We’re set for the festival proper after the closed door industry conclave that we saw yesterday. As I write this, a few thousand adlanders are on their way to the Zuri White Sands at Varca.
The Conclave left one disappointed, as most of the sessions ended up being a poor rehash of things all of us knew. Added to this was the construct of the panels, which allowed each panelist about 15-20 minutes, with each panel, therefore, taking more than an hour + more for the moderator’s summation + Q&A.
Most of the sessions ended up becoming a whining session (read reports on each session elsewhere on the site), except for the final one, featuring Sam Balsara, Josy Paul, Arvind Sharma and Ashish Bhasin, a session which said the future of advertising is rosy and bright, thank you very much. If there was a single gem that shone yesterday, it was Arvind Sharma’s observation that today’s growth will be different from any growth we have seen, insofar as the industry needs to work harder – something which brings discomfort.
The whining and the lining over, the attendees of the Conclave moved out into the lawns adjacent to the banquet hall where the Conclave was held. That’s where one felt a distinct dissonance with the proceedings of the Conclave – the mood was certainly upbeat. The bar was closed, waiting for the official inauguration of Goafest by the Goa CM. I skipped that and went to a shack at the gates of Zuri with Suprio Guha Thakurta and Partho Dasgupta. Had a couple of beers, and back to the Zuri and the partying. Caught up with Charlie Crowe, whose talk I’m looking forward to.
Noticeable, already, was the absence of professionals from publishers and broadcasters. Saw the Zee team led by Joy Chakaraborty; no Times of India, no Network 18, no STAR, etc. Disappointing.
Had beer after beer (there was no Old Monk), flitting from table to table like an unwelcome mosquito; said hello to most, I think.
Went off to the bar inside the Zuri for a drink with the BBH team of Sir John Hegarty, Partha Sinha, Subhash Kamath, Paul Ward and their brand new partner, Raj Kamble and WCRS’ Robin Wight. For those who didn’t make the connection, he’s the ‘W’ in the agency name. Charlie (Crowe) joined the table, to make it a total of three interlopers.
No serious business discussions. I can’t remember how we reached there, but the conversation led to 26/11 and to Rohinton Maloo. All who knew him at the table remembered him fondly and those who didn’t learned a bit of that wonderful man.
I’m off now, looking forward to a long day and hard work. Today and tomorrow will be all about the work and none of the partying – because there will be no partying. Advertising is an industry which demands, as Arvind Sharma suggested, a lot of hard work – and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the twain don’t meet.
I’ve got to run. Breakfast with Sir John is scheduled at 8.30; then I get ready for the onslaught.