Conversations at the Heart of CinemaCon

May 2019

by Theresa English, TK Architects International

Come on a journey with me over miles of carpet and up escalators and down escalators and maybe more carpet too….oh wait it’s just the walk to CinemaCon.  I’m sure my health insurance is wondering if I attached my Garmin to the neighborhood dog because my step count was easily triple my norm.  At the end of that long carpeted journey what one finds is great conversations.  For TK this year CinemaCon was ultimately about conversations.  We had excellent discussions with numerous clients about their current and future projects.  We also met other attendees from all corners of the exhibition business, and the world.  Chatting with first time attendees is always enjoyable to learn what brought them to the show.  We were able to visit with many of our vendor friends whom we rely on closely as valuable team members on shared projects.  All these conversations created a positive energy that seemed to hum across the convention and trade show floor.

“For TK this year CinemaCon was ultimately about conversations…”

Theresa English, TK Architects International

The conversation in the industry seemed to be focused on the positive summer slate and growth over last year.  Part of the State of the Industry presentation was a study showing results that those who stream movies are more likely to go to the movies in cinemas.  The discussion about Netflix vs traditional distribution was also a hot topic. 

Buzz about new offerings within the PLF sector was high and how those unique experiences are incomparable.   Capturing all the innovations presented at CinemaCon would be a very long conversation, but our clients were talking about seats greeting you by name and seats that make cleaning easier.

Senior Principals Jack Muffoletto and Mike Cummings and Principal Steven Dragan prepping for the busy day ahead. CinemaCon 2019, Las Vegas.

Monday is International day at CinemaCon.  It is a unique gathering of exhibitors from around the globe with similar objectives and often different points of view.  The highlight was the all-star executive panel discussion about important industry issues with participants including Irving Chee, Cameron Mitchell, Alejandro Ramirez Magaña, Tim Richards, and Jerome Seydoux.  There was even some talk about why international day is one day of the four-day event when 71% of worldwide box office is classified as international.

The panel on Tuesday morning moderated by Rolando Rodriguez, talking about diversity and inclusion, was a terrific discussion with a broad variety of perspectives and insights.  The panel participants were Nikkole Denson-Randolph, Moctesuma Esparza, Glenn Morten and Niyati Nagarsheth.  They shared some of their thoughts on how diversity inclusion has generated markets for them.  Special language showings have broadened markets but also films made with inclusive teams, have done better in the mainstream.  Throughout the rest of the week I heard people talking about this panel and it seemed to resonate with everyone that heard it.  It is always a good sign when they have to add a large number of chairs to the presentation room to accommodate the crowd anxious to hear the panel, especially at 7:45 AM.  Later in the morning, Michael Cummings presented on a panel to discuss what the cinema of the future may be like.  We capped off the first day of the trade show with conversations and grooving to the sounds of the Traveling Cinema Thugs at the ICTA cocktail party.

Wednesday after the long tradeshow days, was the normal carnival of parties.  One of the new players on the party circuit was the Dine-in Cinema Summit party out at the Spanish Steps.  Watch for this to be a rising hot spot in the trade show circuit come November.  TK attended the first one last fall and enjoyed seeing many of our connections again at CinemaCon.  Always a whirlwind but so much fun to chat with so many clients and vendor partners throughout the evening.  If you were there, I’m sure you heard all about it, if not we would happily fill you in.

Similar to the industry, the perception after CinemaCon was that the future is bright, and cinema will be a significant part of that as long as Hollywood creates strong content and exhibitors create places that offer a differentiated experience.

Share with us the conversations you had at CinemaCon that changed your perception, made you pause to ponder or perfectly captured an idea.  If you have any questions about the presentations or other aspects, we would be happy to have a conversation with you. 

You will next find me at Booth 218 at CineEurope (June 17-20, Barcelona, Spain), where I am looking forward to new conversations.