Art House Marketing Roundtable
with Stephanie Silverman, Belcourt Theatre, Tori Baker, SLC Film Society.
Share your best marketing materials and ideas with Art House colleagues at this informal round table discussion. Tell us about your successful E-mail campaigns; live-on-stage added attractions; special event promotions; general marketing strategies; poster and flyers campaigns; direct mail appeals; film artist guest appearances; genre, director or movie star series, as well as classic film, holiday and sing-along series that have proved to be boffo; sponsorship programs or group promotions that drew big crowds. This session is designed to stimulate new ideas and explore a wide array of programs and promotions that you can steal – for fun and profit!
The Art House Landscape – Perspectives From Around the Nation
An interactive brag session
Getting to know you and the diversity of community-based, mission-driven theaters we represent nationwide. Bragging about your theater and its programs is encouraged! Conference delegates will be asked to pair up and learn about each other’s theaters. Everyone will introduce another person and present information about his or her theater or business. There is a 90 second limit to each presentation.
How to Survive the Economic Downturn
Fraser Nelson, NFP Management Consultant, Tori Baker, SLC Film Society moderator
Successful business leaders think strategically. They think about the competition, their advantage and profits. But strategic planning isn’t something that only happens in corporate board rooms or in the first class section of planes. Art house theaters and nonprofits have to think strategically too – after all, we are asked to do more with less and have to demonstrate we are providing a sound ‘return on investment’ while maximizing our resources, supervising staff and volunteers, raising money – and deal with the impact of the economic downturn. It’s not easy. But a clear and usable strategy is essential to survival and success. And perhaps your sanity!
This session will give you – and the Convergence – a framework for creating, understanding and evaluating your theater’s strategy. Using the art house industry as a model, you’ll learn the importance of knowing you industry’s underlying purpose, how core values guide decision making, how to describe your competitive advantage – and see how a clear mission steers resource allocation. You’ll leave with real tools to take your own theater through a strategic planning process that will energize your staff and board and make you feel ready to take on the future.
Industry Update on Current Technology
Joe Zina, Coolidge Corner Theater, Barry Rebo, Emerging Pictures, Tori Baker, SLC Film Society, Richard Steward, Agile Ticketing.
Are you confused by the latest technology? Are you considering buying a digital projector but can’t rationalize the cost with the need? Perplexed about whether to invest in the “industry standard” DCI system projectors (with 3-D capability)? Looking for a new box office and concession sales reporting system or considering a patron, donor and customer service database? The Art House Convergence Technology Subcommittee (Joe Zina, Tori Baker, Shanon Larimer) went to the ShowEast Trade show last October and will report and recommend the latest technology including:
1. What is absolutely necessary (a patron/donor database management system);
2. What would be nice but is not necessary (the commercial theater DCI systems will be a much more affordable in a couple years);
3. What technology costs you should avoid.
Show & Tell of Art House Technology
Barry Rebo, Emerging Pictures, Tori Baker, Richard Steward, Agile Ticketing, xxxx xxxxx of Marketing Materials?
Engage in one-on-one discussions with the Technology session panelists. Ask specific questions about digital projectors, box office ticketing and concession sales systems, digital distribution networks, patron and donor databases and other useful technology that will benefit Art House operators. Get the latest information from the people with know the most to make your Art Houses modern, effective and efficient.
Not-For-Profit Model & Proven Fund Raising Methods
Russ Collins, Executive Director, Michigan Theater and Emily Laskin, Development Director, Sundance Institute
This session will focus on why community-based, mission-driven Art House theater operators should no longer look to the for-profit film industry as a primary business model. Rather, Art House theaters should learn from not-for-profit community-based, mission-driven models like; regional theater companies, performing arts series, museums and educational institutions. The local Art House must become an effective and dynamic community charity and rethink its perception that fundraising is begging. Asking for money is not an admission of failure; it is a vital part of maintaining the health and well being of the Art House – a critically important community institution.
80% of all the funds raised in the United States come from individuals. The primary reason people give to charities is (drum roll) because someone asks them to give. Statistically that means the best way to fundraise for your Art House is by asking the people who come to your theater to donate money. Learn how and why membership programs, annual giving campaigns, major gift solicitation programs, capital fund raising campaigns, etc. should be targeted at soliciting gifts, both large and small, from individuals in your community. Sponsorships from businesses and grants from government and foundation sources can also play important roles, but it is individual contributions that will yield the best results. This session will help you to plan and organize yourself to seek these essential gifts.
New World Distribution – The Role of the Art House
Connie White, moderator. Panelists Bob Berney, Ted Hope, Peter Broderick
As specialized films reach an audience through an increasing array of venues and platforms, what role will the Art House play?
We are now in an era of anxiety about the future of Art House theater film exhibition. Digital video technology and commercial distribution practices allow the public to see films in an increasing array of venues and platforms including multiple runs at commercial movie chains, DCI compliant digital projection, VOD, DVD, cable and other forms of exhibition and consumer availability. So, what role will the community-based, mission-driven Art House play in the 21st century? Are we the hope of the future – by both 1) teaching audiences to deeply appreciate the art, craft and cultural relevance of the motion picture and 2) serving as the final public venue where the “wisdom of crowds” helps society sort through the vast output of contemporary filmmakers to find the great motion pictures of our era? Or will Art House theaters die like vaudeville, the British Empire and many local independent book and record stores? This distinguished panel of film producers and distribution executives and consultants will help us to understand where we are, how we got here and provide thoughtful conjecture on where we might be headed.
Aligning Education with a Programming Mission for the Art House
Emily Keating – Jacob Burns Film Center Media and Education Staff
How does an art house theater further develop its role in the community, address the ever-growing need and demand for visual literacy skills, and nurture a future generation of film appreciators? With its pioneering education initiatives, Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is forging new territory to tackle these questions and more. Join JBFC’s Education staff to discover how they’ve established one of the most forward-looking film and visual literacy curriculums in the country, as part of a growing movement to re-examine and redefine literacy and education in the 21st century.
JBFC’s programs have proven to enhance students’ traditional literacy skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Located in a suburban community in the metropolitan New York City area, JBFC has reached over 60,000 students to date. In January 2009, the education mission will expand with the opening of a new 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility.
Ted Hope, Film Producer, This Is That Productions
(View his remarks on our Media page)