Cannes Lions will be fully digital again this year. It will be run as Cannes Live, June 21-25.
When Ascential stated in January that Cannes Lions would return to its Cannes stomping ground for a physical event, there was doubt.
Lions chairman, Philip Thomas, was, optimistic nonetheless. He commented at the time, “While travel is currently constrained, the availability of multiple vaccines offers hope that we can be together in June, even if we need to limit the numbers of delegates who can safely attend. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation, and maintain our regular communications with the authorities in France, but there are many other large international events planned for the same timeline and it’s clear from talking to the global industry that everybody is very keen to come together again.”
Not running Cannes Lions as a physical event costAscential dearly last year. According to its end-year financial results released in March, the events section of its annual shareholder report showed a 97% decline from US$89.1 million to just US$2.4 million.
In a new statement, Thomas said, “Over the last year, we’ve been consulting with our customers and working on our plans, including the development of Cannes Lions Live as part of the new LIONS Membership platform. We are now able to move fully to this format for 2021 – which will have all the celebration, inspiration and participation of Cannes Lions – to unite the global community virtually during Cannes Lions Live this June.”
Access to Cannes Lions Live is included in the fee for Lions Membership and the Lions awards will return. Lions Membership launches in May. All Lions members will receive complimentary access to Cannes Lions Live as part of their membership. Annual Lions membership is priced at €249. All Lion winners, past and present, will be given complimentary membership.
Simon Cook, managing director, Lions, stated, “After the benchmark of the awards was paused last year, we want to be able to give our community the chance to immerse themselves in the creative work once again. We’ll be championing the work on a huge scale – tracking progress throughout the week, analysing the winners, delivering insights, identifying new talent. It’s the return of the benchmark and a moment for the industry to reflect but also look forward.”
Details about the digital event will be released over the coming weeks.