The last UKCA conference took place in November 2015 and had focused on marketing and retail. The theme for this conference that took place on 28th February/1st March 2017 was ‘Unlocking Data and Technology – driving the big screen experience’.
Day 1: BFI Imax: Data
Keynote Address: Mark Kermode, Film Critic, presenter and writer.
Mark’s address was his usual interesting and entertaining talk on the importance of cinema his years growing up. Mark talked about how every community needs a pub and a cinema, but questioned how cinema can be kept moving forward. Cinema audiences have become more discerning when it comes to technology.
Session 1: Daniel Hulme (Satalia):
Daniel explained what data is, and why it should matter to everyone in business, how people and data and can play well together, and speculated on the future impact of technology. It certainly ended up being one of the most talked about and referenced sessions of the entire conference. Daniel started with the simple – what is data, and then going to show how from data you end up with wisdom (via information, knowledge and understanding) he went on to show the impact of how quickly multiple variables can be added to even the simplest options.
Session 2: Sarah Lewthwaite (Movio):
Sarah was joined by Gabriel Swartland (Picturehouse Cinemas) and Ian Wild (Showroom, Sheffield) explained how customer data has helped cinema operators to increase their profitability through better marketing. Movio is a global leader in marketing data analysis and campaign management for cinema exhibitors and distributors. Movio’s mission is to revolutionise the way the film industry interacts with moviegoers. Movio has three products (Movio Cinema, Movio Media and Movio Experts). Movio Cinema analyses the cinema audience and engages the cinema goer with personalised campaigns. Movio Media aggregates moviegoer data to provide the cinema with audience insights and the ability to create highly-targeted, cost-effective campaign solutions.
Both Gabriel and Ian provided real world case studies where they made more intelligent use of the data within their respect databases to better target the emails and messaging that they sent out to their customers and in doing so increased the response rate of reading emails through to an increase in audiences and purchases of confectionary.
Session 3: Christian Kluge (Smart Pricer)
Christian spoke about how data can be used to inform more intelligent pricing structures, and what lessons can be learnt from other sectors. Christian used examples from the sports, hotels and airline sectors that already using data to help drive different pricing structures, and how this could be used in the same way within the cinema sector. To a degree this is already happening, and is likely to happen further in the future.
Session 4: Dimitrios Mitsinikos (Gower Street Analytics):
Dimitrios explained how data can help exhibitors and distributors to improve their decision-making.
Session 5: Richie Power (Showtime Analytics)
Richie was joined by Graham Spurling (Spurling Group Cinemas and Movies, Ireland) to explain how cinemas can bring together all of their data sources to measure, analyse and improve their business. Showtime Analytics interacts with different parts of the cinema and is then able to provide real-time visualtion of the data to allow cinema managers to make the right decisions. Showtime Analytics have been working with Graham Spurling since the beginning of the company and has been able to provide many of the case studies that have been used to develop the software. Richie also provided an important quote for the day “you can’t replace creativity with data”.
Tanya Easterman (Cinema First) was joined by Keith Pullinger (The Light Cinemas), Eva-Marie Muller-Stuler (Alvarez and Marshal), Daniel Hulme (Satalia) and Peter Waugh (Odeon UK) discussed what lessons should be taken from the day’s discussions and where the industry could more.
Day 2: Empire, Leicester Square: Technology
Session 1: David Hancock (IHS Markit)
David explained the current state of play with cinema technology in the UK, the key technological developments and how far they have been adopted. David had his usual array of facts and figures to help illustrate his presentation. David had two slides that provided very interesting demonstrations of where the industry is at. One was about the market segmentation that is developing – this showed all the different types of cinema that is now being seen (from Giant Screens, through Premium Large Format, 3D, Arthouse to Local Community-based and finally non-theatrical cinema):
Then there was a slide about technology driving broader content with the cinema (Esports/gaming, Event Cinema, Virtual Reality etc). There was a warning about the possible disconnect between the creative and projection end of technology that has been seen (an example being the ability to see 120ftps):
Sessions 2: High Dynamic Range (HDR):
Julian Pinn (Julian Pinn Ltd): Julian was meant to have been joined by Peter Doyle (Technicolor) explained what High Dynamic Range is and its important to the industry, the benefits for the audience and operators and where the technology might head in the future.
Session 3: Immersive Sound:
Laurence Claydon (Motion Picture Solutions) was joined by Glenn Fremantle to explain what immersive sound is and how it works, the benefits for the audience and where the technology might head in the future. Laurence went through each of the main immersive sound formats that are currently available. Laurence then went on to talk to Glenn about the work he had done on 143 films, especially in terms of being able to make use of the new immersive sound formats.
There was then an example of Everest played, that looked and sounded amazing within the Imax theatre. In fact it was one of the best demonstrations I have seen.
Session 4: Laser Illumination:
Mike Bradbury (Odeon & UCI Cinemas) was joined by Nic Knowland BSC to explain the laser projection technologies currently on offer, the benefits for the audiences and operators and where the technology might head in the future.
Mike’s presentation clearly explained all the different types of laser projection technology available, the pros and cons of each of the different technologies along with some formulas around the cost considerations as well.
David Hancok (IHS Markit) was joined by the lead speakers from the morning sessions along with James Colington (Savoy Cinemas) and Andrew Turner (20th Century Fox) to case a critical eye over the technologies discussed and look ahead to what the future might hold.
It was a very good two days that successfully managed to weave together both useful and interesting information, sessions to start debates and discussions along with plenty of opportunity to network and talk to people.