27 Oct The Importance of FlixCon
David J. Meillier, General Manager, Flix Brewhouse – Des Moines
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We are now roughly half-way between this year’s CinemaCon and CinemaCon 2018. I find myself reflecting on my experience in Las Vegas earlier this year, as well as next year’s iteration. So much has changed and continues to change in the film exhibition industry, it makes a lot of sense to remain focused on the constant evolution of the industry.
In April 2017, the Flix Leadership team descended upon Las Vegas to attend CinemaCon. But for the Flix team, this was no ordinary CinemaCon outing. All of the officers, directors and managers of Flix Entertainment were in attendance, several days prior to CinemaCon for the inaugural edition of “FlixCon,” our own company-wide learning event. I know what many of you are thinking, “It’s Vegas, how much learning and development could really happen?” As a lifer in the restaurant industry and a rookie to the movie world, I had no idea what to expect. What I quickly figured out is that the movie industry is pretty cool; who would have guessed?
As we settled in to our meeting room at the Palazzo Hotel to get FlixCon kicked off, all I could think of was what a great decision I had made to join the Flix team. An ensemble of incredibly talented people had all come together to be a part in becoming THE undisputed leader in dine-in cinema. Over the next two days we discussed cultivating our culture, innovative technology and the growth and expansion of our brand. With great insight into what our teams love about us, the opportunities we have to be a first-class employer, and the technology on the horizon that we intend to deploy, it is clear we have arrived at our inflection point. The importance and value of FlixCon was rather evident to me, given our company goal to be at the forefront of the dine-in cinema industry.
I must say that I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to experience next. As we made our way to the opening gala event at CinemaCon, I was astounded by how many people knew who Flix Brewhouse was, after all we are just a little four-theater circuit. I watched as our leadership was approached by vendors and competitors alike to pick their brains. We truly are leading the cinema industry into the future as it transitions into an all-encompassing entertainment experience.
Then it was time for the show! Over the next few days we were dazzled by celebrities like The Rock, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Charlize Theron, and so many more. There were sneak peaks into upcoming films from every major studio. Unbelievable cutting-edge technology like Sony’s 8k LED movie screen, The Mummy VR experience, reclining chairs with every bell and whistle you can possibly imagine, and tons of creative new ways to sell digital advance tickets. There may have also been a party or two; I suggest finding someone with access to the sweet dance moves displayed at Sony’s Spider-Man party.
As I said I am a restaurant lifer, and until now I really don’t think I fully appreciated how amazing being a part of the movie industry really is. More importantly though, the experience helped me become even more confident in and excited about the future of my Flix Brewhouse location in Des Moines, Iowa, and for the whole company, as we finish out 2017 with a roster of what should be high-drawing movies, all with an eye on 2018 and our next FlixCon.