Neha S shares her experience of covering Goafest, including her stints with the live tweeting, media room and the seminar hangar! Neha S | Delhi | April 13, 2011
Just like many young and naive toddlers in the advertising and media world, I too just couldn’t hold the thought of covering one of the most coveted and sought after awards ceremony of the Indian advertising industry. More than the idea of visiting the spoilt-city i.e Goa, (as media professionals are not supposed to have fun and just work like a horse with a blinders on!) the exhilaration was more deep rooted in the stigma of catching up on a no-barred sessions with the ad fiestas.
Although, this time it marked as my second show at the Abby’s (much after a dirt pool of controversies and the fiasco encompassing the judging process last year!), the excitement wasn’t less even by an inch. Now, there were two specific reasons to blame for it! a) The various new steps taken by the organizing body to ensure a more cleaner fairplay this time involving a five-day work shop along with new initiatives like ‘The ASCI youth initiative – Creativity with Conscience (CWC)’ and the ‘Olive Crown Awards’ b) A bit more personal in nature- it was a first dainty experience for me to brush my hands with the online ‘modus operandi’ or the concept of ‘breaking’ or ‘tweeting news’ first then rest of your counters. This appeared a lot more responsive and quick in nature then reporting it for a print magazine in my last year encounter.
Thus standing true to my notions in mind, the Goafest 2011, didn’t disappoint me much (except for few things!). The Dabolim airport was cleaner, the media accommodation was much lavish, the venue- Zuri Resorts was nicely decked up and the people were hospitable! This all looked rosy until I saw my fellow peer (from other publications, broadcasters and websites) hijacking a head honcho of a media or creative agency for some ‘byte’ or a brief (as they call!) ‘Viewpoint’! Thus, more as an outcome of a panic attack (and also for the sake of purpose of my visit!) I also started flitting from one advertiser to the other in the quest for a dope. And was pretty successful also in my attempt as caught hold of almost all the ‘big daddies’ (including Pops, Chax, Prasoon Joshi, Shashi Sinha, Sam Balsara, Subhash Kamath, Colvyn Harris and many more!) It’s actually exhilarating to meet or rather bump into these stalwarts- all under one roof, I mean on one beach, technically!
Quite a paradox, while the creative and media professionals flee to Goafest to celebrate their work all the year round (with much of flamboyance!), for media professionals like us it’s a tough job, with all the running around and the juggling task between the seminar hangar, knowledge sessions, press conferences, media room and personal interviews. (Besides the food area and the party hall of course!) But my fav remains the most non-glamorised nook of the entire ambience- ‘the media room’ (that had a sponsorship of Reliance Net Connect with a cut-out of Hritik Roshan placed in the corner!). Holy Grace, the place not only saved us from the scorching Goan sun outside with its super cool Air-conditioning but also was the spot from where we filed great stories (at least, we assumed!) and the online happening of the entire event.
Besides, doing interviews and meeting up the who’s who of the industry, I too, like a ‘new fangled cuckoo’ sat between the various knowledge sessions delivered by the industry veterans like Laurie Coots, Robin Wight and Charlie Crowe et al to gain an insight. But admitably, Sir John Hegarty session was my personal favourite as he not only ran through some of the brilliant work and fab execution done by BBH globally but also shed off some common notions of the advertising.
But amidst all this, the Raison d'être- the Abby’s were quite a show, with agencies biting their nails on one side and calling shots with ‘Kingfisher’ beer in hand. (Wonder, how these people descend all of a sudden during the time of awards while the seminar hall in afternoon remains vacant like a late-night metro!)Nevertheless, I really reckon the fervour of the Maxus team that swept away with the maximum number of Media Abby’s (and also spotted a ditto black T-shirt with ‘Maxus’ imprinted in white on it!). Not to forget, the second or perhaps the last day of creative Abby’s wherein Ogilvy earned a ‘Grand Prix’ (with the crowd cheering Happy Birthday to Piyush Pandey!) was also a well-deserved climax of the fest. And needless to mention, the live-tweeting that we accomplished on both the nights (My fingers still stand witness to it!) is certainly the pinnacle for me....
All in all, the Goafest 2011 in its sixth year was a delightful experience. Except the petty things-it was on a private property this time, rather than a beach, resulting into a lot more toil, minus water sports because of a mis-hap last year and yes, an improved judgement process.
Thus it really feels good to turn two at the Goafest and I (like others) eagerly, look forward to turn three with the GoaFest 2012 next year!