The iconic hub of festivals on the French Riviera attracts hordes of visitors for its festivities it hosts throughout the year, the largest 3 being - The Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), the International Games Festival and the festival for us “Ad-Men” – the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
After a long 12 hour journey all the way from Mumbai – the breathtaking approach into Nice’s Côte D’Azur airport is where the real magic starts. The combination of azure blue sea, sky and mountains with glimpses of yachts, stunning homes and helicopters buzzing below immediately transports your mind into a different zone altogether – one with peace, yet bursting with excitement for the week that’s yet to come.
With a very warm “ Bienvenue en France” (Welcome to France) by the immigration officer, I was ready to begin my very first journey as a delegate to The most prestigious confluence of the greatest creative minds, tech mavens and media moguls – all set to soak up the sun and absorb nuggets of wisdom from passionate entrepreneurs, leaders of industry and celebrities attending the festival this year.
After a smooth 30 minute car ride to my hotel on the Croisette, I was eager to check-in, change into a comfortable pair of shorts and head out to the Palais des Festivals to complete my registration for the festival – and I did just that.
With my 5 day delegate badge around my neck and the welcome kit (a Cheil & Cannes Lions branded cloth bag with an insider’s guide to the festival) – I began my journey of exploration of the Mecca of Creativity and innovation.
Having arrived a half-day early, it was quite amazing to see senior execs in shorts making last minute changes to the layout of their cabanas and loading their yachts with crates of alcohol, food and company branded takeaways and décor since most of them were in “set-up mode”- gearing up for what would be a very crazy week.
As I walked down the Croisette with a can of sprite in my hand – I think what I was experiencing was the calm before the storm – The moderately crowded streets of Cannes with the bustling of attendees strolling down the streets and catching up with their colleagues from around the world.
As the sun set on the beach – I enjoyed the company of my good friend PG Aditiya as we exchanged notes on first impressions and what our expectations of the festival were, at the notorious Gutter Bar (where all good things end in Cannes)
Top 3 Sessions to Look forward to in Day 01:
“I'm Not Sure I'm Right but Who is?”
Speaker: David Droga (Founder and Creative Chairman of Droga5, recipient of the Lion of St.Mark – Cannes Lions 2017)
When: Monday 18, 09:55 - 10:45 (50min)
Where? Lumière Theatre, Palais I
“Human + Machine: Stronger Together in the Age of Co-Creation”
Speakers: Chris Duffey (Strategic Development Manager – Adobe) & Doug Gould (Partner
Executive Global Experience Innovation – Microsoft)
When: Monday 18, 10:30 - 11:00 (30min)
Where? Interactive Stage, Palais II
“Accelerating Creativity in the Age of AI”
Speakers: Natasha Jen (Partner– Pentagram), Mario Klingemann (artist working with algorithms and data) & Jamie Myrold (Vice President of Design– Adobe)
When: Monday 18, 13:00 - 13:45 (45min)
Where? Debussy Theatre, Palais I
Tune in tomorrow for more on the Chatter on the Croisette!
(Abhinay Bhasin is associate director, Data Sciences at Dentsu Aegis Network, India. He is a recipient of a post graduation in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.)