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Goafest 2015 unveils speakers for knowledge seminars

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MUMBAI: In the tenth year of one of India’s premier advertising festival- Goafest, the celebration is poised to get bigger and better. 

The festival, which will take place at the Grand Hyatt, Bambolim in Goa from 9-11 April, will continue being a three day festival, with three award nights, and with the categories remaining more or less the same, like last year.

Hosted by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and the Advertising Club, the event is known to be a hub of learning. “We have, year on year, expanded the width of our speakers, and we will continue doing that,” said Goafest chairman and AAAI vice president Nakul Chopra, while revealing the first list of speakers for this year’s event. 

The speakers for the knowledge seminar include: Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific chief creative officer Ted Lim, 180 Amsterdam president and creative officer Alan Moseley, Facebook APAC region head of agency Neil Stewart, ZenithOptimedia worldwide strategic marketing officer Guy Abrahams and author and mythologist Devdutt Pattanik.  

“Further list of speakers will be announced in a week or so,” informed Percept director Ajay Chandwani.

“Goafest 2015 will have a great mix of speakers. Our effort is to get the 2500 plus participants to listen to and interact with the best, the world has to offer. As in the previous years, we will have stimulating Q&A sessions moderated by senior marketing professionals,” said AAAI president MG Parameswaran.

Goafest has been skewed towards the youth since its inception. “Fifty per cent of the people attending are under the age of 30 years and we continue to encourage them to come for the three day festival,” added Chopra. 

Explaining the flow of events during Goafest, Chopra informed that while the Advertising Conclave will be held on day one, the knowledge seminars will take place on the second and third day. 

“There will be a Leadership Summit on 11 April, which will bring together best minds in the field of advertising, communications and marketing industry to discuss, debate, interact, offer thoughts and experiences, share ideas and questions on the industry,” he informed, adding that the programmes will also have a series of presentations from leaders in their respective fields and panel debates. 

Goafest 2015 will also see the introduction of Youth Labs for young delegates. “These Youth Labs will have a separate Creative Lab and Media Lab. The aim of these Youth Labs will be to provide a platform for youngsters to interact with the stalwarts of the industry and get them to sharpen and hone their skills,” said Chopra. 

The tenth year celebration will be grander, and in keeping with this, the organizers have roped in professionals to host the award ceremonies. “You will see a huge difference in the awards ceremony as compared to the previous year,” opined Parameswaran. 

As for the awards and awards category, not much has changed from the previous year. “The feedback that we got about the previous edition of Goafest was that it was spot on, and so we decided to not bring in too many changes in the awards this year,” informed Chandwani.  

The organising committee has reinstated Radio Craft award this year, which was removed in the previous edition. According to Chandwani, digital is the most evolving category and thus it is this category which sees the maximum changes every year. “But this year, only a few categories have been merged, everything else remains unchanged,” informed Chandwani.

The award shows for various verticals will be held on:

9 April: Media and Publisher Abby Awards

10 April: Design, Direct, Brand activation and promotion, Public Relations, Out of Home and Ambient Media, Print Craft, Branded Content and Entertainment and Broadcaster Abby Awards

11 April: Digital & Mobile, Radio, Radio Craft, Print, Film, Film Craft and Integrated Advertising Abby Awards

Talking about the purpose of the event, Parameswaran said that it was to bring pride and belongingness to the industry. “Through this, we wanted to inspire the young people to stay in the advertising industry and grow it,” he added. 

While every year, the festival has a theme, the organising committee is calling this year as the '10 years of Goafest.’

The big question that is currently hovering around the fest is if the big names like Ogilvy & Mather and McCann Worldgroup among others will participate in this edition of Goafest. When quizzed on their participation, Chopra said, “We are talking to the agencies. Our job is to put up a good show and so we are in conversation with everyone. Now whether they participate or not, is up to them.” 

It can be noted that in 2014, both Oglivy & Mather and McCann Worldgroup along with Creativeland Asia, BBDO, Leo Burnett and Grey did not participate in the Creative Abbies, following controversies. 

Controversies aside, the organisers, controversies are expecting a great turnout in this season. “Last year 275 companies had sent entries and 240 companies had sent delegates,” informed Chandwani. 

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