Unsolicited advice to help make Goafest2020 better

17 Apr,2019


By Sanjeev Kotnala


In the article yesterday, I discussed ‘what you missed, and they messed?’ with reference to advertising industry’s biggest festival of creativity and ideas. Goafest2019 finished on April 13, 2019. Like always, it had its own moments of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  There has been tremendous change as the festival keep evolving.

Here I am sharing few inputs, that may help the Goafest Managing Committee see things differently:

1. REALIGN. Do meet the absentee agencies now. Show them the new picture and help to get them positively polarised towards the fest.

2. Launch a Goafest2019 survey among delegates. Provide a platform for free, honest expression and suggestions. Run it with all delegates and all sponsor and organisations on the corporate level.

3. ENHANCED TRANSPARENCY. STOP SCAMS. Share all entries in their totality at the time of Shortlist. Give it enough time for people to check and raise an objection. Make the association protocol, SOP for objection resolution public.

4. ENHANCE EFFICIENCY AND FESTIVAL CONSTRUCT. Capture data to make more sense of priorities and preferences. Track people movement. Record entry and exit details from different zones.

5. TRANSPARENCY. Include a session where jury members express and share what they were looking at, what kind of discussion happened, and what favoured the significant winners.

6. SESSIONS OF IMMEDIATE RELEVANCE. The festival needs more sessions like the one by Ambarish Mitra, CEO & Founder, Blippar who spoke about augmented reality, virtual reality and its rapid evolution in the marketing and advertising realm.

7. SCHEDULE SHARING. Speaker schedules should be shared much in advance along with the title and synopsis for every speaker activity. Stop hiding timeline inefficiencies by creating a block of activities. Restrict evening dinner timing. Force discipline and movement to the after-party.

8. HELPING GETTING SPONSOR THE DUE. (A) Once after-party starts, stop all ports serving drinks. Helps maximise sponsor return from parties. (B) Rightsize and re-position the sponsor logo on stage panels to ensure they are part of the picture frame.

9. DELEGATE COMFORT.(A) Introduce premium seats that one can pre-book by session or by day. (B) Include a section in the app where the participants can see the complete list of questions asked to a speaker. (C) Let the speakers choose the question, or the moderator choose the question. Or a third panel to select the question to be raised.

10. GOA QUOTIENT. Think about somehow increasing the missing Goa quotient, else we may as well call it the ‘Hyatt Advertising Fest’. Even if that means adding a feni stall. Floral-print-T-shirts, food items. May be offer some discounts.


Like every piece of unsolicited advice, I hold no liability if it does not give the desired results. So act on your own risk.


Sanjeev Kotnala is a senior marketing and strategy consultant. His columns appear on MxMIndia every Wednesday and on special occasions. The views here are personal


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