect) and Mandy Lane (Founder, Live Tourism) to discuss making  cinemas the “place to be” and the opportunities for developing the cinema-going experience both before and after screenings with moderator Mariam El Bacha (CEO, Cinepax Cinemas).

The theme of audience engagement continued into the second panel, which addressed the value and possibilities of establishing cinema-going communities with speakers Marynia Gierat (Managing Director, Kino Pod Baranami), Ste Thompson (CEO & Creative Director, Powster), Vibeke Wolfsberg (Commercial Director, Nordisk Film Cinemas Denmark), Antoine Gouiffes-Yan (Head of Marketing, CGR Cinemas) and Arnaud Métral (CEO, Allociné)  in conversation with moderator Julien Marcel (CEO, Webedia Movies Pro). As is tradition, the first day ended with a reception in the heart of Brussels.

The second day welcomed back many of the participants from Day 1, along with a number of new additions to continue the discussion and take part in one of two parallel Industry Labs focusing on either cinema marketing or technology. Beforehand, the kick-off session came in the form of a series of fascinating quickfire presentations on a broad range of subjects:

  • Accessibility and the UKCA fund for subtitling innovations
    Grainne Peat, Policy Executive, UKCA
  • Europa Cinemas Innovation Prize 2018
    Olle Agebro, Managing Director, Fyrisbiografen
  • Democratising the use of data analytic tools in the industry
    Laura Keane, Head of Client Services, Showtime Analytics
  • UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme update
    Veronica Lindholm, Managing Director, Finnkino
    & Laura Houlgatte, CEO, UNIC
  • Finding the right formula for subscription services
    Jessica Carlin, Co-Founder, Screen Moguls
  • Environmental sustainability in retail and technology
    Patrick von Sychowski, Editor, Celluloid Junkie
  • Do European cinemas make the most of their digital strategies?
    Ben Johnson, CEO, Gruvi
  • Case study: the German cinema market
    Deon Tan, Senior Developer, Gower Street Analytics
    & Arturo Guillén, VP, EMEA & India, comScore Movies


Participants then split into two groups, according to their respective areas of expertise and interest, to take part in parallel workshops. The first - with a focus on marketing - opened with a collaborative workshop on cinema ticketing facilitated by Ste Thompson, Nick Patsides (CCO, Powster) and Jan Runge (Independent Advisor). Then, a series of rotating sessions took place, namely “Overcoming pricing challenges” with Christian Kluge (CEO, Smart Pricer), “Redesigning the lobby experience” with Prill Brewin (Partner, The Blue Stocking Partnership) and Patrick Von Sychowski (Editor, Celluloid Junkie), “Event cinema: audience profiling and engagement” with Grainne Peat (Managing Director, Event Cinema Association) and Joe Evea (Managing Director, CinEvents) and “Moviegoers’ Digital Journey” with Julien Marcel.

The second strand focused on cinema technology and included a “Presentation of the EDCF Buyers’ Guide to Laser Projection” from David Hancock (President, EDCF) and an “Update on the EDCF Best Practice in Image and Sound Handbook” from Julian Pinn (Founder, Julian Pinn Ltd.; Technology Advisor, UNIC). This was followed by three parallel workshops on the “EDCF Best Practice in Image and Sound Handbook” with Julian Pinn, “Event Cinema: Best practice for content delivery and formats” with Simon Tandy (Board Member, ECA; Managing Director, Omnex) and Grainne Peat as well as “Automation and cinema technology” with Goran Stojmenovik (Senior Project Manager, Barco). Mike Bradbury (Head of Cinema Technology, Odeon Cinemas) then provided an update on 3D ghosting before Julian Pinn hosted an open debate on the topic of loudness in cinema. The Technology Lab then concluded with a collaborative workshop on the future of cinema technology, facilitated by Guillaume Branders (Senior Industry Relations & Research Manager, UNIC).

We very much hope that those of you who joined us found the event to be a success and look forward to seeing you at next year’s edition on 28 & 29 October 2019!


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