My Trip to ShowEast
By Jeremy Bronson
Last week, I was able to attend ShowEast, the annual motion picture trade show and convention in Orlando. Since my job deals largely with online marketing and website work, it was great to see what goes into all the other aspects of theatre programming, exhibition technology, and our relationships with the movie studios.
The ballrooms and lobby areas of the Orlando World Center Marriott were converted to host several hundred attendees hungry for new movies. Posters for upcoming pictures lined the hallways and a trade show floor was full of new offerings. Everything from 4k digital projection systems to theatre seats to concession technology was on hand. In fact, we even saw the company that provides our online ticketing software there and we were able to troubleshoot a website issue live from the trade show floor.
We had several meetings with representatives from studios (Sony, Paramount, Fox, etc.) We catch up on what movies they have coming out soon and talk about how we’d like to promote them. For example: Can we get large stands for this movie? Should we bring in a local classic car company to help promote that one? Will we be able to give away a merchandise packs for this one? (Etc.) These were scheduled with just a few people and occasionally involved tasty offerings or dinner meetings.
The convention draws people from all aspects of the movie business, and companies of all sizes. For example, one night we had dinner with a couple who runs a one-screen movie theatre in Canada. Their showtimes never change, so they distribute their upcoming titles on a flyer that local businesses post in the window!
Throughout the day we attended different presentations and panel discussions. The keynote address the first day was about movie piracy. We learned about how it happens, and new technology that’s being introduced to combat it – like infrared cameras that detect other cameras, take photos of the operator, and automatically send them to the police. The frequency of piracy is always shocking to me, since nothing compares to the immersive experience of seeing a new movie in a full house on the big screen. There was also a panel discussion about independent movie releases.
What would an event like this be without getting to watch some upcoming movies? We saw 9 movies during the week. Each one was introduced by someone from the studio that’s distributing it. They spoke about the release schedule for the movie, as well as the other movies they’re distributing this year that they’re looking forward to. They asked us not to blog, tweet, or post online about any of them, so I won’t say what we saw… however, I can say there are still many great movies coming out this year!
Several of the nights included recognition of valuable members of the movie industry, and featured recognition into the “ShowEast Hall of Fame” for those with particularly valuable contrbutions.
Although my co-workers and I were traveling on business, it didn’t stop Flick from visiting Downtown Disney and getting his picture taken with several Disney characters.