Goafest2016 thumka needs to sync with the beat. Think about it,

By | April 13, 2016

2011 GOAFEST 199My view on Goafest captured in DNA issue of 11th April looked at the positive side of the event. The enhanced experience was primarily based on 16 of the 17 speakers engaging the audience with relevant and interesting points. And that is quite an achievement. For a change, it was not digitally skewed. It was more holistic. It had more things getting a wow, than a slow nod saying ‘ tell me something more’. Additionally the media hanger next to knowledge hall, PR teams constant interaction and engagements, death of rain dance, Goafest app, ‘Over The Top’ picture and some seriously high energy engaging performances before the awards made it that much better.

I truly mean it when I say ‘Thank you AAAI, AdClub and the whole Advertising, Media and Marketing fraternity for making it a huge success’.

Nevertheless, within fraternity we need to be a lot more honest. Goafest2016 would have returned with a report card with a ‘CAN DO BETTER’ remark.

It is something that most of the delegates expressed. I do think the committee, and the senior fraternity must have felt the same.

We had a brilliant knowledge session. NEVERTHELESS, WHY CAN’T WE START ON TIME? Why do speakers always run out of time? Why should people who come on time be penalised by the late start? Why can’t we cut the speaker when they cross time limits? Best of the events practice these simple rules.

Speakers (I am told – at least in the day 1) for the umpteenth time repeated what we have been listening for the GOAFEST blog 2last eleven years. The suggestions on client expectation and agency relations, creativity and insight sounded stale. I agree it is not their fault when the industry has been slow in adapting and practicing what they univocally agree. The real test is in practice but then… think about it.

The ‘Q&A’ sessions after the knowledge seminars were good, perhaps it was the INR 25000 for the best question that made the grey cells active. On the other hand, possibly it was the moderator picking the right questions. In the Karan- Balki session we saw Kubra Seth doing a damn good job moderating. I won’t believe if someone told that was planned.

This is an area where we need to help develop and mentor next generation. Maybe we should stop having moderators above 45 years of age. Get the new blood. Think about it.

This delay affects the schedule throughout the day and the engagement and networking opportunities. We need to do something about it. Starting on time not only makes life easy but is also a demonstration of respect to delegate and their enthusiasm.

Cascading result of the delayed sessions, is delayed award show. No one really knowing when the awards will start. It is ok to ask people to take their seat by 1900 HS and show to start by 1930 hours.

Maybe like in an airport, we need screens outside the main hall. Where session, topic, original time and the revised time can be flashed. Delegates pick and chose their sessions, and this will help them. Think about it.

Evening sun-downer music session creates a relaxing bridge between knowledge sessions and awards. It gives delegates not staying at the venue, time to go and put their award / party dresses. Good thing.

Between lunch and dinner, there is a huge time gap. If some snacks can be arranged around 530 PM, it will help many delegates. And as Indian stomach does not appreciate drinks after meals, snacks at ‘after party’ will be welcomed. Think about it.

Maybe the GOAFEST app In 2017 will be one of the pillars of enhanced experience. I can expect a lot many picture contest, quotes, games, tallies, etc. on the app on real time. So much so that next morning you will be able to get the coverage of speakers and award winning entries on your app. Think about it.

If the front two rows at awards are to be reserved, why can’t we use the rope-separators? Why someone has to stand guard and politely keep pushing genuine delegates? A simple ‘RESERVED’ board could do the job.

There is a huge scramble for first few rows during awards and celebrity sessions. One could consider selling 3rd and 4th row at a premium and donating money to some charity. Maybe the top five agencies of last year can be given advantage seats. Think about it.

There were glitches galore during the award ceremony, which in some organisations would have made heads roll. This is not something new. It has been happening for years. Why have we not found a solution for it? Glitches in Industry event make the entire fraternity look clumsy and indifferent. Thank god we still have low marketer participation.

It is time that only the jury chairman gives awards. Including sponsors and others to give awards, is a practice Goafest can do away with. Frankly, speaking there was a lot of angst expressed by many- simply said they believed it decreased the award status.

There are many versions of ‘My Goafest’ as it satisfies different needs. Polarized views and reaction true to an individual point of view are born. Biases are inevitable. It is ‘Beer and Beach’ event, networking type’s grade it between ‘How you doing walk through’, ‘let’s catch up’ to serious business and influencing. For many (hopefully most) it is a conduit of best; the industry has to offer. It needs to be seen as a complete holistic experience.

Introduction of ‘Music Sun downer’ and death of ‘Rain dance’ was a welcome relief. Someone needs to do the sunset time check, and it can be more pleasurable.

Whatever may be the need, Goafest delivered a quantum positive leap in experience. Please, do not forget the contribution of ‘Nay Sayers’ and ‘hyper critics’ guiding Goafest introspection leading it to deliver of a hugely defined experience. So people go ahead and crib.

We should acknowledge the positive experience enhancer at Goafest. Realize that events of Goafest scale will never be able to tick all the boxes at the same time and results will take time.

Getting McCann back was good. The presence of R Balki and Piyush Pandey’s was a bonus. The amount of energy Piyush pulls in is phenomenal. It is high time that Ogilvy and Lowe start participating. Do it for the next generation! (This is no way a comment on winning entries)

In awards; we need to be metal sensitive. If bronze awardees were not invited onto the stage, then the treatment should have been consistent throughout the three award nights. Maybe we could actually publish the Bronze award list earlier and only announce Silver and Gold on stage.

That brings me to something more sensitive. The jury was definitely stingy with Gold and for good reasons. I am happy. It is better not to award then promote mediocrity. The results must be internalized. It is purely a reflection of what is being entered. It is a wake-up call that the agencies and clients need to put a lot more efforts to find jury approval.

On the other side, I am not sure if Goafest as an entry would have walked the stage, knowing that bronze awardees are not invited on stage.

On a lighter side, ‘Unlike our bar- the registration will close tomorrow’ read the mailer from Goafest. Hidden within it was the promise that bar will not close. Unfortunately, beer management during the event was pathetic. The beer was not chilled at most times. The bar seemed to open and close with mystical timing. Discovery of beer counter working hour algorithm by trial and error was a tough one to crack. Placing a board or clearly communicating the timing would have helped. Expecting this next year I am not going to ASCI over it.

On a serious note, I meant it when I tweeted ‘This is my last Goafest’ but in the same breath I added ‘Maybe I would change my mind’. Possibly I will be there next year too to see how far have we moved.

Long live Goafest.

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