Cinema Know How 3.0 Developing audiences for cinema

As part of the ongoing audience development strategy at Junction, Helen Tawn (Box Office Administrator) and Lauren Cowdery (Marketing Officer) attended 4 Cinema Know How sessions spread across a 4 month period at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, working with Snook to explore how best to improve the audience experience for cinema customers.

The focus of the sessions was on improving not only our audience’s experience in interacting with the venue, but in exploring how we thought about the audience experience and how this impacted into all aspects of that experience.

Through the sessions, we were encouraged to think about the actual needs of our cinema audiences, by completing customer journey maps and personas, rather than identifying and acting on the issues we perceive audiences to have. We were also able to see immediate positive results from the quick prototyping of ideas through the storyboarding and audience journey processes, which has given us the confidence to trial ideas (no matter how small) which may have a positive outcome for improving our audiences experience within the venue. For example, after attending the first session, we removed all un-necessary publicity from around our Box Office area, and saw an immediate uplift in visitors to the venue picking up publicity, making enquiries and critically, purchasing tickets.

It was also extremely useful to connect with other small cinema venues, to discuss ideas, share issues and solutions and to experience how other venues interact with their audiences. Through this skill-sharing, we have been able to share our knowledge with colleagues across the country, and have been able to gain feedback on our ideas and prototypes which has been invaluable. This network will continue long after the sessions have been completed, and will allow for continued learning and development amongst the cinemas involved. On a local level, we were also able to connect with our neighbours at Hull Independent Cinema, and share ideas, marketing contacts and knowledge specific to the East Riding region.

Moving forward, we will continue to utilise the process which was started by Cinema Know How, using customer journeys, prototyping and ideation to identify barriers and issues for our audiences. This will inform all aspects of how we approach film, from the ways potential audiences encounter our programme (website, print publicity etc.) right through to their experience as an audience member at particular screenings. We have already seen improvement from relatively small initiatives, and hope that by embedding the Cinema Know How process into our practice, that we can continue to improve the experience for the audience, as well as growing the numbers of new and returning customers to the venue.  

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