Vox Pop: Cannes Lions 2015

As Cannes Lions 2015, international festival of creativity comes to a close, the Drum Network asks its members- Cannes: a worthwhile way to spend five days and thousands of euros developing your business or just a posh piss up?

Tom Poynter, Group Managing Director, Southpaw

I have been fortunate to go to Cannes on numerous occasions. Every trip has been at huge expense to the holding company, fully paid access to all the seminars and talks…. but I didn’t make any of them! The lure of the La Croisette, the mental parties by Stink and the like, the copious amounts of rosé and of course over indulging in the Gutter Bar was what it was all about. So, yes, it is a gloried piss up in the Med. But now my kidneys are the size of peas and my ability to handle a 5 day bender is beyond me, I would probably approach it in a different way. Afternoon tea and a view of our credentials!

Peter Leopold, CEO, Rok Creative

Well yes! Work by day drink by night, people need face to face contact socially as well as to pin down deals- it is only by spending time with associates in a relaxed environment that decision makers can build trust and open relationships. People do business with people they’d go for a drink with. The Lions presents a showing of the elite amongst the industry and the big budgets, with that comes the big bar bills. The question here is: “Cannes you not afford to go?”

Gareth Moss, Managing Director, The Blueprint

The Cannes Lions remain the Formula 1, The Premiership and the top flight of global creative work, a real celebration and in a great location. The realities of such an event are more challenging today, more than at any other time. To dedicate a full week is just not realistic for most in the business. Justifying the full five days as business development is near impossible. But having a presence whether you are winning awards or not is near essential.

A couple of key observations from this year that seemed consistent amongst people I spoke with:

Firstly, a number of people had not spent a lot of time or indeed attended the main conference, choosing to meet and connect with people at smaller events outside of the Palais.

Secondly, there were only a small number of independent agencies represented. There is a huge amount of innovation, creativity and award winning work delivered not just by the global groups but also by independent agencies. And these seemed to be missing from the party.

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