Networking in Cannes

By Bruno Fritzsche – Almost two weeks after the Cannes Lions, this text is a reminiscence of the Croisette. Under the motto #morethanbadges I went to Cannes to find out on what is behind this hashtag. But to be able to draw a conclusion, I have to start before – where the run on badges begins.

In the first meetings with the delegates there were already rumours about important parties and happenings that should not be missed.

#morethanbadges means #morethanconnections in the meta-level, because that’s what events are for. It is an opportunity to meet exciting people in a more personal situation. I was faced with the question, how do I get as many badges as possible, how can I approach the right people in advance – without knowing the right people in Cannes and without sending meaningless emails to any info@ addresses.

Facebook helped. There is the Facebook group Cannes for Cannesseurs, a more or less closed group with over 4,500 members. Many have already been to Cannes, many certainly have not either. I wrote a post that I addressed relatively openly to the 4,500 members I didn’t know. It said something like, “Hey, I’m Bruno, one of the 12 delegates from BW Lions. I’ve never been to Cannes, I don’t have any idea, but I’d like to go to your party.”

Within a week, I had almost 50 messages in my Facebook inbox. Some wanted to get to know me and my company, others wanted to trade badges and others wanted a job as a camera assistant. So it worked and I went to Cannes and felt well prepared. Besides party arrivals, there were also exclusive lunch events, a trip on a catamaran and a yacht trip.

Arriving in Cannes I understood quickly how the festival works and noticed that in principle I shouldn’t have been under any stress. The lectures were interesting, the general feeling quite relaxed – and Facebook was there again, with free drinks and snacks. However, I want to stay with #morethanbadges and not talk about the quality of the lectures.

The invitation to events made a lot of things easier, but also brought a new problem onto the agenda: I had to make a decision. The offer was simply too large and too varied. A catamaran trip would certainly have been great, but four hours on the open sea also means four hours nothing else than open sea. Not feasible for me.

The advantage of events is that you always meet people. Even after the third reunion, a real conversation may arise. Speaking of real conversations. What I saw in Cannes was above all a tenor, that of personal advantage. Almost every person I met was more or less interested in making good contacts, preparing a business relationship or presenting theirselfs personally. Certainly there were also Cannesseurs who were there purely for the input, but I probably joined the wrong partys and didn’t meet them.

Under the motto #morethanbadges was the question whether there is more to Cannes than to leave as many events, connections and a lasting impression.

I can’t confirm that for myself. I saw Cannes primarily as a big networking event, where the best contacts are made in the evening with one or two rosés. And if you’re not already a big player, then you have no choice but to proactively approach people. That’s only possible with badges.

Conclusion: For me Cannes was a great experience, I found it great to be part of the delegation and took a lot with me. Exciting lectures, exciting people and skirmishes, but perhaps also the one or other lasting connection. Viva la badges.