The Return of Goafest - From Hiber-nation to Hyper-action with a hiccup

By Prashant Deorah, CEO, Puretech Digital

After two years of suspension due to the pandemic, the Return of Goafest invoked feelings of eager anticipation, hopeful announcement, wary postponement, and Action! Words alone are inadequate to capture the frenetic pace and enthusiasm of the discussions, presentations, and the raw energy unleashed when the creative community came together after two years of hibernation.

Even though I could not make it to the event, I did not feel like I am not there. The incessant chatter, the anticipation and the excitement were highly evident across the fraternity. The vibrance of the celebration reached to the ones viewing the fest virtually as well.

Several revered dignitaries and renowned faces were present at the festival and after a hiatus of two years, when all collaboration and meetings were necessarily held online, there was this urge to go back to normal. But is there any going back to "NORMAL" as we knew it? I believe that digital media is a genie out of the bottle, and there is no putting it back. Is the future going to be hybrid? Even in events?

Jaideep Gandhi, Chairman of the Goafest 2022 Organising Committee expressed how the festival brought together recognition, innovation, collaboration, and celebration under the same sky. What if we substituted the word "SKY" with the word "SCREEN”? I am not trying to downplay Live, face to face events, but with immersive technology invading our ways of dealing with things and people, where lies the future?

The Panel discussion highlighted the need to foster creativity with consumer protection. In both traditional and digital media, there's a need to have more vigilance, as the media is open to all. Today there is a democratisation of media access, and this will have a transformative impact on creators and their work. Does it bode good? I guess only time will tell.

OTTs give an opportunity to a number of creators and has proven time and again how it is different from other media. It will be interesting to see how trends begin – will community viewing influence OTT trends or vice versa? Will one media play the role of a gateway into another? I think there are exciting times ahead, both for the creators and viewers.

Goafest 2022 mirrored the advertising industry in transition, fresh from the challenges of the pandemic, grappling and leveraging with the digitisation of the world, and anticipating the changes that virtual and augmented reality technologies will usher in.

I look forward to experience how we further foster creativity and digital excellence with all these fresh ideas, perspectives and impact that has been witnessed at the fest.


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