The stage is set for the fifth GoaFest, which is being held from April 8-10, 2010, and is back at its usual Cavelossim Beach, South Goa venue. The festival theme, ‘Survival of the Freshest’, reflects the buoyant times back in the business.
Since the inception of the festival, the GoaFest committee has been very clear that the platform would be formatted on lines of international festivals, which means a significant participation of international speakers and delegates, especially at the Knowledge and Learning Seminars conducted during the festival period.
As in the previous years, this year, too, the GoaFest Committee has lined up an impressive list of international speakers.
Speaking on the line-up of speakers, Suman Srivastava, Chairman, The Knowledge and Learning Seminar, GoaFest 2010 & CEO, Euro RSCG India, said, “GoaFest is pleased to host many globally-acclaimed communication icons this year. The participants at GoaFest will benefit from the wide and varied experience of these speakers, who will share global insights from the advertising and marketing world. Adding to the eight keynote speakers, there is also a special panel discussion on Social Media with two international online entrepreneurs – Patrick Liotard-Vogt and Eric Ashok Ledergerber.”
GoaFest 2010 will commence with the Discovery Channel India Leadership Conclave, a by-invitation only event. This year’s session is on ‘2010: Time to Grow’ and will see industry opinion leaders discuss strategies on the development of brands. This event is a must-attend event for CEOs with growth and profit responsibility. The next two days will focus on the Knowledge and Learning Seminars, the Media Abby Awards on April 9 and the Creative Abby Awards on April 10.
This year, the festival will have global advertising honchos like Tim Mellors (Grey Group), Will Collins (Naked Advertising), Andy Greenaway (Saatchi & Saatchi), and Richard Pinder (Publicis Worldwide), among others, addressing the participants.
However, at a time when moves are afoot to make the festival at par with international events, the Abby leaks at GoaFest have been a blot. How much have these leaks impacted the credibility of GoaFest? Will these leaks affect the level of trust that these international speakers have for the AAAI and the Indian creative fraternity? exchange4media speaks to the under-30 ad fraternity on their reactions to these leaks and also their expectations from the international speakers.
O&M’s Ryan Mendonca said, “They usually have got some big names for the workshops and seminars. And this year too there is a good line-up of speakers. I am sure the forums and the mood are all set. However, as far the awards are concerned, I don’t think, credibility and leakage have as much of a correlation. Winning is more exciting when you don’t know the result.”
Keegan Pinto, Creative Partner, Rediffusion Y&R India, said that compared to last year’s speakers like Sir John Hegarty and Dan Wieden, this year didn’t have names as widely known as those. He is, however, looking forward to Saatchi & Saatchi’s Andy Greenaway’s seminar.
Expressing his concern on the leak fiasco, Pinto remarked, “Everybody must be given a chance to win in a scenario wherein everybody faces true competition. That’s it.” He added, “But of course, it is true that leaking of results ruins the surprise. However, nobody wants to go to the fest and lose. The culture of announcing ‘the finalists’ needs to be created so that all finalists head to the fest without fail in the hope of winning. That will ensure attendance. However, we are three days away as I comment, but the finalists are yet to be announced.”
So, do the under-30s actually attend GoaFest for the seminars or do they look at the festival as a place to network and catch up with friends?
Pinto commented, “The latter. But we should all go in the hope of winning only. Let’s be clear that it is after all a competition, two days that a whole year of hard work culminates into, a time for victory, glory, fame, and learning how to do it again next year. Hanging out with mates is awesome at the fest, but it is purely incidental.”