As a first-time attendee, one of the things that really stood out to me at Cannes Lions was the breadth of topics being discussed across the various panels and events.
From the complexities of gun control, to the battle for inclusion and diversity, it was fascinating to see these vital issues being tackled head-on - especially as the people participating and listening to these conversations were some of the most influential figures in our industry.
Not only were attendees highly engaged, but there was a real attitude of open-mindedness present at Cannes this year, both when it came to the issues being raised and the kind of companies being welcomed into the fold. Cannes is perhaps one of the biggest events on the creative calendar, and it certainly felt like there was scope for all kinds of companies operating within this spectrum to make their voices heard. Neuro-marketing is still a pretty unique branch of marketing, for example, but Neuro-Insight was welcomed with open arms.
On a purely aesthetic level, Cannes can’t be beaten, and that’s not just because of the beautiful scenery! As you’d expect with so many businesses present, brands who attend really invest time and energy into making themselves stand out. Walking around, it was obvious they had risen the challenge and really played up to the equity of the event. Influencer agency Whalar, for instance, who were launching the ‘Science of Influencer’ report we had partnered with them for, had a beautifully decked out cabana as well as a vibrant stage area for panels - a great environment for really thought provoking panel discussions. Spotify and Google, meanwhile, had their own beaches, wherein which they were showcasing some incredible activations.
Cannes has received mixed reviews in recent years, with some claiming the rewards from attending are not worth the financial investment.
My view, however, is that, while it’s tough work (no, it’s not just about partying!) the experience can be highly rewarding, both on a personal and professional level. With so many different kinds of people attending, it’s an excellent chance to build your personal profile and expand your network, for example. Sure, it can be a little showboaty - but if you’re switched on and have the right attitude, you’ll soon feel the benefit of going.
By Shazia Ginai, CEO of Neuro-Insight UK