Digiday+ Research: Cannes attendance is expected to increase, with attendees in it for meetings and making deals

Digiday covers the latest from marketing and media at the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. More from the series →

Thanks to Blockboard for sponsoring Digiday’s Cannes coverage and presenting this Digiday+ Research, normally available exclusively to paying subscribers.

It’s that time of year again for members of the advertising industry to head to France for Riviera views and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. And, according to a recent Digiday+ Research survey of agency, brand, retailer, publisher and technology professionals, more industry members will be heading to the event this year, with meetings and dealmaking in mind.

Digiday’s survey found that, this year, 40% of ad industry members have plans to attend Cannes in the South of France this year. This is a significant jump from last year, when not even one-quarter of agency, brand, retailer, publisher and tech pros (22%) said they were planning on attending the event.

The 40% who said they will be attending this year does still fall a bit short of industry members’ attendance historically. Nearly half of respondents to Digiday’s survey (43%) said they have been to Cannes previously — but the numbers are getting there, especially compared with last year.

Overall, Digiday’s survey found that industry members see meetings and making deals as the most important reasons to attend Cannes. One-third of agency, brand, retailer, publisher and tech pros (33%) said that meetings are the most important reason to head out to the French Riviera next week, followed by 26% who said dealmaking is the most important reason to attend Cannes.

Fifteen percent of respondents to Digiday’s survey said that being seen is the top reason to attend the event, while only 4% said the parties are most important. Of the respondents who chose “other” for their response, content came up as an important reason to attend.

It is worth noting that 20% of respondents to Digiday’s survey said that there is no one reason to attend Cannes, putting the response in third place among the choices offered in the survey. This could go some way toward explaining the 60% of agency, brand, retailer, publisher and tech pros who said they will not be attending the event this year.

For those who are attending this year’s festival, 82% agreed that meetings are the reason for their attendance, while more than three-quarters (77%) said dealmaking is their reason for attending. Nearly half of agency, brand, retailer, publisher and tech pros who will be going to Cannes (46%) said being seen at the event is the reason they’re going, and more than a quarter (27%) said they’re going for the parties.

Just 5% said there’s no one specific reason why they’re heading to Cannes this year, while some of the 9% who chose “other” as their response will be at the event to get content ideas and hear what’s going on in the industry.

So what’s keeping those who aren’t attending the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity from the event? Digiday’s survey found that nearly half of industry members who won’t be in attendance will be looking on from afar due to the cost of going to the festival — 42% of agency, brand, retailer, publisher and tech pros said cost is the main reason they’re not going to Cannes this year. Slightly more than a quarter of respondents to Digiday’s survey (27%) said they don’t see the value of the event as enough of a reason to attend.

Notably, 30% of respondents chose “other” as their response to why they’re not attending Cannes. Some respondents said they’re attending other events instead of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity or have other work commitments to attend to next week, while others said they are part of a small agency or their companies don’t pay for international travel to conferences. Still others said that they don’t see a reason to attend the event, and that Cannes is not a priority for them.

Interested in sharing your perspectives on the media and marketing industries? Join the Digiday research panel.

https://digiday.com/?p=547295

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