Sometimes it’s good to reflect on the bad points of an industry event. A number of Cannes Lions 2014 delegates shared their worst moments with us last year, including a swimming pool faux pas and missing out on talks and awards, as well as a close-call worst experience that turned out pretty well.
Maurice Levy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, explained that the torture of being nearby swimming pools and beaches, but not actually using them, grates on him every year at Cannes. Especially when he has meetings.
For some it wasn’t necessarily the event, but the surroundings and what they did to people. Dylan Williams, Publicis Worldwide chief strategy officer, said one of his worst Cannes experiences was emerging from a swimming pool in his underpants after a swimming race with some important industry peers watching the whole ordeal.
For Sergio Gordilho, co-chairman and chief creative officer at Agencia Africa, waking up late after parties took its toll during the festival, especially when you haven’t won any Lions.
Gordilho added that sometimes the talk of other delegates who have been to an inspiring talk or session made him sometimes feel that he had missed out on something important.
For Michael Roth, chairman and chief executive of Interpublic Group, he came close to having his worst experience at a previous Cannes Lions event. He explained:
“So I’m standing in the gutterbar talking to an individual and he’s asking me a lot of questions. And at the end of the night I met a lot of other people, then went back to my hotel room to go to bed. In the morning my son telephones me saying, “What’s this about a gutterbar?”. I didn’t know what he was going on about. Turns out the individual I spoke to was a reporter and he wrote an article about me being at the gutterbar at 3am. But it turned out to be a very favourable article because he was impressed. But that could have been the worst thing that ever happened to me.”