By Mark Pasetsky
Founder and CEO of Mark Allen & Co.
It’s been three years since the last in-person Cannes Lions and many of us feel out of practice. While Ad Age reports that many agencies are “cutting back on parties, yachts and formal appearances,” it will still be a memorable and long-awaited return of this great annual event.
There is no shortage of sessions, panels and happy hours that the advertising industry can benefit from this year. If you’re planning your schedule, this is what you can’t miss.
The “download” of what is happening in the industry
The Cannes Lions team surveyed 3,300 marketers and other creatives from around the world to identify the biggest issues they face. The resulting Lions State of Creativity study uncovered timely key themes around which programming has been built. Highlights include how brands can deliver on sustainability in a more authentic and impactful way, as well as a focus on DE&I in creative work.
Each of the five days of the festival will include sessions from the likes of Pepsi, McDonald’s, The New York Times, Porsche, Disney Advertising and top CMOs covering topics including NFTs and the metaverse, immersive storytelling and emotional intelligence. See the full line of programming here.
The scoop on new technology trends through the “Future Gazers” series
Want to stay on top of the latest technology trends? Do not miss Future Gazers.
This year, Cannes Lions partnered with Twitter to produce this future-focused series, which will feature a panel of speakers painting a picture of the world 18 months from now, focusing on topics including VR and synthetic AI, the metaverse, Web3 , live streaming and more. Educational sessions are held daily on the Terrace Stage.
A networking opportunity during daily meetings and closing party
If your Cannes Lions goals include networking with like-minded professionals, the festival makes it easy with a series of daily meetups held multiple times a day in a designated space in Palais II. Thematic interactive events are organized by members of the industry and include opportunities for festival attendees to mingle with colleagues from around the world. The festival culminates with a closing party on Friday at 9pm in Carlton Beach that should be on everyone’s must-see list.
Lessons from the Creative Marketer of the Year
This year, Anheuser-Busch InBev was named Cannes Lions Creative Marketer of the Year, and the iconic brand will share its wisdom with the Festival audience.
In a recurring Insight Stage session, the Lions Intelligence team will discuss AB InBev’s approach to creativity, sharing insights and takeaways for other marketers and brands. On Friday at 3 pm, the AB InBev team itself will take the stage for an in-depth seminar.
Awards presentations every night
Celebrate the best and brightest in the industry with your friends and colleagues during nightly awards presentations.
Each night another round of Lion 2022 winners will be announced. The two-hour awards show at the Lumiere Theater begins at 7 pm. Highlights include Entertainment Lions on Tuesday nights; Creative Lions on Wednesday night; and Glass, Titanium and Film Lions on Friday night.
Innovative brand activations
Brands like Meta, TikTok, Pinterest and Amazon are expected to come up with their own eye-catching activations this year.
Don’t miss Amazon’s first public presence at Cannes Lions: a 2,500-square-meter “port” complete with educational sessions from presenters, including Roxane Gay, plus morning workouts, happy hours and a high level concert.
A Nobel Peace Prize winner
Education activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, winner of this year’s Cannes Lion Heart, will lead a seminar on making a difference in the world; takes place Thursday at 3 pm at the Lumière Theater.
Plan ahead and make sure you’re at the events everyone will be talking about next.
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Cannes Lions 2022: seven things professionals must not miss | Adlatina