Campaign India Team
Apr 13, 2009

Abbys, Goafest : Learning from Richard Bach

The only Richard Bach book that I have read is The Gift of Wings, a collection of short stories on flying. One of the stories is called Too many dumb pilots. In the story, experienced pilots have just landed in treacherous weather and are concerned about how a rookie pilot will manage. The pilot comes in to land from the opposite direction that all the pros did – and makes a perfect landing.All he did different, which none of the pros did, was to take a look at the windsock.

Abbys, Goafest : Learning from Richard Bach

The only Richard Bach book that I have read is The Gift of Wings, a collection of short stories on flying. One of the stories is called Too many dumb pilots.

In the story, experienced pilots have just landed in treacherous weather and are concerned about how a rookie pilot will manage. The pilot comes in to land from the opposite direction that all the pros did – and makes a perfect landing.

All he did different, which none of the pros did, was to take a look at the windsock.

That’s what all those who are involved in the Goafest and the Abbys need to do. Look at the windsock – which they just haven’t done.

It’s easy to get carried away and pronounce the Goafest as a success. It wasn’t one.

There were too many areas of unhappiness – and a number of these point to a question mark on the event next year.

I cannot imagine that Piyush or Prasoon will participate next year. It took a lot of effort to get them on board this year; after their experiences at Goa, no amount of persuasion will work in 2010. Balki, as he has made abundantly clear, will stick to his True Award show.

Unless things change.

The situation is complicated by the fact that, until the elections to the AAAI and Advertising Club, Bombay are held, the various committees cannot be formed. It is only once these are formed can the repair job begin.

What can be done immediately is a systematic assessment of all the areas that the larger industry is unhappy with. Are there too many categories? Too few? Do the categories need to be realigned? Was the show flow acceptable? Should the Grands Prix, be awarded within their categories or at the end of the event? Is the jury composition satisfactory? Is there a need to revisit the judging procedure?

Specifically, what are the areas of unhappiness for Piyush, Prasoon and Balki (yes, you need to ask him as well – even if he has no intention whatsoever of taking part)?

What are the concerns of the smaller agencies? While the rules allow them to send entries to the Awards even if they are not AAAI members, the benefits available to the under 30s delegates of AAAI members are not available to non-AAAI agencies. That is patently unfair and self-serving.

Making the festival more relevant to marketers and to media owners is also an area of concern. Media houses must be included; their sponsorship money is welcome – but their under 30s delegates, too, have to pay the rack-rate.

As in any successful conference or seminar, content is the key. On Day 2 of the fest, the two speakers (Sir John Hegarty and Dan Wieden) were interrupted by an open bar and the rain-dance. Goafest cannot take the chance that someone of the stature of Dan Wieden could be speaking in an empty seminar hall because delegates are too drunk or too exhausted to attend.

Last year, when ET broke the story on the Abbys winners, one thought, naively, that it would never happen again. When the incident repeated this year, fingers were pointed in all possible directions – with no one holding the can. There is absolutely no sense of accountability now.

That is because there is no continuity. Those in charge this year, cannot, by the rules of the AAAI and the Ad Club, be in charge next year.

That, too, needs to change. The committee needs to work, as is the case with any successful awards show, through the year. Raising sponsorships, putting together high quality content and the composition of the juries can be done far better if there was a permanent secretariat.

Ignore this if you will; the danger today is that there might be someone or some organization waiting in the wings smelling the opportunity of establishing a parallel awards event.

Most of those at Goafest 09 would agree.

Source:
Campaign India