Leading the Dance

In 2017, the ECA has been the organisation that has driven the discussions in event cinema

Melissa Cogavin, managing director

Another year has flown by And the Event Cinema Association has continued to support and promote the event cinema industry. In June we had a hugely successful free one day event in Barcelona dedicated to the industry and saw attendees from all over the world gather to hear advice and opinion from some of the biggest players in the market. Our Focus On China seminar was well received and a first — our members CityLights Events and Live Viewing Japan gave a fascinating overview of cultural, commercial and technological advancements in the Far East as well as some (ambitious!) predictions, but the enthusiasm behind these projections was undeniably infectious.

As Cinema Technology goes to press, our ECA Slate Day on 6 December is coming up taking place at the Vue West End cinema in London’s Leicester Square courtesy of our good friend and board member Johnny Carr.

We have had a great response from attendees and presenters alike. This is also an industry first which we have developed further to the successful trial in Barcelona, though this time distributors and content providers will be able to present content themselves, directly to exhibitors for 15 minutes at a time. This is expected to be an annual event taking place at the beginning of the arts season and an opportunity for that all-important networking which the ECA is at pains to provide and is so vital for the industry’s continued growth.

On 7 February 2018 we will, once again, be hosting our annual ECA Conference and Awards. This is also taking place at the newly refurbished Vue West End and we expect another great day of networking, expert advice and best practice advocacy. We are seeking speakers and sponsors ­— there are plenty of opportunities, so if you have ideas to share or want to see certain topics discussed get in touch (info@eventcinemaassociation.org) as our conferences are a reflection of the industry itself. At the ECA, we aim to lead discussion and facilitate solutions to the challenges our industry faces  ­— but we need input from members to make this happen.

Reflections on the year

In 2017, the event cinema industry faced its fair share of challenges, just as the film industry has generally. The business model is steeped in risk, the audiences tricky to find (and keep), and the box office outcome 100% uncertain regardless of marketing spend. This is just like the film industry, but perhaps more so. At the ECA, we have experienced challenges too and you may be aware that the survival of the ECA itself has been in question of late; fortunately we have had tremendous support from our members but it highlights the issues the industry faces and reminds us that as an association we need to evolve to remain relevant, engaging and vital.

The next year will be exciting for the ECA and event cinema itself. We must continue to communicate, be engaged, committed and work together to ensure our sector continues to offer fantastic content to fanatical audiences, supported by a lively, creative industry that rolls with the punches.