It is touted to be the Indian version of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The Mecca for creative inspiration for advertising in India. A hot-spot for headhunters for creative jobs. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about Goafest.
Owing to a sizeable amount of decent work all of last year, I got a chance to go to Goafest 2012 with my colleagues this year. From what I hear our agency went to Goafest for 3 years and then stopped suddenly! Sources say the take-back was very less as compared to the expense. It took quite a bit of collective cajoling the boss for us to go this year.
So, there we were at Zuri White Sands Resort in South Goa. Dressed in our best summer clothes and doused in sunscreen. Eager to soak in some of the best creative ideas on display, attend some inspiring seminars and partake in uninhibited work cum fun for 2 days. Goafest proved to be everything that I’d read about it. I saw some of the most brilliant yet simple ideas and attended seminars which served as guidelines for the future of advertising. And the shutter-happy photographer in me refused to not snap anything interesting in view…from great work, to super-hot scantily clad women and even the upside-down Google Beach House.
I must admit I took back a lot from the entire experience. It was more idea-inspiring than awe-inspiring. Though like every young creative advertising professional in India, even I took a second look when I saw Piyush Pandey, Abhijit Avasthi, Sonal Dabral, Amit Akali, Malvika Mehra, K.V.Sridhar, Agnello Dias, Santosh Padhi among many other industry titans – the very faces of Indian advertising creativity to the world.
Despite all the learning, beautiful women, booze flowing, great food…I still felt there was a disconnect somewhere. Was this platform, this conclave as it was branded, only for awarding great creative work and attending seminars by great speakers? On a personal note, I feel it presented many more ‘active’ opportunities to have one-big-never-ending-beach-party rather than ‘active’ opportunities to learn. The seminars and work displayed is passive learning at best. I really feel amidst all the other activities, mini-events, games, seminars, etc., they should have included a few workshops for the less-exposed, goggle-eyed junta. It would’ve been the perfect sealant to make Goafest a must-visit, for the future minds of Indian advertising.