Exhibition innovation (have you overcome your fear?)

A very interesting morning for Day 2 of #thiswayup14.

Rohan Gunatillake got things started this morning with his discussion on why film exhibitors need to be more innovative in using digital platforms. Some poignant messages in there (what does working in collaboration really mean?), delivered to a very excited audience with a lot of humour! Some great points on what might be holding organisations back in this respect (the human aspect of innovation – have you overcome your digital fear?) as well as our need to make innovation a core objective throughout our organisations to give it any chance of working. What do you think – is your organisation capable of digital innovation?

Next up in the Electra was ‘we’re all super-geeks now’, led by Jay Arnold (Chair) with Chris Dennis (Entertainment One), Simon Bateson (Take One Action) and Andrew Partridge (Anime Limited). We heard from the panel on the effect our highly engaged audiences have on cinema-going culture, and what this means for programming. One opinion-splitter among the crowd was whether audiences passionate about our venues would be more forgiving of riskier programming – would fans of your venue be forgiving?

This afternoon, The Dukes Lancaster’s Ivan Wadeson joins us in the Electra to explain how content generation and programming is already being led by ordinary people and data that is readily available for anyone to access. Meanwhile in the Roxy, Chair Susan Picken (Queen’s Film Theatre Belfast/ Film Hub NI) is joined by Iain Simons (Game City), Marc Allenby (Picturehouse Entertainment) and Cherie Federico (Aesthetica Short Film Festival) to discuss what film and other artforms can learn from each other.

At 3.30pm, Director and Chief Executive of Cornerhouse and HOME, Dave Moutrey joins us to deliver our closing remarks, and our Master of Ceremonies Jon Barrenechea (Picturehouse Cinemas) announces the winner of yesterday’s Pitch and Mix session – the recipient of the very first Exhibition Innovation Fund, who live-pitched to a packed house last night.