This is what I know about Cannes:
- It is humid, but not always sunny; often it rains in torrents, and street vendors make a nice profit selling umbrellas to unprepared visitors outside the Palais des Festivals. Be smarter than your deluded sun-thirsty colleagues: pack a spring coat and your own parapluie.
- For wifi that doesn't cost 20€ a night, you go to a flea-bitten hotel on a side street, not a Croisette institution. I quite like Hôtel Athénée, which is also 5 minutes walking distance from the Palais. Basic amenities are lost, but dude, we're talking about free wifi.
- If you are here for a conference, don't bother packing a swimsuit. You'll be too tired from long nights drinking to want much sun play, and anyway, private companies rent the nice parts of the beach so important people can feel thus at your expense.
- There's no conference locale better suited for listening. The best spots are the terraces of the Carlton and the Grand. If you want to try and listen at the Gutter Bar, you can do that too, but mostly you'll hear incoherent flirting and self-aggrandization. Good place to touch a Lion, though.
- Walk! Because the town itself is beautiful, and the people are kind, and in just the right light, you might find yourself back in the 1940s.
Fun fact: Yahoo, which is still giving away those purple Havaianas that it's decided were so successful last year, stepped up its game by taking ad space on top of the Gutter Bar this year. Way to win 'em!
I spent most of Sunday frittering around with Chelsi (CMSWire) and Brian (AdWeek). At some point, I took a crack at hanging out in the screening room, but it's downgraded from last year's cinematic experience to broadcasts in a TV suspended over what looks like a waiting room in the middle of no fucking where.
I guess on the one hand it's only fair to broadcast 3 hours worth of tourism ads or whatever in the context they'll most often be in, but seriously, the experience is lost. This is me sleeping in my No-Man's-Land Waiting Room Chair.
(Snapped from behind by Chelsi.)
In the evening the three of us had a nice dinner in Vieux Cannes at Le Chaperon Rouge, my favourite restaurant, and practiced saying no to street vendors with both aggressive and kindly faces. I have a fantasy about writing a more coherent leisure post soon, but in the meantime you can catch my "seriously Angela this is your job" Cannes coverage over at Adrants and Culture-Buzz. Each site will be sprinkled with goodies as the week progresses.
Tonight: Promo & Activation, PR and Direct Lions.