After a two-year break, with events online, UNIC was delighted to resume its annual UNIC Cinema Days in Brussels. The conference, held at the Radisson Collection Grand Place Brussels, brought together UNIC Members and Partners and key leaders from across the industry.
The UNIC Cinema Days kicked off with a keynote debate looking at the key learnings from the past two years and what comes next for our industry. It was moderated by Phil Clapp (CEO, UK Cinema Association & President, UNIC) in conversation with Juan Antonio Gomez (Chief Partnerships and Content Officer, ODEON Cinemas Group) and Daniela Elstner (Executive Director, Unifrance).
This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by our very own Guillaume Branders (Senior Industry Relations Manager, UNIC) exploring how the industry can ensure a sustained recovery. The conversation was open by Julien Marcel (CEO, The Boxoffice Company) who set the scene for the panel. This was followed by a thought provoking discussion involving Arild Kalkvik (CEO, Trondheim Kino & Chairman, Film&Kino), Benjamin Dauhrer (CTO/CMO, CINECITTA' Multiplexkino), Nisha Denton (Group Regional Director of Screen Content, Vue International) and Tomasz Jagiełło (Founder and CEO, Helios).
The second panel of the day focused on what makes the cinema-going experience truly unique, looking into the relevance of content and programming, audience behaviours and best practices from across Europe. Moderated by Marieke Jonker (Managing Director, Filmhuis Alkmaar), the conversation involved Susanne Fläxl (Managing Director, Cineplex Neufahrn), Laura Fumagalli (Marketing & Events Manager, Arcadia Cinemas), Madeleine Probst (Managing Producer, Watershed) and Katrin Mathe-Cotillon (International Event Cinema Manager, Kinepolis). The scene was set by Gabriel Swartland (Regional Director & Vice President, EMEA, Movio) who provided an overview of the most recent audience trends and social patterns.
The first day of the event ended with a dinner reception, the best of Belgian beers and a lot of networking.
The next morning, participants gathered for the second day of the Cinema Days, which involved more interactive sessions and workshops. The day started with a series of Quickfire presentations on a wide range of topics:
- The Employee Experience: Delivering On Expectations In Times Of Change
Suzie Welch, Group Chief People Officer, ODEON Cinemas Group
- Cinema Retail – What Happened Next
Ruth Hinton, Group Head of Customer Experience & Insight, Vue International & Nick Gault, European AFH Customers Director, The Coca-Cola Company
- UNIC Women's Cinema Leadership Programme
Sarah Lewthwaite, Chief Client Officer, Movio & Alessandra Pavan Bernacchi, Director, Theatre Development, EMEA, IMAX
- Passerelle: An Online Platform For Cinemas As A Social Bonding Tool
Jérémie Monmarché & Tarik Roukba, Cinéma Passerelle
- Elevating Cinema Experiences
Kate Gerova, Strategic Creative Director & Mandy Kean, Founder, Mustard Studios
- The Green Deal For Cinemas: Cutting Carbon Emissions And Costs
Birgit Heidsiek, FFA Green Cinema Consultant
- Flash Update on Commission’s Action: Greening the Audiovisual Sector
Lauriane Bertrand, Policy Officer Greening / Sustainability, European Commission (Creative Europe MEDIA)
- Supporting Ukraine – Initiatives From The European Cinema Sector
Guillaume Branders, Senior Industry Relations Manager, UNIC
Afterwards, participants were invited to join one of the two parallel industry labs - Cinema Marketing Lab and Cinema Technology Lab - each exploring current trends and business opportunities through a series of expert talks and collaborative exercises.
The Marketing Lab was kicked off by Laura Houlgatte (CEO, UNIC) and Jan Runge (Independent Advisor), who provided an overview of the recent developments in the UNIC Marketing Group and also explained the format of the afternoon’s workshops. Following this, each workshop moderator explained their topics and focus and participants started a rotating exercise attending each of the below 10 workshops:
- Finders Keepers: How To Identify, Engage With And Retain Moviegoers Who Are Slow To Return
Moderated by Sarah Lewthwaite, CCO, and Gabriel Swartland, Regional Director & VP, EMEA, Movio
- How Can Digital Innovation Help Boost Outreach To Young Audiences?
Moderated by Michelle Stevens, Commercial Director, Powster
- Streamlining The Cinema-Going Experience
Moderated by Richie Power, CEO, Showtime Analytics
- Audience Behaviour Data Capture And Analysis
Moderated by Mark de Quervain, Director Client Service and Strategy, Showtime Analytics
- Ticketing – Best Practices And Learnings From The Past Two Years
Moderated by Julien Marcel, CEO,The Boxoffice Company
- From Ticketing To E-Commerce – New Trends And Developments
Moderated by Alice Burger, Marketing Project Manager, The Boxoffice Company
- Expanding Local Content Across Borders
Moderated by Lucy Jones, Executive Director, Comscore
- Maximising Box Office Returns With Fewer Blockbusters
Moderated by Eric Marti, General Manager, Comscore
- What Can Cinema Be Doing To Drive Industry Reputation On Climate Change?
Moderated by Prill Brewin, Partner, The Blue Stocking Partnership
- Can Cinema Learn Anything From The Evolution Of Quick Commerce?
Moderated by Sarah Girling, Partner, The Blue Stocking Partnership
The Technology Lab kicked off with an introduction to the UNIC Cinema Technology Lab by Guillaume Branders (Senior Industry Relations Manager, UNIC). This was followed by a conversation on the state of cinema technology – short term impact and future trends – lead by David Hancock (Chief Analyst, Media and Entertainment, Omdia) in conversation with members of the UNIC Partnership Programme and UNIC Technology Group.
Then Benjamin Dauhrer (CTO/CMO, CINECITTA' Multiplexkino) and Nicolas Hamon (Projection and Sound Manager, Kinepolis) lead a conversation on sustainability and energy efficiency. Then, two interactive discussion and brainstorming exercises followed: one focused on laser projection – performance measuring, monitoring and content by Jan Rasmussen (Head of Screen Technology, Nordisk Film Cinemas) and another one exploring the preparation for AVATAR 2, HFR and 3D, conducted by Mike Bradbury (Head of Cinema Technology, ODEON Cinemas Group) and Jan Petersen (Group Director of Cinema Technology, Vue International).
All in all, it was two insightful days in Brussels and we couldn’t be happier of how the event turned out! UNIC would like to thank its members and partners for their continuous support and also the sponsors of the event – Cinionic, Vista Group, Comscore, Showtime Analytics, Sharp/NEC, GDC – for making this event possible!
More good news: UNIC is planning to organise another edition of its UNIC Cinema Days this autumn and the dates will be announced soon - stay tuned!