Nakul Chopra, Chairman of Goafest 2019 is all geared up for another successful edition. He aims to establish the event as a leading knowledge sharing and networking platform.
Agency Reporter: How according to you has Goafest evolved over the years?
Nakul Chopra: Goafest is unique in the sense that it is not run by a ‘for profit’ organization, rather it is run by industry bodies. The evolution of Goafest has hence been an interactive process, where to the extent possible, this evolution has been driven by the feedback of the industry to us. Based on the inputs we have got, we have today developed a much tighter festival, with a vastly wider ambit of speakers and activities. Goafest today is the definitive event for the advertising and communications industry as it is a truly world class festival in both content and quality.
AR: What was the takeaway from last year’s Goafest?
NC: That is more for others to say than for me. For me the takeaway was that the content was greatly appreciated, as was evident by full auditoriums for every single session.
AR: What are your expectations from Goafest 2019?
NC: Every year, we expect to put up an even better show that is attended by all in the industry and appreciated by all delegates too. The aim of the festival is to create a platform that provides inspiration, collaboration and celebration, in an equal measure.
AR: Undoubtedly, Goafest is the largest event in our industry. How do you think it benefits the small, mid and big agencies?
NC: This is a very good and pertinent question. It is a matter of pride for us that in every single edition of Goafest, the number of organizations participating and sending delegates has increased smartly. As the number of large agencies has been static for years now, all this growth comes from the medium and small agencies.
Last year, over 350 organizations sent delegates or entries to the festival. I would imagine that larger agencies have greater access to similar festivals around the world while for the small and medium organisations, Goafest provides a truly unique window to the best of our industry from around the world.
AR: What does Goafest have for the young and fresh blood in the industry?
NC: Among similar festivals around the world, Goafest is the only festival of this scale where more than 50% of the delegates are under 30. This is by design. As industry bodies, both AAAI and AdClub are committed to giving back to the industry and there is no better way to do this – by investing in our future talent. From its inception to this day, Goafest provides deep discounts for the under 30 delegates. Our content, in fact, the grammar of the whole festival is curated and designed around what will inspire this young talent, what they will learn from and of course, a celebration of their work during the past year.
AR: How has Goafest emerged as a strong knowledge platform?
NC: Content is at the heart of the festival. Two key factors drive us – Goafest strives to provide a window to the latest points of view in our industry from around the world and we strive to bring content from related industries that will not only provide learning for our young delegates but inspire them too. Hence, you will see that from being an industry-centric event, we have now transformed into a much wider platform that draws speakers from allied creative industries and also from areas like sports and life that inspire us all.
AR: What kind of opportunity does Goafest offer to the entire M&A fraternity?
NC: I won’t pretend that we have an M&A focus at Goafest. But I do believe that it is a platform for it in many ways. Newer agencies or the ‘new age’ agencies draw attention to themselves with their work. It is three days of intensive collaboration where intending acquirers and potential targets have equal access to one another. I would believe that Goafest ignites quite a few successful M&A dialogues, along with equal dialogues on acquisition of talent.
AR: How do you decide upon the panels of Goafest? What parameters are kept in mind?
NC: We look to provide a global window to our industry. We aim to bring learning and inspiration for our young talent be it from our industry, from related industries, from fields such as sports or from life. Jaideep Gandhi has been doing an excellent job of curating the content for Goafest for quite some years now. What people should know is that his team starts the process as early as August of the previous year and it takes a lot of doing to finally assemble the panels that you see at Goafest.
AR: How are you driving inclusivity between publishers, marketers and agencies?
NC: Inclusivity among these three critical constituencies is what Goafest is about. All three constituents contribute equally to the content, participation and sponsorship. We kick off each year with the Industry Conclave that is designed for publishers and agencies to hear the voice of the marketers. We not only celebrate the work of the agencies but we also specifically celebrate the work of publishers and broadcasters. And of course, the content and platform serve all three constituents equally.
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