9 Days to Go-Goafest | Shashi Sinha on the judging process

10 Apr,2012

Shashi Sinha, President of Ad Club Bombay and Chairman of Awards Governing Council has played a critical role in the cleaning up of awards at the Goafest which has come under a scanner post the incident of self voting and leaking of award results. Having started the process last year to bring credibility to the awards, Sinha is now upbeat on crossing the first hurdle and promises that this year the work showcased at the Fest will be high quality. Here’s Sinha throwing some light on the judging process.

 

Yesterday evening, as I stepped out from the Direct jury discussions, I must admit that I felt overwhelmed by the quality of conversation this year. We have been encouraging the jury to engage in long discussion as that is the only way to understand the nuances involved in the work. More the discussion, more the clarity in judging the works.

 

In fact, this year we have increased the number of jury in each category from 6 to 8 in the last year to 10 to 12 this year, thus having a better representation of people. We have fine-tuned the judging process and added more categories. We have also increased the number of Grand Prix that will cover all the 9 verticals (10 if you consider Print and Print Craft separately) where again role of conversation will play a critical role in finding ‘the work’. We have also moved to secret voting thus allowing the jury to make their choice without worrying about upsetting anyone from the fraternity which was the case when voting happened by show of hands.

 

We had tackled these issues last year, but I would say that last year at the Fest the focus was to get the process right and clean up the issues that had marred the awards. We were focusing on bringing transparency to the entire judging process and make it tight and fair. The AGC and KPMG are now familiar with how things ran last year hence there is more comfort with the procedure and protocol.

 

Now with process in place we are working towards improving the quality of work being showcased. I must admit that we have achieved this seeing the quality of discussion we have been having, I feel proud to be part of the industry.

 

We have also been giving a week’s break after the R1 of judging just so that there is a gap and judging happens with a fresh perspective, without any preconceived notions. Also, while shortlists were announced earlier, we are not doing this now, so that even for judges as they walk in for R2 there is an element of surprise to see the shortlist, paving way for fresh conversation. As earlier, where all the shortlists were showcased at Goa, now we will only showcase the finalists, resulting in a better quality of display as the works would have gone two filtering process.

 

In fact, we are finished with the R1 in all categories this year and almost in the last leg of judging with 3 categories left. Today, we will judge the interactive which I am looking forward to. It is an upcoming category and I am sure it would be fun being a part of it. This year, we have also had entries from South Asian countries and even though the number is not much but it is good beginning that will give the fest a larger footprint.

 

We have also split the award to two days as that was a feedback we got from people. So the 3Ds- Direct, Digital and Design will be given on the night of April 20, the rest will be given on April 21.

 

In my mind, the judging process may have become complicated and is time consuming but the changes have happened for good. Goafest is here to stay and each year we have bettered it, like this year we have an impressive list of international speakers, given the fact it’s been a rough year for the industry. We have also managed the location issue as the Zuri White Sands is a better location as opposed to the beach. I think we have got the formula right for the Fest now. Just keeping my fingers crossed.

 

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