Carrie’s 60 First Dates with Influx!
Hi! I am Carrie Dietrich and recently joined as the SVP Business Development at Influx Worldwide.
If you haven’t read the blog about my joining this swanky tech company, here is the link. There are a few main reasons I’ve chosen this path for myself, and they’re the same reasons why exhibitors, especially the ones across the US, should be involved with Influx too!
Technology that turns heads
Ours is a small industry, and to compete in this space, you need the BEST technology resources. Influx was impressive to me from my first introduction. There were two key US customers that really interested me, both with progressive IT teams, both were working with Influx - so I had to know “Who were these guys?”. Then I finally came to be introduced to the CEO of Influx at ShowEast 2019. Not only was I welcomed in “tech talk” but it seemed they had a lot of tech challenges really figured out, even things that were not yet in demand.
Influx is the only provider I’ve found to offer a true omnichannel sales solution (web, kiosk, app); their middleware supports multi-POS theatres (Ex: Aloha/Vista), and they’ve also cracked the code on subscription/ membership levels (who needs two apps? that’s way too confusing!).
The latest and greatest product is an F&B microsite, which can be an easy attachment to an existing website to offer contactless online F&B sales. This was created Pre-COVID to reduce labor costs, provide customer convenience and offer a safer experience, in sync with the times. These are the kind of creative solutions that excite me: a wide variety of products that are crazily customized and scream fantastic quality!
Plethora of world cinema knowledge
I’ve worked with international companies before and I do recognize that my time is mostly US focused. Technology can take a while to cross the pond - thinking particularly of trends like reserved seating, credit card security, and the things I’ve dabbled with in selling POS systems. It’s important for me to have a higher level world view of cinema and I’m enjoying seeing that become available for our US customers.
For example, Influx customers seem to average around 60% of all tickets being sold digitally. What!? That fact in itself was incredible, I mean, how can we get there in the US?
I’ve always been excited about online ticketing and I’m looking forward to following these trends and bringing the US along, offering additional revenue and convenience for moviegoers. Embracing the few good things about COVID, we are being catapulted into catching up with the rest of the world and their online ticketing numbers and I look forward to being a part of it.
Extreme agility in deliveries
Let’s get down to brass tacks for a moment. Technology evolves very quickly and longer lead times can mean you’re on your way to being outdated by the time a product even launches. Influx has a track-record of staggering short lead times.
I was hooked when they cited a 10-week lead time for launching AMC’s Saudi Arabia website, I thought this was totally unbelievable.
Witnessing this level of coordination in a large team and watching what they can produce in such a short span is impressive. In addition to speed, the UI/UX design teams are vast and great pride is taken in design and choreographing the user experience. It’s been a real pleasure to sit in on demo calls over the last 60 days - to hear the customer reactions and have confidence that Influx is knocking their socks off. What I REALLY can’t wait to show are the analytics and increased conversion rates, this might warrant another blog post a few months from now… (see what I did there?) I learned that from the movies ….possible sequel?
Leadership team that cares!
Speaking of COVID, there’s no denying that it has rocked the cinema industry, like most others. I’ve come to the belief that you can not determine the character of a leader, or a company for that matter, until you witness a time of trial. The COVID crisis certainly qualifies, and it’s been a learning experience to watch the reactions. Many organizations are reacting in fear; lay offs, aggressive bill collecting, stalling product development, and so on.
Influx has taken an opposite and exciting approach; using this time to seek out talented staff, secure industry partners with cutting edge solutions, attack new software integrations and produce IT solutions that can really help theatres get ahead once reopened.
While the entire staff has shown sacrifice and flexibility during the shut downs, it’s been a time of production rather than a time of loss. Making lemonade out of lemons, I tell ya, that’s what I like to see!
Spirit of camaraderie and warmth
One of my first few days on the job at Influx, I was on a zoom call with more than 70 people and they ended it by singing “Happy Birthday” to me. I thought it was really nice, and maybe because I was new but actually it’s the norm in this organization. Executive team meetings include discussing wedding anniversaries and new babies of team members.
The longest time of these meetings was spent addressing the morale of the WFH (work from home) staff; their physical and mental health during these times and the various benefits the company can offer to assist it’s people.
This is the reason why even with offices across different countries, everyone ensures that they are all connected, no matter what; more impressive is how everyone is so flexible across continents and the various time zones. This attitude carries over to how Influx interacts with exhibitors - aligning with my philosophy that I work for the movie theatre owner/operator vs. the corporation that I represent. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of this incredible industry for quite a while now and I’ve learned serving theatres well will always keep you in business. It’s a true partnership at Influx, striving for success and the best products and solutions possible to benefit theatres.
If you are an exhibitor and wish to explore our products or services, please feel free to get in touch with me at CD@influxworldwide.com