Tips for Young Lions

2 July 2012

The week of the Cannes Festival of Creativity has come to an end. Sad? Yes, a little, but also leaving extremely inspired and looking forward to taking home the learnings, the insights, the advice, the memories, the new friends and hopefully the tan! Being a Young Lion in Cannes is like nothing else. For those representing Australia here in the future - be excited.

So how do you make sure you get the most out of what will be the best week to date of your career?

1. Planning is key

There is a feeling that sticks with you in Cannes. It is feeling like you’re always missing out. There is so much to do and so much to learn you are constantly overwhelmed with decisions of what to attend. Sit down with the seminar schedule before getting here and figure out exactly what you want to go to. Then, make sure you attend some you don’t initially want to. Some of the best and most valuable seminars can be the ones that don’t appear too attractive when comparing seminar titles and blurbs.

Talk to people. Senior people, other Young Lions, people you randomly stand next to in line waiting for your morning coffee and croissant. Ask them who they are really looking forward to seeing. There is a good chance there will be a story or some background they’ll share with you that gets you excited about a seminar you weren’t planning on attending.

2. The parties are just as important as the seminars

No, it’s not just because we all like a couple (read: a lot) of free drinks and an amazing party to let loose at (although that does help). The people you meet and the conversations you have at the parties around Cannes are just as inspiring, controversial and entertaining as the content of the seminars. There is a rawness to the advice and information those who have made a name for themselves in the industry are eager to share with Young Lions. Some of this will change the way you look at the next few steps you plan to make in your career.

Go to these parties and have those conversations, what you will learn is just as valuable as what you’ll learn in the seminars.

3. Be brave

There are people in life who can be very intimidating to approach. There are questions you feel a little awkward asking. Whilst in Cannes, go up and introduce yourself to those people and ask those questions. Spending this week in Cannes at this stage of your career is going to be defining for you so make sure you don’t hold back. Seize any opportunity to learn from the greats of our industry whilst here. You’ll be surprised at how responsive these people are in wanting to help and guide you as a Young Lion.

4. Have fun

Although this point is very clichéd, it couldn’t be truer. You’ll have the days of your competition that will be very full on where you’ll most probably experience some high levels of stress but outside of these days be sure to lap up everything there is with the Cannes Festival of Creativity. This is a week in your career like none other and you’ll be here with 10 very creative and fun other Aussie Young Lions. As a group, enjoy it.

Enjoy the seminars. Enjoy the parties. Enjoy each other’s company. Enjoy meeting and making connections with new people. Enjoy attending 9am seminars with a coffee and hangover in tow. Enjoy being a young person in the industry that people would like to meet. Just enjoy the festival for all it has to offer.

Getting to be a Young Lion in Cannes will change the way you look at the industry we work in. It will inspire you to want to produce the high calibre of work you see presented here and give you the motivation to work hard so one day you’ll be walking on stage in the Palais receiving a Cannes Lion for campaigns you have been a part of.

The last tip ... Enter the 2013 Young Lions competition. You have to be in it to win it and if you do you’ll be in for an experience of a lifetime!

David Gray
Junior Strategist

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