Goafest 2014 will see the introduction of a ‘Leadership Summit’ on the third and last day of the festival, focused on macro-economic issues that affect advertising.
Srinivasan Swamy, chairman, Goafest 2014 Committee, told Campaign India, “We are adding a new ingredient called the Leadership Summit. We’ll have some industry debates featuring next generation heavy weights talking about the macro aspects of the Indian economy. I think this is an interesting element because it’ll be about industry-specific things and will be of interest to our audience. We’ll be talking about the macro-economic issues that affect our business.”
The Leadership Summit will be in addition to the Advertising Conclave on day two of Goafest, which kicks off on 29 May this year. The topic for the Conclave will be: ‘Advertisers can be served better’.
Swamy explained, “We’ll have five advertisers telling the agencies (creative, media and digital) how can they be served better."
Arvind Sharma, president, Advertising Agencies Association of India and Swamy, said they are expecting a better turnout of delegates and more entries to the awards this year (from 2,300 and 4,600 respectively in 2013).
On registrations and entries received thus far, Sharma said, “Registrations for delegates have just opened a week ago. Entries for the awards opened around 1 March, but we being in advertising, expect a large chunk of the entries to come towards deadline day (15 April for Media Abbys, 17 April for Creative, Broadcast and Publisher Abbys). Informally we know that the four new categories (PR, Promo and Activation, Publisher and Media Abbys) are creating buzz and generating quite a bit of interest. We have created banners and we’ve been talking to friends across these four new categories.”
Reiterating relevance of the new categories, he added, “The nature of advertising is changing from the standard paid ads (TVCs, print ads, outdoor etc.), the nature of marketing is changing and it’s increasingly moving to creating buzz about a brand through a variety of channels."
Several agencies chose not to be part of Goafest in 2013, but according to Swamy, that could change. He said, “We are making efforts to bring back many of the agencies that have stayed away in the past. From our side, nothing has been left undone and unsaid in the hope that many of them return. There are positive indications coming in that they could return. We still need to go meet them and have conversations before this is confirmed.”
The first set of speakers were revealed recently. Swamy added that the list will be populated by speakers from companies such as Facebook and Google: “We have confirmation of the companies being a part of the speaker panel, but are yet to get confirmation of the names.”
Bollywood will also be represented at the festival. Sharma said, “We’re going to have one big Bollywood director, and one big ‘hot’ actor also on the list. The duo will be talking about how films are marketed and what it takes to make a hit. As consumers we know a bit of this, but as makers of movies people will want to know it (from them).”
Swamy further explained, “There are too many of these marketing seminars and conferences happening right through, and people get invited to these. We want to bring a different perspective and along with the heavy duty speakers, we also want to give a wide spectrum of speakers from various fields.”
On international participation, Sharma said, “Last year we had over a 100 client organisations and there’s every reason to believe that this will increase. International entrants and delegates should come from SAARC countries (with SriLanka and Pakistan being the bigger contingents).
(Updated with additional inputs on 10 April at 0950 hrs.)