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How’s Goafest gearing up to woo adland professionals in 2023

Speaking to, Goafest’s Organising Committee members pointed out that the fest will bring together sponsors, speakers, clients, marketers, experts, international thought leaders, etc. and have conversations around how technology will enhance human creativity in the times to come

With barely a week left for Goafest 2023, the organising committee of the festival - comprising Prasanth Kumar, Jaideep Gandhi and Mohit Joshi - emphasised that the 16th edition will see clients, marketers, agencies, etc. come together to delve deeper into the nitty gritty of how technology, first-party data building, and storytelling will shape up creativity in the years ahead.

Goafest 2023 is slated to take place from May 24-26 at its usual venue Grand Hyatt, Bambolim, Goa.

Prasanth Kumar

Commenting on the rationale behind the selection of Goafest 2023’s theme as “Future of Creativity”, Prasanth Kumar, President, the Advertising Agencies Association of India and CEO, South Asia, GroupM, stated that the essence of the theme came from looking at the prevalent trends in both advertising and marketing, coupled with the progress and shaping up of newer solutions and technology, tools, digital acceleration, etc. 

“All this has expanded in the entire aspect of modern marketing to essentially mean that not only our industry survives but is rather enhanced by the creativity that happens in it because the potential and the future is fuelled by the same,” he said.

He also emphasised that it is of utmost importance to understand that today there are a lot more conversations and newer trends on Artificial Intelligence, Generative AI, etc. that are happening in the industry ecosystem and how all of them can come together as a catalyst to shape up the industry’s work and creativity in the coming years. Therefore, Goafest 2023 will also have several sessions and conversations on how technology will enhance the human creativity and what exactly is the right balance between the both.

Upon being questioned on the number of sponsors for this year’s Goafest, Kumar stated that it is in “good double digits” and is, in fact, more than double of that in the previous years as the upcoming fest will have sponsors not just from one part of the ecosystem but from across TV, Digital, Print, Radio, OOH, etc.

Throwing light on what’s going to be new at the festival this year, Kumar said this year’s festival will see the young leaders of the industry coming to the front and sharing their views and deductions.

“We have seen a good change this year as a lot more marketers will not just participate but also contribute to the fest by putting forth their points of view across sessions. We also have many more agencies and practitioners participating this time. In fact, what is encouraging is that many more partners have come on board not just as sponsors but also as participants. We almost have more than 50+ speakers this time- a mix of both domestic and international professionals not just from advertising but from multiple fields and bodies such as ASCI, IAA, etc.,” he said.

Apart from the key takeaways or learnings that one can have from Goafest, there will also be a lot of fun activities taking place- including the first-time event ‘Advertising Rocks’,  a roadshow on The Ad Asia Seoul which will happen in October, Goafest’s podcast- Goacast channel which has already started and will continue after it as well, and more, as per Jaideep Gandhi, Chairman, Goafest 2023 Organising Committee.

Jaideep Gandhi

“We will have 11 masterclasses with 17 speakers, 15 sessions and 6-panel discussions with 50+ speakers over three days on a variety of topics such as video optimisation, storytelling, brand advocacy, etc. The basic fundamental is that the mix has been planned so that we have knowledge in the masterclasses and inspirations and conversations happening in the ballroom,” he stated. 

He also mentioned that there will be seniors from the agencies such as Havas, Madison, Publicis, Convosight, Vserv, etc. who will be participating in the masterclasses at the 16th edition of Goafest.

Moreover, Kumar shared the expectations that this year’s event will be bigger and better than last year - wherein 1250-1300 industry players had actively participated. 

He added, “We have the largest list of speakers on stage and the highest number of masterclasses happening this year from across systems- clients, marketers, experts, international thought leaders, etc. along with people from fields such as sports, entertainment, content-making, content business, etc. We also have people representing and sharing insights from multiple facets such as that of the influencer ecosystem (ASCI), advertising learnings (IAA) and experts speaking about how the start-up ecosystem is shaping up, clients talking about the marketing funnel and how it reflects upon many of the brand’s business etc.”

Mohit Joshi

Mohit Joshi, CEO, Havas Media Group India and Goafest 2023 Co-chair, also stated that because the role of data will become extremely important in the future, and since the theme itself is about the coming years, there will also be several panels on how data-driven marketing will be guiding the media and advertising choices of tomorrow.

“We have called clients to talk about this very important aspect because every client today needs first-party data, given that third-party cookies would finally go out. A lot of futuristic discussions will happen at Goafest 2023 as we have a lot of inclusivity from the client’s side as well. In fact, in my view, it is the first time that clients are showing so much interest and are participating in panels, they’re even sponsoring and looking forward to being an important part of the festival, which is absolutely new and that they’re not only respecting it, as they should be but also taking it extremely seriously,” he said.

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