Sanjeev Kotnala: Comparing apples with oranges. Why you must compare Goafest & Kyoorius

27 May,2015

By Sanjeev Kotnala


It is bound to happen. And my telling otherwise is not going to help. Comparisons are inevitable. The industry remains divided between the two. No one has taken sides. They are waiting and watching further development.  Will they become two iconic award properties? Will Kyoorius replace Goafest? Will delegates attend both or will they sacrifice one of them? If yes, then who will lose.  Their being less than seven weeks apart adds to the conflict.


Goafest, the event supported by the industry bodies like AAAI, Ad Club, ISA and IAA is 10 years’ old. It is held in Goa, the fun capital in the peak of the summer, something not everyone is comfortable with. But it helps to keep costs under control and attract more delegates. It may be credited to have brought the industry together on many subjects, yet it is the cause of divided too. On an average, on twin-sharing basis a delegate spends Rs 36,000.


Kyoorius is two-year-old industry function in the advertising arena, run by an independent organisation. It extended itself to include partner events this year. It is held in Mumbai, the advertising capital of the country, which gives it advantage of reach. To attend the awards and ZeeMelt15 you spent on an average of 5,500 inclusive of travel to and fro from home.


Here is disclaimer. I attended all editions of Goafest, first edition of Kyoorius Awards and missed this year’s edition + ZeeMelt15. The comments here are based on conversation with statistically significant number of delegates. As the rule goes ‘Perception is bigger than reality’, I did not contact any official, promoter or sponsor at the two shows.


Kyoorius may have failed to generate the desired heat with so many seminars, workshops and talks but its contet been appreciated. Yet, an overall feeling remains that it lacked the buzz, the fun and the glamour associated with the industry. This was the real first year: give it time. Goafest wins hands down in area of buzz, excitement but definitely need to reinvent itself on content. Unfortunately, no one really knows what the fault with Goafest content is. Seems media verdict and conversation over tea and smoke shape perceptions.  Maybe it refers to parallel tracks, India-relevant talks and workshops. My belief: all it needs is to get the non-participating agencies back into game.


This is where Kyoorius won. It had the agencies missing in Goafest participating. With its stated objective of awarding the work, jury gallery, transparency and the dazzle of the award function, it looked more popular, serious and inviting.


Kyoorius defined its intent. It created space for  some relevant practical sessions with partner brands. Goafest seemed doing more of a lip-service to its ever-changing themes. If one believes  all the talk then it seems the partner brands with their relevant category / brand-centric events  are getting more buck for theuir money in Kyoorius than the sponsors in Goafest. Something that need serious rethink.


Goafest seems more like what advertising events are. Fun-and-work together. Away from work. Immersion into complete festivity. The true Goa feel you can only get in Goa.  This was missing in Kyoorius. The delegate from Mumbai always had work in their backyard and many attended it for only one-half. The number of registered delegates can not be debated but there is doubt on how many really turned up at Kyoorius. Anyway it was far short of the target.


Both awards have the capability of becoming Asia-Pacific events. One of them seems to be in a hurry and  has a headstart. It is speaking with the other regional awards for partnership. Goafest currently does not have much to show much other than few entries and delegates from neighbouring countries.


Oh, on the party, Goafest outscores Kyoorius many times over. Though the party in Goa are really one banqet hall affair and very cramped for space. The party at Kyoorius was termed serious and no fun.


Net net, even though we may say more the merrier and that space exists for more than three or four such events spaced out thrugh the year, the truth remain that finally there maybe  space for just two national level awards, but only one regional award festival. So, with time, one award function will have to supersede the other. Merger is out of question. Kyoorius has cleary stated its intent to be THE SHOW in India’s advertising calendar. There is nothing wrong with it but for the small hitch that is Goafest’s ambitions are the same. Having left few flanks open and allowed this to happen Goafest has its work cut out for the 2016 edition.


Sanjeev Kotnala is Founder and Head Catalyst at Intradia. A Brand, Marketing and Management Advisor. He conducts specialised workshops in the area of IDEATION (Harvest and Liberate) and Innovation (InNoWait). His focus energy in enhancing client’s internal team’s potential and capabilities. In process decreasing their dependence  on external resources. To contact email  or tweet at s_kotnala visit


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