Goafest 2009 – A recession too good to be wasted


“It’s not a recession, it’s a slowdown”
– the mood at Goafest 2009

Over the weekend, I was at Cavelossim Beach in Goa to attend the Goafest 2009. This year the event focussed on the R-word – “Why this recession is too good to be wasted?” But I think the recession was more than evident at the event – lower number of friends from the industry, limited booze per person and no free water sports.

team bonding

But then I think Goafest is more than just the number of beers you can drink. It’s about the opportunity for many young advertising professionals to hear some of the best minds and distinguished industry leaders share some of their vision and experiences.

Sir John Hegarty explored how this recession is an opportunity to get more creative and evolve new channels of communication, products and embrace the internet more boldly. Neeraj Nayar spoke about the progression from just Branded Messages to  Branded Utility – Services. (will try and explore these talks in future posts).

dan wieden talks at Goafest 2009

I guess a lot many have been disappointed at the very limited number of wins at the Creative Abby awards. Talks about the jury being very harsh and then admitting this on the stage left everyone amused. Of course, like always there was a lot of scam work (ads which are not actually released by the brand, but done only to win awards). Some of the work on radio (Virgin Mobile, Tata Magic) and integrated advertising (The Blind Children’s Painting Exhibition & Domestic Violence – Bell Bajao) was truly entertaining and award-worthy.

DJ Akhtar at the Zoom party and Jalebe Cartel the next night really did some magic and got the dance floor filled up. Although the weather was sick, I think people just kept drinking from the bar to quench their thirst and dance away into the wee hours of the night.

If there is something I am disappointed about this year’s visit, is the number of photos – barely anything compared to last year. Sharing them online at flickr.

I will be at Goafest 2009 this weekend


goafest 2008

Just a quick note to let you all know that I will be attending the Goafest 2009 at Cavelossim Beach, Goa over the next 2 days.

Looking forward to some inspiring talks by Sir Johan Hegarty & Dan Wieden. Of course the sun, sand, water sports, the beach and beer are added attractions.

Find out more about Goafest 2009 here. And you can also browse photos from the last year’s event at my flickr album. Meanwhile I will continue to give live updates from the event on my twitter channel.

Goafest 2008 – Sun, fun and gun(n)


After a lot of hard selling, pushing and shoving I managed to reach Goa’s Cavelossim Beach to attend the (third) Goafest 2008. This time it was special because two major groups of the industry – Ad Club and Advertising Association of India (AAAI) had teamed up to celebrate the festival and also share the stage for the annual Abby Awards.

goafest 2008 (by kapsitream) 

To be honest, Goafest is all about a lot of networking, booze, eye-candy and good music adding up to a long fun weekend for the us ad guys. For some serious learning we attended talks by well known international speakers like Craig Davis of JWT,  Scott Goodson of Strawberry Frog, Stephen Gatfield of Lowe, Donald Gunn of The Gunn Report. The common message across all talks was that advertising was changing (yes, the very exploited word 360 degree solutions) and press is no longer going to be the lead discipline for communication. In my forthcoming posts I shall share some more learnings from the sessions.

The set-up was rather impressive and AAAI should be commended for all the effort put in to make such a successful event.

  • Goafest was on twitter too but no updates after the first day’s breakfast session.
  • Food was very nice with elaborate set and was nice to see some local cuisine too.
  • Wi-Fi service was provided by Microsoft but I would have been happier if they had a bigger cyber cafe.
  • There was a Bluetooth information set-up however it didn’t seem to send out the necessary hourly updates.
  • The sessions were primarily based on strategy and planning. I believe the creative guys would have loved to see some talks on design too.
  • Client participation was limited and I think it would be interesting to see more of them to come, see the award winning work and get a feel of some international learning at the sessions.
  • It was impressive to see the media teams of campaign India and exchange4media churn out overnight newsletters updating the delegates of the previous day’s happenings, soundbites from the who’s who of advertising and snapshots of the various activities.


The event was organised on a lovely beach and the location provided an excellent opportunity for photography. I am quite happy with the results. See the entire photo set on flickr.

Update on Goafest


The latest on Goafest 2007 is that we might be not going. It seems the organisers AAAI are having difficulty putting in all the over-subscribed 800 under-30 seats.

Of course the senior management is wrestling it out with AAAI, so let’s wait and watch.

Final update: I will NOT be attending Goafest, instead I will be spending my Sunday with the Mumbai Photo Marathon. Join us!

I will be @ Goafest 2007



I will be attending the Goafest 2007 happening in South Goa between 20th April and 21st April. I think this is going to be a good chance to meet up all my blog friends from the advertising circle I have been interacting with all this time. So if you are going to be there, leave a comment here and we’ll connect just around the time of the festival.

Goa, here I come.