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Cannes 2015: 'Jury Conversations’ before we get to work: Sanjay Mehta

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Cannes 2015: 'Jury Conversations’ before we get to work: Sanjay Mehta

So I landed in Nice, with a beautiful view of the sea and the beach, from the aircraft. The small airport where ours was the only active flight at that time, led me further to the Cannes Lions vehicle that drove me to the final destination – Cannes.

The first impression of Cannes was that of an old and cute, small town, with nice houses, and then the water front area. Lots of casinos on the waterfront, and lots of hotels as well.

After checking-in and recovering from the long flight for a few hours, we had our evening engagement, which was networking drinks with the other jury members and some of the organizing team.

I heard then that 4 juries had already started work, and 4 of the juries were starting, including mine, viz. the Mobile Jury. So we had jurors of Mobile, Cyber, Media and PR categories together, at the networking event.

As I could understand, they have put us up at different hotels, but they have tried to keep jury members of a particular jury together, at the same hotel.

It was nice to catch up with jury members from the US, UK, Canada, Poland, Colombia, Australia, Germany, Brazil, across the 4 categories that I mentioned above. Several had been here before, as visitors, and few had also been on the jury earlier. And there were many like me, who were debutantes.

The veterans were quite clear about what we could expect over the next few days now, and were sharing stories; about how, over the next few days, we will not see any sunshine, cooped up as we would be, in a conference room, evaluating entries, till late into the night. About how, it can get extremely tiring, especially after the second or the third day.  There were others who mentioned, even as we were sipping our drinks at a hotel on the sea front, about how this place will be choc-a-block in a week, when all the visitors come in. And how we should enjoy the quiet comfort of the sea now, while we could!

Wow – I cannot wait. To see how things go in that conference room where we will be spending many hours, and later, also once the festival starts and the place fills up!

There are a total of 366 jury members, across various categories, and who together, will be viewing more than 40,000 entries, before picking the best amongst the best, as the winners of the Lions!

Depending on the number of entries in a category, the jury is expected to meet anywhere from one day to about 8 days total (the Cyber category is one of the bigger ones, for example). That is a lot of work to do, believe me!

What that also means is that, if the category award show is on the last day of the festival, the jury in fact, could be busy judging, right through the festival, and not get a chance to enjoy much of the festival part themselves!

I am lucky in that sense.

Since the Mobile awards are on the first day itself, we need to get done just before the festival opens, and that way, I should be in a position to make the most of the festival part too.

There was a lot of discussion over the drinks, about what kind of work everyone’s been seeing, what he or she was looking for, about whether Mobile should even be a separate category, considering that everything is mobile, etc. etc. A variety of viewpoints, which I will only hear more and more of, over the next 5 days now.

The author is Joint-CEO, Social Wavelength.

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