Cannes. Where do I begin? What do I remember? I do know that my colleague, Katherine Peach and I managed 15-18 hours sleep that week. Sunday to Sunday is a killer, but it had to be done and, to be honest, there just wasn’t enough time to fit in half the people I wanted to see, let alone slip into the Palais.
I’m not sure if a lot of people are totally aware of the table jumping that us journalists do during the week of Cannes. Rather than walking to and from the Martinez to the Majestic, we try to organise (with our amazing PR allies) to hold as many meetings as possible in one place. A day at the Majestic does sound lovely, but it takes a brave person to walk onto that terrace, see rival publications deep in chat and spot the elusive ‘we have never met’ meeting that you have booked. Thankfully, this is where the delegate badge comes in handy and I have to say, without that nametag, all hell would have ensued over the week. At some point, a little like speed dating, us journalists swap tables. That’s right. If we could, we’d probably high-five one another as we squeeze past each other for the 10th time that week. Instead, there is a knowing smile and a camaraderie that is shared and we all pretend it’s never happened.
Little Black Book had its beach again this year; ‘La Plage Courage’. As it was my first year with the team, I was unsure what to expect and was amazed at the buzz and business that was happening from morning till night in our little Cannes clubhouse. Some of my favourite meetings were held there and it’s safe to say that a relaxed atmosphere lends well to an easy and informative chat. One of which was my meeting with Luc Schurgers of MINIVEGAS (http://bit.ly/yv6aYP
) who quickly gave me a shopping list of people that he is looking to hire, gasped in horror when he saw my schedule for the week and then kindly bought me a delicious lunch whilst telling me about all the amazing projects he and the team have been working on. You can catch up on how their week went in our newsletter where they’ve kindly provided us with a candid diary write up.
By far my favourite, and most interesting day, had to be with The Barbarian Group. Held on the Tuesday over a long, and very yummy lunch at the Grand, the agency brought speakers from different start-up brands to discuss their products, the inspiration behind their company, failures and successes and just to flare our imaginations. Cycling clothing company Outlier’s (http://outlier.cc/
) Abe Burmeister spoke of how, at the age of 20, this NYer first discovered the joy of riding a bicycle and, as a true addict, how he managed to wear out the seat of all of his pants within months. The practical need for clothing that you can wear during your ride and that you don’t have to change out of once you arrive at the office was wonderfully simple, but amazingly astute in its zeitgeist reflection. Discussing how the internet changes the cost of clothing, and how he searched high and low until he sourced locally his sweat resistant clothing, I was thoroughly in awe of him. Watch this space, I’m currently nagging him for a ‘5 Minutes With’
), ‘Community Evangelist’ David Noël also spoke about their incredible product and their amazing use of social media. They discussed how they aim to inspire individuals, how they allow users to make suggestions about their product and how they acknowledge these improvements to the user, hence creating an environment where the audience relates and works with the product; creating a community. He spoke about how giving back can bring its riches.
Another topic discussed was about how a product sells itself, with AIAIAI who discussed product design and building a global electronics brand from scratch. The headphones that they gave me have revolutionised my life. They bring joy to my day-to-day. I can not put words into how amazing this product is. Simply put, buy some (www.aiaiai.dk
The lunch was wrapped up by Barbarian Group’s Executive Director, Product Design, Jill Nussbaum, who discussed many of the great campaigns that they have been creating, many of which you can read about in Benjamin Palmer’s interview with me last month (http://bit.ly/MXUOVb
What about the rest of the week? What about the Palais? Well, I’ll be honest. As a one girl team, there wasn’t a lot of time for me to go and further my education this year. Next year, we’ll be a little bigger as our team expands next month. Stay tuned for those announcements. On the whole, for me, the main purpose of the week was to catch up with existing, and to make new Asia, Australia, NZ, India, US and S. American contacts.
Party-wise? Yes, that’s right, the photo above is of me, Little Black Book founder, Matt Cooper and the legend Smokey Robinson. Many thanks to Crispin Porter + Bogusky for inviting us to their party and letting us meet one of our heroes. Campaign and Rushes held events on our beach, both were a lot of fun and full of interesting people. The Massive Music and MediaMonks party was, well take a look: http://www.mmmmagency.com/
. Not to be outdone, Sizzer Amsterdam threw a Prince V Michael Jackson night: http://www.facebook.com/sizzer.ams
and rounding off the week beautifully were BETC’s cocktail drinks on their impressive gin palace: http://www.facebook.com/BETCParis?ref=ts
To the many people that took the time to meet Little Black Book in Cannes, thank you. We were bowled over by the warmth, time, effort and enthusiasm that we received from you all. Thank you for making this the best Cannes ever – it can only get bigger, better and brighter. Keep supporting us and we’ll keep supporting you, your work and promoting the merits of our creative industry.