Since its inception in 1999, the Geneva Convention has given Midwest exhibitors access to the latest advances in the industry. The regional event returns to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, September 9 through 11, and will kick off with the now traditional Variety the Children’s Charity Golf Classic, a golf outing that reflects the networking opportunities available in such a relaxed setting. Networking opportunities will continue into the evening with an opening-night reception at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa’s outdoor pool, the first time the celebration will be hosted at the outdoor space.
As to be expected, the Geneva Convention will also be offering top-notch educational opportunities for its attendees. “This year we wanted to address the overall performance by a cinema’s staff, so we booked two keynote speakers who touch upon leadership and management techniques. We have Mike Abrashoff, a former captain of a Navy ship who is a best-selling author. The other speaker is Dave Skogen, author of the book Boomerang and owner of a regional supermarket chain in Wisconsin. He writes about customer service and retention, issues that are top priorities for us in this business,” says George Rouman, co-chairman of the Geneva Convention.
There will also be a roundtable on closed-captioning requirements and standards led by a NATO delegate, which will include representatives from leading equipment providers in the field. “We want to make sure that whatever issue our industry is facing is brought into our show so that everyone in our region that isn’t able to attend CinemaCon can be up to speed with all the current issues,” stresses Rouman.
The trade show is another key feature of the event. “For a regional show like us, we really do have a very impressive trade show,” Rouman explains. “It’s a great cross-section of our industry, and our attendees always come out very impressed with that part of the show.” His co-chair, John Scaletta, agrees. “We focus on supporting our vendors by giving ample traffic to the trade show floor. We host cocktail hours at the floor, which are great and conducive to granting a lot of opportunities for the vendors to interact with both their existing and potential customers.”
The Geneva Convention is also known for its Hall of Fame, an annual celebration commemorating a cross section of the region’s top contributors in the exhibition business. The combination of all these elements results in a convention with a truly regional flavor that caters to the Midwest’s many independent and community-owned theaters.