Elevating the Educational Conversation at Cannes

July 1, 2016 — by Debbie Taylor    

This year marked the first year for the New Marketing Institute (NMI) to have a physical presence at the Cannes Lions Festival. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience — whether it was through good conversations, speakers, panels and workshops — we were able to connect with a diverse audience who shared our commitment to adtech and education.

Cannes first timers, Elise James DeCruise, VP and Founder of NMI along with Debbie Taylor, NMI EMEA Lead, joined the wider MediaMath group for some EXTREME networking.

For anyone reading this who has not attended, the festival is huge and can be a little overwhelming. There is so much to do and so many workshops to attend. All the way down La Croisette (the beachfront) are branding and work (rosé drinking) spaces, sponsored by key players, including some fairly swanky yachts. Thank you, Mr. Murdoch!

The Palais de Festival is where all the main content happened. Many high profile personalities gave talks and sat on panels throughout, including Gwyneth Paltrow, The Fat Jew, Amber Rose, Blac Chyna and Martha Stewart to name a few. The lifestyle entrepreneur even divulged the fact that she took up ceramics while serving five months in prison, making a very beautiful nativity scene!

We had a booth at the very cool “Innovations Centre,” where brands, start ups and educational folks got together to see what’s new, what’s hot and ultimately, share ideas. Each day brought awesome speakers to the various stages. They covered a breadth of topics, like how to make video content engaging and meaningful. Harvard Business School talked about technology and its impact on education and the future. The space was designed to be a hub for creativity and how to move our industry forward collectively.

We were fortunate enough to meet with a number of interesting people at our booth who undertake all sorts of different roles across our industry everyday. And all sharing a common problem: education and the gap we have in this particular space. NMI are solving for a very real need and as we shared our story at Cannes, we saw faces light up! We took a LOT of new contacts into our database. Everyone was on the same page, understanding the complexities of this industry and all the nuances that come with it. What this means is we cannot navigate it alone, nor can we work in silos.

What became apparent in our many talks with brands and agencies across the industry — from globally recognized to smaller set ups — was how excited folks were when we spoke about our offering. Including the way NMI is solving for the talent gap through our Marketing Engineer Program (MEP). MEP is where we train and place individuals interested in learning about the ecosystem and the technology that underpins it, placing them in full-time roles at brands, agencies and technology partners.

Our ability to meet the learner where they are in location, learning style and experience was also a hot topic of conversation. For example, if you are doing business in London and EMEA, US stats and figures are great but not as helpful as what’s happening in your market. Additionally, accessible online bite-sized information is a major factor when you’re trying to stay on top of the latest trends in our ever changing industry. We get that.

All in all, NMI at Cannes was incredibly valuable. It gave us a fantastic platform to be able to tell our story and everyone loves a GREAT story, right?! Here’s to next year…