The flavour of last week for sure was advertising, which peaked with the GoaFest 2012. In fact, we’re just back from GoaFest and the aura lingers.
From the onset, GoaFest promised to be bigger and better. Here’s why – the number of delegates had increased 15 per cent, taking it to 3,000+; the total number of entries for Creative Abbys was up 15 per cent, touching 4,253, while Media Abbys saw a total of 628 entries, an increase of 17 per cent. That is some statistics for you… but, I promise you, no more of that!
I was hoping to bump into people coming from neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka (a first for the festival, I believe), but apart from a team from Sri Lanka, we could not spot too many; maybe they gave it a miss.
There was loads of fun and learning too. GoaFest has never been about one thing, but a combo of actions – business conclaves, seminars; plus, you get the industry – advertising, marketing and media professionals – all under one roof, literally. The highlight was the Abby Awards, which celebrated creativity.
Most of the people around just had a whale of a time sipping drinks galore, enjoying water sports, the famed rain dance and other branded activities.
Having attended another ad event – AdAsia – last year, which had taken place in the National Capital, it was inevitable that a comparison entered my mind. While GoaFest celebrated advertising in a spirit of fun and games, AdAsia, I thought, was a more formal affair, with day-long seminars, even though Shah Rukh Khan was brought in to shake a leg. The festivity was clearly visible in the evenings when people lightened up to enjoy a Vietnamese or a Thai meal, or even a treat from ‘God’s own country’, with Kathakali dancers and all. But, at GoaFest, the party was on throughout the day. The festive spirit was spelt out loud and clear from the dress code down.
But for Team exchange4media, it was an action-packed time on all days of the festival putting up videos of the day’s proceedings everyday. So, if anyone missed going there, you can log on to exchange4media.com and check them out. We also had to bring out a 12-page GoaFest Special (which ran into 16 pages on the third day!). So, we were into really serious business throughout the day and even late into the night too... but yes, the spirit of Goa made the whole experience enjoyable. Knowing that the silvery sand and lashing waves were just a hop and skip away…
I had Goa on my mind, before I left Delhi; I must confess, I still have Goa on my mind…