Stand out from the crowd and embrace your unique
Words of wisdom from Ian Brown — INDY Cinema Group
INDY Cinema Group began 10 years ago, to create a way for independent cinemas to take advantage of all the benefits that big cinema chains have, while maintaining that which makes them special.
Ian Brown – managing director at INDY Cinema Group – speaks to how INDY was born. “INDY began when I was working at one of the largest cinema chains in the world,” he says. “I could see all the efficiencies they had; the cost savings, the buying power, everything that came with their scale and the head office structure.”
INDY came about as a way to level the playing field, so to speak, by bringing these strengths to independent cinemas. As Ian explains: “Independent cinemas have always had the benefit of unique experiences, by nature of being independent; they’re local and customer-service focused. But it was clear to me that there was a real opportunity to bring cost-saving, industry-leading expertise, and a collaborative approach to these cinemas.”
Ian’s Words of Wisdom
Ian brings over 18 years of experience in the film industry to the table, so he knows a thing or two about what it is that makes cinema work. Speaking to the challenges of the modern cinema, Ian has some wisdom for independents. “In my eyes, the biggest challenge cinemas face isn’t advances in digital technology. It’s not streaming. It’s ensuring the overall customer experience is exceptional,” Ian says. “The biggest challenge for cinema owners right now is competing for people’s time. It’s about ensuring your cinema is the place that people want to spend their increasingly valuable time.”
Unique. It’s a word that comes up over and over in the discussion of independent cinema, and it’s one of the biggest strengths that independents can champion. “If I was to focus on one thing right now as a cinema owner,” Ian explains, “it would be embracing and developing your unique.” Cinemas have unique film programs curated to their audience, and independents especially have a unique voice, a unique style, unique local partnerships and food, beer, wine… the list goes on!
Then there’s film booking, scheduling, theatre management – these are important to independent cinemas as well as their unique experiences. They’re the foundations of cinema operations, and INDY brings the best tools for these jobs to the independents so that they can focus on their unique aspects without sacrificing their finances or efficiency.
So what does INDY do?
INDY started out as a film booking company. “This remains our biggest department and resource,” Ian says. “We have a diverse range of film bookers around the world, and they collaborate with each other and cinema operators to ensure we’re delivering the strongest line-up for each of our individual cinemas.” The line-up of services INDY now offers is huge – from business and cinema analysis to graphic design, marketing to technical support, and point of sale to name just a few.
With clients across the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, INDY works in partnership with a wide network of customers to create the services that can make the biggest differences for independent cinemas’ efficiency and financial growth.
The Veezi touch
The partnership between INDY and Veezi is a close relationship and one of the keys to what has made INDY what it is today. “Without Veezi,” Ian says, “there’s so much we couldn’t offer. It’s a relationship we’re really proud of.”
Together, INDY and Veezi open a lot of doors for independent cinemas. INDY can offer cinemas all manner of awesome features and modules from the Veezi portfolio to optimize the way they do business. With Veezi based in the cloud, INDY staff can access any site around the world that they need to work with, which makes supporting their independents a dream."
One of the major forces behind the success of this partnership according to Ian is Veezi’s back-office tools, reporting, and – most powerfully – Veezi’s Loyalty system. The influence and strengths they give independents is one of the main reasons INDY uses Veezi’s Point of Sale in every one of their clients’ cinemas.
With Veezi, INDY brings the tools of the big leagues so that independents can stand on the shoulders of giants, but also makes sure they never forget what makes them special! “Really focus on what makes you unique – what sets you apart from the crowd. If you can exceed your audience’s expectations, and ensure that every visit is their best one yet, they’ll always have a reason to come back.”