At a press event held in Mumbai last evening, the Goafest Committee shared some highlights of Goafest 2013 (the 8th edition). The media was addressed by Arvind Sharma, president, Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI); Nakul Chopra, chairman, Goafest Committee; and Shashi Sinha, president, Advertising Club and chairman, Awards Governing Council (a 11-member strong, joint body between the AAAI and The Advertising Club that runs the awards).
Secondly, the festival theme this time is 'Just what you unexpected'. Overall, the event is positioned as 'a South Asian advertising festival for all people who believe in the power of ideas'. It may be recalled that the competition was thrown open to countries across South Asia (including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal) for the first time last year.
This will be the sixth consecutive year that the AAAI and The Advertising Club are coming together to organise this event.
Like last year, this year, too, there will be a Grand Prix for all nine verticals including Film, Print, Radio, Out of Home, Ambient, Design, Interactive Digital, Direct and Integrated. Also like last year, there will be a Media Grand Prix, too.
Media Awards will be held on April 5, along with Digital, Design and Direct category awards. All the other creative awards will be held on April 6.
The committee shared that the effort this year is to improve the initiatives that were launched last time. Goafest 2012 encouraged client participation through the Marketing Wizards initiative, whereby client delegates under the age of 30 could avail a special discounted delegate fee and were provided free accommodation during the event. While last year over 70 delegates from client organisations availed this offer, the authorities are targeting 150 this time.
"We strive to have their (clients') equal participation in Goafest, both as speakers and delegates. This year, we aim to attract participation from over 75 client organisations and hopefully over 250 people," added Nakul Chopra.
Even on the entry front, expectations are high. Last year, more than 225 organisations sent their entries. This year, the organisers hope to cross 250. Being a member of the AAAI or The Advertising Club is not a prerequisite for participation in the Abby Awards.
In a move to increase awareness for Goafest and invite active participation from neighbouring South Asian countries, a virtual conference and road shows in these geographies are in the process of being organised.
For the record, Goafest 2012 saw participation of 3,167 delegates. While 228 organisations entered last year's Abby Awards, a total of 179 organisations won awards last year. In all, 4,253 entries were received and 332 awards were won last year.
Details regarding this year's speakers and delegate/entry fees are yet to be announced.
Besides Chopra, Sinha and Sharma, other AAAI Goafest Committee members include: M G Parameswaran (Ambi), executive director and CEO, Mumbai Group, Draftfcb Ulka; Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison World; Ashish Bhasin, chairman, Aegis India and CEO Aegis, SE Asia; Srinivasan Swamy, managing director and CEO, R K Swamy BBDO; Nagesh Alai, executive director, India operations, Draftfcb Ulka Group; Suman Srivastava, founder, Marketing Unplugged; and Vikram Sakhuja, global CEO, Maxus.
This year, the Awards Governing Council comprises some of the aforementioned names that belong to the AAAI like Ambi, Sinha, Sharma, Chopra, Swamy and Alai, as well as others that belong to the Ad Club, including Ajay Chandwani, Ajay Kakar, Raj Kurup, Sanjeev Bhargava and Pratap Bose.