Main Event: The Event Cinema Association Celebrates its 2019 Slate Day

By Grainne Peat, Managing Director, Event Cinema Association

On Thursday, January 17, the Event Cinema Association welcomed event cinema colleagues from across Europe to Vue Leicester Square in London for the 2019 ECA Slate and Insight Day. 

The event hosted slate presentations from over 10 distributors, all showcasing a broad range of content coming to theaters in 2019, plus data-insight presentations from Comscore, Powster, Showtime Analytics, and Screen Moguls, all focusing on more effective marketing for event cinema. 

The wealth and diverse range of content on view demonstrated how much event cinema is evolving and growing. There was a notable focus on promoting music events, esports, and art and exhibitions, all of which are gaining traction with cinema audiences in addition to core content such as theater, opera and ballet.

The insight discussions added an extra layer to the event. The collation and sharing of event cinema data is an issue that has been overlooked. The presentations clearly demonstrated just how well event cinema is performing and how we (content providers, vendors, and exhibitors) can use data to better profile and market to audiences throughout their cinema journey.

There was a great deal to celebrate and enjoy over the course of the day. 2018 was a successful and interesting year for event cinema, one that we can learn from to help grow the potential of this programming. Box office figures for 2018 in the UK and Ireland finished at GBP £41.5 million, up 19 percent from 2017. 

The day ended with the ECA Box Office Awards, sponsored by Encompass, celebrating the biggest global titles of 2018. Trafalgar Releasing, CinemaLive, More2Screen, and the Royal Opera House all went away happy winners. The full results can be found below.

This was the first ECA event under my leadership, and the level of attendance and enthusiasm throughout the day was hugely encouraging. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate the new vision of the ECA and provided the perfect forum to announce the association’s new board appointments—Trafalgar Releasing’s Marc Allenby and former UNIC CEO Jan Runge—and plans for the association’s annual conference. 

The ECA conference will take place in Brussels in September 2019. The date is still to be confirmed, as we are keen to ensure it doesn’t conflict with any other industry events, but we hope it will send a clear message that the association wants to attract and highlight best practices and share experiences, trends, and advice from all professionals who support event cinema.

Key topics for discussion are already emerging, including marketing, increasing F&B spend, ticketing, gaming, and the delivery of content. We’re starting to identify some interesting case studies and themes to track in 2019, which we can present at the conference.

A huge thanks to all who attended and participated—we look forward to seeing you again at the next event.

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