Prior to coming, I was incredibly nervous about the Cannes Lions – with a million possible reasons for being so. The biggest question stuck in my head: what can I expect to gain at this event for Creatives when I’m not one?
3 things have struck me since I arrived:
1. Participate, don’t spectate.
The first class I attended was Lego’s workshop about co-creation. When I arrived, I took a backbencher’s seat, too shy to walk myself up to a table of strangers. But I had an epiphany in the 30th second of being in that seat — I could sit there and just listen, or I could join the table and participate. I chose the latter. This turned out to be the most educational session I’ve attended (because it involved Lego bricks too).
2. You’ll regret the next day, it’s just a matter of how much.
I have a great fear of missing out. So even before coming to Cannes, I had already trawled through the programme 3 times. Days are very long and 3am seems to be my usual bedtime (probably early for most). I wake up the next day almost always regretting not having enough rest. But then I think of how I’ll probably never have the chance to do this under-30s Young Lions Account Executive academy again, and I book my next appointment.
3. I am an Account Manager, and I am creative.
Being here has made me realize how much I have severely diminished my role by thinking that creativity is only for the folks with the word “Creative” found in their titles. Creativity is an inspiration, it is a decision. It is a choice I actively make instead of denying myself and saying “I’m not creative.”
I’m less nervous now, and I would like to think I’ve broken through a mental barrier. The answer to the question wasn’t to be found amongst the 13,000 seemingly creative delegate contingent; I found it in me.
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