Anupriya Acharya & Jaideep Gandhi on what to expect at Goafest this year

Being held from May 5 to 7, 2022 in Goa in physical form after two years of Covid disruptions, the excitement in the industry is palpable as the date with Goafest 2022 nears. Now in its 15th year, the biggest advertising festival in South Asia, hosted by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), has been attracting over 2,000 people from across India from the marketing, advertising, media, research and PR fraternity.

At the heart of this unique festival is an eclectic platter of knowledge, recognition, networking and of course, celebration that makes each day at this 3-days event a remarkable experience.

Also part of the Goafest are the ABBY Awards – known as the Oscars of Indian ad awards to honour creative excellence in advertising. ABBY 2022 has undergone a lot of changes basis feedback from the creative fraternity and is celebrating creative excellence for brands in a focused manner. ABBY South Asia 2022 at Goafest is special this year as it joins hands with The One Show. The association creates a new gold standard in recognising and awarding the region’s best creativity by bringing global standards of judging, jury selection and transparency to the already revered and established Indian Awards brand.

Speaking to Adgully on the evolution of Goafest over the last 15 years of its existence, Anupriya Acharya, President, Advertising Agencies Association of India, reminisced, “15 years is a long time and Goafest has seen a lot of big initiatives in these years. It must have been started with a lot of foresight under the leadership of Arvind Sharma and Sundar Swami at that point in time. It started in a very quaint manner and was held at the Cavelossim beach. For all of us, we hadn’t seen a festival like that. It was the whole spirit of advertising coming together over a period of three days. Over the years, Goafest has moved locations and we have garnered a much stronger content over the years. The festival has become more inclusive and we find more and more independent agencies and digital agencies taking part in Goafest a lot.”

Continuing further, Acharya said, “With every edition we’ve learnt a lot. The first festival was very exciting and there were a lot of learnings that came from that. This year, we are coming together in the physical after two years, so we have taken a step back and the key thing that we have decided this year is to keep the spirit of the industry alive, as the industry has gone through a lot and come out of it very strong, despite all the challenges. We are going full digital this year onwards in the spirit of going more green and we are bringing it more centrestage. So, it will be right in the heart of where the celebrations are happening. We are extending the media coverage to broadcasting as well, which is gaining fast momentum. We have brought in a newer area in terms of speakers and content as well.”

Jaideep Gandhi, Chairman, Goafest 2022 Organising Committee, added here, “We have incorporated influencer, OTT and physical wellness sessions. The central theme being ‘Celebration’, we have kept inspiration as one content and knowledge. In terms of workshops, we have 6-7 workshops this year. There will be a mix of Bollywood, sports, politics, gaming, etc. – so, we are incorporating what is trending and inspirational.”

Acharya remarked, “People are just looking forward to getting together and meeting each other in the physical form, because the virtual form can never replace the joy of physical celebration and physical presence. So, for starters, everybody is just looking forward to meeting each other in person.”

Giving a sneak peek on the speakers and discussions that can be expected at Goafest 2022, Gandhi noted, “We have a power-packed session of Anupam Kher in conversation with SS Rajamouli. This will be the first time that Rajamouli is coming to a conclave. I&B Minister Anurag Thakur, Smriti Irani, Kiran Bedi, Rujuta Diwekar, Madhuri Dixit Nene are among the many who will be speaking at the conclave this year.”


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