In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the conference’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks. [Also no spell check on my tablet version of WordPress. Sorry.]
The National Association of Concessionaries (NAC), the trade body of the popcorn, soda and other snack vendors, set up a mini-conference room on the trade show floor – similarly to Cine Europe one this summer, though larger. Each seat has a tote bag stuffed full with promotional soda cups, popcorn buckets, merchandising straws and drinks bottles. If there is any doubt where the real money is made in cinemas, this is it.
Building the Experience in Concessions Operations
Craig O’Connel takes the stage, promising raffles and prizes to the three-quarter full rooms. The seminar session is sponsored by Golden Link and Larry runs through the ‘Thank you’s’ to all the other sponsors. He then introduces Dan Barski , Exec VP of NAC (pictured above). He gives an overview of what NAC is and does. He correct the misconception that it is a ‘national’ body “because it is truly international and that is why we are here today at CineAsia.” He then gives a name check to Larry Etter, Senior VP Malco Theatres and Director of Education NAC, who will shortly take the stage.
But first, a raffle prize – a Kung-Fu Panda 2 Power Charger. With that over comes the presentation. Yesterday was Session 1&2 [which I missed]. The first part was ‘landscaping’, which “maybe is not as positive as we would like it to be,” Larry aknowledges. Then they moved onto service, which discussed what customers will expctin the future and how the bar has changed. “In the 1960s and 50s Coca Cola and popcorn was enough, but that’s not sufficient today.” Today is Session 3&4.
“We started yesterday’s second session with the emotional quotient, about how people make decisions. The next part is about financial profitability in how we sell. And there is a certain amount of intelligence required to do that,” Larry. He then refers to the book “Switch” about why people buy when they buy and for what reason. He talks about an elephant walkin thrugh a jungle (the emotions) and man sitting on top steering (the intelligence) and how they often conflict. Then comes the story of Larry’s wife going to shop for white sweaters. The moral is – they don’t buy one, even though plenty are on offer. The next day the temperature drops and they are cold. Then they are compelled to pick a sweater.
“What I want to talk about is the data and analytics that you need if you’re going to run your business efficiently and smart,” Larry proceeds. The quesiton he asks of his members is “What is your transaction time?” He asks a member of the audience who says “one minute” but doesn’t seem completely sure. “Very few people know what their transaction times are,” Larry observes and then talks about how many people get out of the line because they don’t want to wait. He opens the floor to suggestions about how to solve this issue.