Sanjeev Kotnala: Why you should be at Pattaya this March

21 Dec,2017

By Sanjeev Kotnala


It is not a pre-sell for Adfest Pattaya, an advertising festival attended by 1200-plus delegates from more than 50 cities. It is not even a recommendation. It is a definitive suggestion worth considering.

Adfest Pattaya claims to be the longest running ad show in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. It is the first show to be judged in the year. However, most of Indians in Marketing, Advertising and Technology (MAdTech) have not given it the importance it deserves. In past few years though, the number of entries, awards and speakers of Indian origin (SIO) have shown dramatic improvement at the Pattaya Adfest.

Industry captains Arun Iyer, Bobby Powar, Dinesh Swamy, Josy Paul, Prasoon Joshi, Pratap Bose, Rahul Mathews, Raj Kamble, Rohit Ohri,, Roopak Saluja, Senthil Kumar and Sonal Dabral are few of the Indian advertising and marketing influencers, who have been jury members or have spoken at the AdFest. However, when it comes to delegates from India, the needle has hardly moved.

Is it because it is too close to Goafest? Hardly three weeks separate AdFest Pattaya and Goafest. Naturally, Indian companies tend to prefer Goafest, which works out economical!

Is it because Pattaya is more known for the other Sin?
Is it because, must have already been to Pattaya, and it is no longer attractive destination for them?
Is it that they do not know more about Adfest Pattaya?
Is it because they do not think, they have more to learn from that part of the world?


It’s not true. Seniors in the industry know it better. It is easy to differentiate between Cannes, AdAsia, Kyoorious, Adtech and Goafest. Why add one more to the list?

This is best answered by Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD: “We believe that Award shows challenge and stimulates the industry to do better. They set a bar and a standard. They reward and motivate creative people. They encourage new talent to join our industry and help that talent prospers. They train and nurture our practitioners. They encourage innovation, experimentation and risk taking. They are woven into the fabric of our industry and deliver enormous value.”

Let me differentiate Pattaya Adfest ( 21-24th March 2018) from another adfest. Maybe it will help some of you to re-consider it; it is after all a perfect place to relax, learn, and network!

  1. Get exposed to Asia-Pacific advertising
  2. AdFest 2018, theme is “TRANSFORM”, championing how creativity can help businesses connect, succeed and remain relevant in the fast-changing digital economy. It sounds interesting.
  3. Watch all the entries. Yes, that’s true. It is a bonus and definitely the reason to be there. Even if you miss out on every session and just invest time to see all the displayed entries, it is time and money well invested.
  4. Listen to Jury debate and get insights into their deliberations, right there in the open, before all delegates. They speak and share what and how they chose the winner.
  5. Watch for the unique Lotus Roots Awards, celebration of richness of ideas that draw from its local cultures. Get enthralled by the simplicity of ideas and creativity unleashed.
  6. Participate and attend the Young Lotus Workshops that aims to encourage and educate new entrants to the industry,
  7. See how the new generation is shaping up. Watch the interaction and wining films at “Fabulous Four Directors.” It is a free to enter programme. It is one of the world’s most respected platforms for kickstarting the careers of commercial directors. The deadline for the entry is January 5, 2018.
  8. This year for the first time, shortlisted entries in INNOVA Lotus will present their works to juries and delegates. The Chairman of ADFEST believes that ‘Not only will it give them the opportunity to explain their thinking directly to our judges, but our audience will learn so much from the case studies they present’.
  9. It’s an inclusive Adfest. Anyone with an idea worth sharing can submit it. If found worth of the Adfest and interesting enough for the delegates, you could be invited as a speaker.
  10. Hopefully, some of you have entered straight 8 industry shootout @ ADFEST 2018,
  11. And yes, they START THE DAY AND END THE DAY ON TIME, a class on event management.

NON-ADVERTISING REASONS. I am not referring to the most talked attractions of sin-city. Pattaya is more than just the ‘walking street’, ‘Fish Bowls’and massage parlours. It is a silly case of being branded wrongly..

  1. For the people interested in adventure, you can do a Tandem Sky Dive from 12000 feet or take basic Scuba Diving lessons or fire real ammunition and feel the Mangum or colt jump in your hold.
  2. I must remind you that once you get tired, its time to go for the excellent Thai foot, shoulder or body massage. Rejuvenation is guaranteed in no extra time.


The delegate fee for the two-day creative adfest is THB 30,000 (INR 57, 000). Even if you were to make bookings well in advance, it will cost approximately INR 85,000 on the twin-sharing basis. For Goafest, it is around INR 50,000. Both cost considers staying at the hotel complex where the fest is held.

YOU STILL NEED CONVINCING. Here is what Raj Kamble and Santosh Padhi have to say about AdFest Pattaya.

RAJ KAMBLE in 2015 in an article titled ‘Pattaya makes the gutter bar seem like it’s for the kids’ told this to Campaign: “I’ve been hearing for a while that there are ‘no silly ideas’ in advertising, and now I have realised that the expression is so true. It’s good to see entries from Asia, Australia and New Zealand. When one is at awards such as D&AD, Cannes Lions and The One Show, we see a lot of the same work across these shows getting awarded. Here, we’re getting to see local entries of great quality. I’d go to the extent to say that work is ‘crazy’, and it has really surprised me..

And Santosh Padhi, has to say about ADFEST Pattaya: “Many things go into making Adfest the remarkable event that it is. To begin with, it is one of the oldest, most reputed and celebrated awards shows this region has. It values all things uniquely Asian – be it Asian culture, traditions, insights or behavior. It’s a delightful venue, near the beaches of Pattaya, which just adds to its charm. It provides a great platform for the next generation of communication professionals to interact and absorb what is happening in their field. Not only is one enriched by seeing a fantastic body of work, it also provides a chance for cultures to intertwine and intermingle. To have one’s work applauded in such a vibrant atmosphere is amazing indeed.”

If you are interested and planning, let’s connect and see what is the best we can do.



Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.

Today's Top Stories