June 22, 2017
Au Revoir, Cannes!
In a blink of an eye we’ve already disembarked the Lady in Blue after a whirlwind week of meetings, briefings, handshakes, and perhaps one too many canapés. While there have been discussions around the cost and ROI of Cannes in various circles (exhibit A, exhibit B), this is an event that undoubtedly propels advertising forward.
Relationships are made here, partnerships seeded and future business negotiations discussed in the relaxed French Riviera sunshine. Friends pass that you haven’t seen for ages and work colleagues from years gone by turn out to be running the companies that are shaping the future of digital media. By my third day at Cannes I had already met with Autotrader, ESI, Just Premium RadiumOne, Northern & Shell, British Telecom and many other respected partners. They are all here: prospects, partners, suppliers and competitors. From a timing perspective, the ability to simply have so many conversations within the span of a week in an age where our calendars fill up months in advance is incredible.
It goes without saying that schedules are hectic but then you remember this one week can set the stage for the remainder of the year. One minute you are sipping a café au lait in front of the harbor with a new client and the next you are watching your biggest competitor circle them for an adjoining meeting. Cannes brings out the best in all who attend and, by doing so, forces us all to produce better work and push the envelope as an industry.
Work aside, Cannes would not be Cannes without some fun. We co-hosted an incredible marina-side party onboard PCH’s super yacht with fantastic live renditions of ‘90s hits (complete with slap bracelets!) and joined Captify for a gorgeous afternoon in the hills. Hats off to the amazing teams behind these events that solidify Cannes as a must-attend event.
As we swap our hammocks for computer chairs and boat shoes for leather wingtips, we must follow through on the ideas and promises we exchanged at Cannes to ensure our efforts were worthwhile. Here’s to another year of Cannes and another promising year of opportunities yet to be realised.