Silvia Sheenan, Off Y Grid’s Coordinator (to 2017) attended the ICO Cultural Cinema Exhibition course in 2017. Here’s how she got on:
The course was an widespread overview of cinema exhibition, consisting of several different sessions covering topics such as distribution, exhibition, commercial programming, curatorial, marketing, programming for your audience, finding audiences, festivals, diversity and much more.
I learnt that there are several things worth keeping in mind when promoting titles in the future. Creating partnerships with media outlets is important, this can include freelance journalists, and even local businesses and community groups. This is especially relevant in North Wales due to a spread out population so it makes sense to join forces in the local area.
Market research is important. Explore the venue with customers eyes to understand the customer journey, demographics, programme, physical space, ease of booking – being honest about what can be done immediately, in the future, or not at all.
There are nuances to targeting to audiences. Striking the balance of providing specific, strand-based content, whilst also growing audiences and encouraging more diverse or ‘risky’ viewings.
When considering programming you can use archive and AMI films to complement and diversify existing programme, being creative, providing context, blending with the curatorial.
Silvia’s Top Four Elements of the Course
1. Collaboration essential to bring in new audiences – online discussion, guest speakers, partnerships.
2. Finding themes and connections as a way to introduce new films to your audience, prioritise cultural diversity.
3. Being subjective and personal can be a way to ‘defend’ specialist choices- this could help with OYG screenings- perhaps having ambassadors or individual voices to champion certain features (relates to the importance of recommendations).
4. Using surveys, print and email, making sure questions are relevant, offering refreshments as incentives, sharing information and demonstrating how you’ve implemented it.