EVENT CINEMA ASSOCIATION .ORG
The Event Cinema Association - looking forward, looking back
BY MELISSA COGAVIN, MD OF ECA: After nearly 3 years, now is a good time to look back at what the ECA has achieved and ahead to where we are going.
Set up in May 2012 with a clear remit to promote and support the fastest growing sector at the box office, it was a bit of a gamble; the sector was fast growing but was unbranded, disparate and chaotic and while there is always merit in feasibility studies and business plans, I realised at the time that the time to act was now; we risked losing valuable opportunities by researching an area I already knew well anyway.
I had a strong gut feeling that a trade association was what was needed, and that potential members would be open to such an organisation catering for this new area as long as they could clearly see the benefits of membership. When the time came to pick up the phone, I found I was right.
The gamble paid off. It’s been an exhaustive process and a lot of hard work, but to date we have 93 members from 23 territories worldwide, with more companies coming on board every month. As we’ve delivered on the promises we made at the outset, our credibility has risen alongside the membership. We had a lot of very supportive members at the very start, including the original board members, who didn’t really know what they were letting themselves in for, so it was a gamble for them too. We wouldn’t have got very far without their help and advice.
Our pledges to promote and support the event cinema association are no different but the activities we are engaged in changes all the time. As a result of our unexpected growth overseas we have taken on ECA Representatives: Olivier Hillaire is a well-known face in the industry and is now providing vital ECA support in France. Jonathan Ross, based in LA, will be ably serving the Americas; we just spent a very productive few days at CinemaCon meeting existing and potential ECA members and hosting our networking event and showreel thanks to our friends at Philips LightVibes. Closer to home, consultant and industry stalwart Nigel Dennis is doing a fantastic job growing our membership in the UK and this makes the ECA relevant and useful in these territories. We’ll be expanding into other territories as time goes on.
Our Technical Delivery Handbook has proved so popular we are about to produce a version in both French and Spanish, and we are at the preliminary stages of a Marketing Handbook for exhibitors and newcomers to the industry keen to understand what’s required to achieve success at the box office. The Handbook has also been the basis for some new training programmes taking place in key cities around the UK this summer; our board member Peter Wilson explains this in more detail below.
Our research partners Rentrak and IHS have been very supportive of our pledges to educate and inform and we will have the 2nd edition of our comprehensive report ‘Event Cinema in European Cinemas’ ready
in time for CineEurope, though this will also contain US data for the first time, which is really exciting. Only with this kind of data can we as a trade association say we have provided the industry with the statistics crucial to allow it to develop and attract investment.
CineEurope will be a busy time for the ECA as we’ve been asked to produce a panel session on Tuesday June 23 at 4pm on the Trade Show floor, and then we’ll be hosting an ECA Drinks Reception with our friends at
Screen International on Wednesday at 6pm, at the poolside terrace at the AC Hotel in Barcelona.
Our annual ECA Conference is a highlight in the event cinema calendar now and we’re delighted to welcome delegates from all over the world, keen to meet their clients and suppliers in a bespoke environment, with break out sessions and networking time carefully carved into the packed schedule. Our next conference will take place in early November 2015 in London.
We’re constantly looking at ways we can improve on value for money for members and have just sent out a customer satisfaction survey for our members; after all, without their input we have no organisation.
The event cinema industry is evolving all the time so the ECA must adapt accordingly. We are committed to making this organisation relevant, vital and valuable for our members for the future, and we are grateful for the faith our members have shown so far.
Event Cinema Training
BY PETER WILSON: The Event Cinema Association (ECA) believes passionately in education as a way forward to grow the business of Event Cinema and maintain the high standards that exist at source; if the content is professionally executed in the opera house, ballet company, theatre, museum, art gallery etc. then in the name of making the arts accessible to all, the delivery of this content live and recorded via satellite and the experience of the viewer should be of the highest quality possible.
The definition of Event Cinema is broadening all the time and content providers are emerging from an increasingly diverse set of backgrounds, bringing with them their own set of technical standards and preconceptions of what the deliverables ought to be. Often content providers are unaware that the technical standards for theatrical release are substantially different to their own standards for deliverables. Likewise cinemas are equipping themselves with satellite capability and are also in need of clarity on live delivery as this technology is so new and there is little education on this subject currently.
Following on from the successful publication of the ECA Technical Delivery handbook the ECA is partnering with High Definition and Digital Cinema Ltd and Creative Skillset to offer Event Cinema guidance on all matters of Event Cinema through a series of multi-discipline Seminars for the UK.
The seminars will take place in several locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The content will cover Production through Distribution to Presentation from both a Technical and Commercial Perspective. The event is designed to appeal to all who are interested in the fast growing business of Event Cinema.
For updated information on the Event outline, Location, Cost and Accessibility please visit the HDDC website where updated information will be regularly posted.