For those of you have been lead to believe the ‘Ad Tech Hits Cannes Hype’ that has been churned out by some of the trade press over the last few years, you’d be forgiven for believing that you can just rock up in Cannes and have a Demexco-esque experience. Well, you can’t. This is still very much a creative awards first and foremost and the ad tech section is roughly equivalent to about a quarter of the size of the average exhibition hall.

Of course, many companies have hired out boats, hotels and rooftops for private events too, but in many instances you have to either go looking for these events or be invited to attend. The value, most say, is in the calibre of the attendees, which is usually followed by the words “If we can get just one deal it will have all been worthwhile…”. It’ll be interesting to see how many companies have hit the jackpot by the end of the week.

Just to give you an idea of what’s going on here, here’s a quick overview of what you’d see if you were to take a stroll down La Croisette towards the Palais, which is where the awards are held.

The Cabanas

In terms of square feet, the cabanas adjacent to the Palais cover about the same area as about a quarter of the area of an average-sized exhibition hall. That said, a few companies are also holding private events throughout the week, usually on boats, in presidential suites, or on rooftops (lots of rooftops):

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Videology’s massive deckchair, worthy of its own hashtag:

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Google’s Creative Sandbox

Google’s sprawling area has a smoothie bar, an area where you can design your own t-shirts, and a lecture area.

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You can also ‘code your own smoothie’, where you type in the recipe in HTML and then the guys at the smoothie bar will make it for you. Fun if you never code, a little laborious if you do:

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The Havas Complex

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The Palais

The Palais is where the creative action and the big talks take place. If you’ve been for MIPTV, you will have seen most of the venue take up by the event. The Cannes Lions takes up far less space, but it seems like people attending are far more interested in the talks that are going on. There’s a real buzz about the place and by conference standards there’s a friendly, laid-back atmosphere:

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The Guerilla Marketers

Hat-tip to YuMe’s marketing team – a balcony overlooking La Croisette shouldn’t go to waste:

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Boat Porn

Many of the boats on the dock adjacent to the Palais have been hired out by various companies, Celtra being the only one we spotted from the video space (more from Celtra at Cannes later this week):

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How can a company called ‘Mobile Mafia’ not have a boat at Cannes, right alongside the boats of their Russian equivalents:

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Random Sightings

Spiderdad – a middle-aged man dressed as Spiderman on a skateboard – is promoting something. Ironically, he goes so fast you can’t find out what it is he’s promoting:

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Two ad tech CEOs having a conversation about who’s responsible for solving ad tech fraud:

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  • shev

    Great summary Vinny – feel like I’ve missed nothing now!