The heady cocktail of sun, sand, beer and advertising, Goafest, is the most important Indian advertising festival. Apart from hosting the Media Abbys and Creative Abbys, Goafest promises to be a treat for youngsters in terms of fun and frolic and more importantly, in terms of inspiring them to be better advertising professionals.
However, there is a mixed response on how much value do youngsters actually derive from the two-day festival. Campaign India spoke to five such young advertising professionals and figured that most young people are quite excited to be a part of this advertising extravaganza but they definitely want some changes to happen to get the most out of it. From the time to venue to workshops, they have quite a few suggestions to make.
In terms of logistics, Shounak Guha Thakurta, senior copywriter, JWT India, feels that “Moving away from the stage, a lot of people complained that the transport arrangements, to and fro the venue, left a lot to be desired. Someone even suggested a bikes-for-hire counter at the venue.” He adds, “Some even went as far to say that Goafest would attract more people if it were hosted somewhere in North Goa.”
Ryan Mendonca, snior copywriter, O&M thinks “being put up in nice hotels around the venue would not hurt.”
He also feels that the festival should be conducted during winter instead of April when it is extremely hot.
Naomi Thommy, junior copywriter from Leo Burnett feels that while planning the Goafest committee should pay more attention to “the interns, trainees, almost employees, and creatives that still live off their parents’ retirement funds.”
She pleads, “While planning this year’s Goafest, think of us bottom dwellers, who’re still not completely cynical about the business and veraciously ‘want’ to be better at writing award winning e-mailers.”
Hemant Sharma, senior copywriter, DDB Mudra feels that most people don’t know the exact schedule and location of the sessions during the festival. He says, “It should be more structured as it is a great opportunity to meet all these great advertising people. There should be a specific place where youngsters can interact with these speakers.”
He also says that the festival should be extended to four days.
Thakurta, while talking to his colleagues, also concluded that, “Someone said ‘Jalebee Cartel should play for longer’ to which someone else said ‘Dude, Karan Bhoj’. Finally, to a very charming lady who confessed that she would like to see more of a certain Sumanto at the festival.”
“Last year, the important sessions were scheduled in the morning or noon. So one had to try to pay attention to the esteemed speaker while nursing a hangover. If the talks are scheduled at a slightly easier time, it’d come as a welcome relief for those who don’t want to miss out on anything. Also, viewing the TVCs can be a bit more wieldy. I wonder if there is a way to create a simpler user interface. A touch activated system perhaps, with the audio being routed through head phones. This way one can get a thumbnail overview of all the work and view each piece intuitively, somewhat like the DVDs of Shots.”
“The whole point of Goafest is about promoting advertising to young people. There are great people who come and conduct sessions. I feel more youngsters should be able to listen to these people. That is why people below 30 years of age should not be required to pay. Also, nobody knows the exact schedule and location of the sessions. Thus, it should be more structured as it is a fabulous opportunity to meet all these great advertising people. There should be a specific place where youngsters can personally interact with the speakers. Also, it could be extended to more than just two days to four days.”
“I would say more power to the interns, trainees, almost employees, and creatives that still live off their parents’ retirement funds. Instead of hankering from the sidelines, they must be subjected first hand to the scale of arrangements, celebrations and speakers at Goafest without having to bicker and barter for a gate pass or grovel indefinitely until they get one. Once you get past the pilfered booze and the common place activities of a beach bum, you’re left wasted, hollow and in want of having experienced a better Goafest.”
“Frankly, I wouldn’t change a thing about Goafest. A combination of beer, sun, surf and plates of calamari - what could possibly go wrong? However, I decided to do a little recce around office to gauge the opinion of my able colleagues. An elder statesman wants to see and I quote, “a class act like Guy Ritchie from a parallel field”. He also opines that those conducting seminars should base their deliberations on “knowledge sharing” rather than beating their own drum.Another serious sounding lady expressed her desire to see and hear of more emerging from the digital space.”
Ryan Mendonca, senior copywriter, O&M
“I would like next year’s Goafest to happen during winter season because April is just too hot. That definitely dampens the spirit. Also, there should be more cocktails at the venue.
Being put up in nice hotels around the venue would not hurt. The workshops that are conducted during the festival could be more fun and interesting and this way, more people would participate in them. I also feel that there should be a book for all the delegates at the end of the two-day festival that showcases all the award-winning work of that year.”