A worthwhile networking opportunity or simply an excuse to attend some great parties? We chat to Steph Perrin, Head of Sync at Cloud 9 Music and Downtown Music Benelux, to hear her thoughts on whether sync teams should be heading to Cannes this June…
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is considered the largest gathering of the advertising and creative communications industry. Held each June, it attracts around 11,000 individuals for five days of talks, workshops, networking events and awards shows. In recent years it has included Lions Entertainment, a new segment dedicated to “creativity that goes beyond branded communications to create authentic entertainment and culture” that includes The Entertainment Lions for Music.
With so many advertisers and brands in one place, and with advertising remaining the most lucrative area of sync, surely it’s a no brainer for sync teams to attend this event. But does it actually provide worthwhile business and networking opportunities, or is it simple an excuse to drink a lot of free rosé on the Riviera? We spoke to seasoned Cannes Lions attendee Steph Perrin, Head of Sync at Cloud 9 Music and Downtown Music Benelux (and previously Senior Music Supervisor at Felt Music) to hear her thoughts on the matter:
Hi Steph. How many times have you been to Cannes Lions, and how would you describe the festival?
This year will be my 8th Cannes Lions (I think!). The Lions is very boozy and a lot of fun, it’s the ultimate networking event for anyone working in the creative advertising space.
What opportunities and events are there for sync professionals?
There are many opportunities that can come from Cannes Lions, the Croisette is jam packed full advertising and brand heads. The sync contingents tend to stick to the fringe events which include pool parties, beach parties and more cosy lunches and dinners. There are plenty of opportunities to entertain and socialise with clients in a more informal and personable way, much better than a quick coffee at Pret.
It’s also an excellent team/company bonding event, there is nothing like delayed flights and getting stuck in an airport or a good mutual hangover to bring everyone together.
It’s quite an expensive event in terms of the passes and location – what tips do you have to keep costs down?
For food, get off the beaten track a little. Don’t be afraid to go for a wonder and pick a small place to eat. You’re in France, the food will be fab in most places! Also, when booking accommodation, find somewhere with a nice terrace or space to have a BBQ or dinner, that’s another way to entertain clients and keep the costs low. It’s a more personal touch and often a better way to get to know people.
It’s such a huge festival – what advice would you give to sync professionals to make the most out of their time there without getting totally overwhelmed?
Don’t get FOMO. There is so much going on all over the place and you can only be in one place at one time. Pick what you want to do and stick with it, don’t try rushing from one thing to the next. Relax and settle into a party, a talk or a dinner. You’re more likely to have better conversations, meet more people and get more out of it. Also, don’t go too hard on the first night, you WILL regret it!
Can you describe any direct opportunities that have come out of attending Cannes Lions?
Over the years I’ve built much stronger relationships by hanging out with folks in Cannes which has led to many opportunities, some directly and some indirectly by introductions.
Are there any other events or festivals that you would recommend to sync teams (beyond the obvious)?
I like the Kinsale Sharks Awards a lot but it’s tiny compared to Cannes, I’d actually recommend Kinsale as a nice weekend away to be honest, super pretty and great food. Other than that, I’ve heard wicked things about Ciclope Festival and the APA show but I’ve haven’t attended either.
Find out more at canneslions.com. We’ll just leave this here…