Balaji at Barcelona



                                               (Source - Google Images)

Hola! #

CineEurope happened in Barcelona in June this year. This is a trade convention that promotes the social, cultural, and economic value of cinema in Europe and internationally. (If you are wondering what a person like me had to do in a place like that, you should check out who I work for.)

Visiting Barcelona as a tourist had always been on my bucket list. But this time it was business; I represented Influx at CineEurope. In all those hours spent on my passion—which is learning foreign languages—I never thought it would buy me a ticket to Barcelona.

I would have been surprised only if I had cleared my visa interview in the first attempt. I still don’t understand the joy people at the visa office get in speaking those hope-shattering words—“documents missing”, despite everything mentioned in their list being submitted. I understand the protocol part of it, but arrey, this is too much yaaaar! (I’m trying to learn some Hindi now, and can not resist showing off!)

Preparación para el evento #

My visa was delivered in a week and that very night I started getting Barcelona-beach-vibes right here from Chennai’s Marina Beach. I had to give up my nightly dates with Netflix for a couple of weeks and use the time to make sure I was well-informed about the event and its participants.

Before I knew it, it was time to travel. Ten hours and twenty-five minutes to Frankfurt, and then a connecting flight to Barcelona. That’s the most boring part. I donned my headphones, leaned back and listened—aaram sey—to music, Jack Daniels in hand. There were some good movies to watch, but I was already in the zone where none of it would have made sense to me.

So began my nine-day trip, on a Sunday evening in Barcelona.

“Grand” would be an understatement for CineEurope. It had the best in class of everything from the world of cinema.

Día uno en CineEurope #


                                               (Source - Google Images)

The registrations for the event and the trade floor set-up were the two major activities on the first day. So I took the time that day to explore a little of the beautiful city of Barcelona till I returned for a meeting scheduled with the CIO of a leading Swiss cinema chain.

We had already exchanged emails and had acquainted ourselves with each other. Not often do you meet a person like him. He always had that warm smile on his face and was just the kind of unpretentious person who would meet you over a beer.

We went to Bambu Beach Bar, a small resto-pub on the beachfront. The conversation started with why Influx would be the best digital solutions-provider for their cinemas and somehow segued into a discussion on climate change and global-warming. It was definitely one of the most memorable conversations I have had for a while.

Before I realised it, it was past eleven that night, and he had to take the metro back home. We had to call it a day.

Día dos en CineEurope #


                                               (Source - Google Images)

On the second day was the grand opening of CineEurope’s trade floor. Right at the entrance was Vista Entertainment Solutions - the largest cinema management software company in the world. It was a great way to start, because that very day, Influx became the preferred development partner for Vista.

I spent a good three hours getting to know the core Vista team and was invited to their party later that evening. I could meet the entire team and also explore the possibility of other potential cinema clients.

Día tres en CineEurope #


                                               (Source - Google Images)

On the third day, things seemed far quieter than I expected; the majority of the CineEurope participants were occupied with the screening of movies by 20th Century Fox Entertainment and Warner Brothers. I spent the day meeting other Vista business partners and getting a glimpse of the newest technologies in the field of cinema. The most impressive was virtual reality, which I strongly believe is the future of world-cinema.

After three days of business meetings and savoir-faire about cinema-tech, I took a couple of days off to travel to Paris to visit my friends and ex-coworkers. Then, as always, all good things come to an end and I found myself on the jet back to Chennai, India.

Construyamos grandes!

All-in-all, a great experience for me. I returned with the firm conviction that, here at Influx, we are headed in the right direction and will certainly follow through with our vision, Let’s Build Great.

Balaji—Manager - Pre-sales—is our in-house linguaphile. Besides Tamil and English, Balaji is fluent in French and German. He has a B.E. degree in electronics and communication and a Master’s in industrial marketing.


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