It’s that time of the year again when all of the Indian advertising industry is talking Goa, breathing the fest and dreaming Abbys. It is winning a medal that the industry aims at and the networking and fun that they get at the annual three-day festival of advertising that kickstarts today at The Grand Hyatt, Bambolim, Goa.
The much excited Ashish Bhasin, Chairman of Goafest 2017and Vice-President of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), said, “We have got a record number of entries this year. It is over 4,500 in total, which is the highest ever for both creative and media each. We are expecting around 2,300-2,400 delegates, but can’t give you a specific number as a lot of people register on the spot. I will know the final number only by end of the day on April 7. About 329 companies have sent entries, which is the highest ever entries recorded. We have the maximum number of sponsors too, so this looks like a bonanza year. We always get few delegates from South Asia countries, but the majority is still from India. There are a few people from Nepal, Sri Lanka and others.”
Adding plus points to this year’s Goafest, Bhasin said, “A few things which will be very different is that we have gone digital in a big way. The app and website have been refurbished, Facebook has a lot of speakers from their global management. Questions will also be asked through the application. The Wi-Fi services are very robust. The schedule will be printed on recyclable paper. Car pool is being encouraged so that the people arriving on the same flight can travel in the same car to the venue.”
AAAI and Ad Club are funding the Gender Sensitivity campaign.
One would get to listen to speakers like Vivian Richards, Amitabh Kant, Maneka Gandhi, Sanjay Dutt, Ms Malini and the Phogat sisters at the advertising festival. There is an awesome line-up for entertainment too.
The decor for the hall will change every day. So, it will be walking into a new hall every day.
A confident Ramesh Narayan, Chairman, Awards Governing Council, Goafest 2017, said, “We have a record high number of entries, more so, against the background of a (supposed) sluggish economy. It is a validation of the fact that Abby is the most important national advertising award in the country. We have some entries from the South Asia markets. We have always tried to get the best names and minds in the business.”
Commenting on the judging process and jury members, Narayan said, “Any award is only as good as the jury. I am eminently satisfied about the people that we got for the jury, so much so that a lot of people travelled from Delhi and Mumbai for two rounds. Shortlists online was to ensure and encourage transparency and we did get a lot of reactions. We put up all the objections that we received from the industry through an audit process. Those found proper by the auditor were put in front of the jury and then, the final call on those entries was taken. We have ensured the most transparency and fair results.”
Speaking about the festival Raj Nayak , President, The Advertising Club, said, “This edition of Goafest has received a tremendous response and the entire media and advertising fraternity is on its way to be a part of this celebration. We have received a record number of delegates’ registration and the numbers are only expected to increase once the festival kick starts. A curated and fabulous speaker line-up from across industries and categories, great knowledge platforms and real fun after parties await all the festival revellers. There is no other event in the advertising media and marketing that brings so many people together over a three-day period. It is an event where two industry bodies come together to make it by the industry and for the industry.”
“Over the last 10 years, I have seen Goafest growing both in terms of quality and stature and this year too, the team has worked really hard to put their best foot forward to make it a memorable experience for all the participants and delegates,” Nayak added.
One can get to check out the Goafest 2017 schedule by clicking on the link here: http://www.goafest.com/goafest2017/schedule.htm