Jeroen van der Meer, executive creative director and digital craft juror offers some tips on how to put on a successful social event in Cannes
Once a year the world’s creative community congregates in Cannes for a meeting of the minds. Five days of checking out the latest and greatest, sweating through seminars and cramming the mind for the year ahead.
But, as Jeroen van der Meer, executive creative director and digital craft juror explains, it’s also about those big nights and bonding. And he would know. For the past six years, digital production company MediaMonks has partnered with their friends at MassiveMusic to throw one of the biggest (and most alliterative) parties for out there.
Over the years, we’ve toasted to great work with some pretty out there themes from EXPERIMMMMENTAL to a space age MMMMISSION. We’ve had people come up and hustle us for tickets at restaurants, and deeply regretted our matching dress code choices (Cannes gets pretty hot). Of course, throwing an adland party of this scale requires elbow grease and attention to detail, so you could say it makes sense to leave it to the producers. But, amongst all the last-minute entry prep, how’s it possible to put on a party too? Learn from our mistakes.
Approach the party just like you would a client case
When we said we take the art of partying seriously, we weren’t kidding. And when your guest list consists of some of the most creative minds out there, you simply can’t afford not to. Months in advance we kick-start the process with a brainstorm session between Massive Music, an external creative agency (The Stone Twins) and ourselves. Once a theme is decided upon, we task our best copywriters, designers and developers with the challenge of carrying out the theme across a full scale digital campaign. A MailChimp send-out won’t cut the mustard.
Break with routine, stay innovative
As it’s been said time and time again, repetition is the death of art. This is definitely true for our industry. We won’t win a Lion for a project that has been done before, same as we won’t impress our guests with a thinly veiled re-do of last year’s party. This year we take a swing at hosting the MM&MM party for the 7th time, so the danger of routine is definitely lurking around the corner. To stay ahead of the curve we combine efforts from experienced creatives and young talent. The result? Well executed ideas that represent the spirit of the time.
3. Keep it globally relevant
Each year we invite the people we’ve worked with in the past year, or are looking to team up with in the coming years, to join us in Cannes. Operating on a global scale across 11 offices means that our guest list consists of people from all corners of the world. So it’s important to create an experience that speaks to an international audience, and not just Amsterdam HQ in-jokes. This year, we offer our guests a retreat from their stressful lives in advertising. It’s safe to say we can all relate.
4. Use your party as an opportunity, not leverage
You can’t really get a better business opportunity thrown into your lap than a party with all your present and future clients. Since we get thousands of requests for invites each year, it speaks for itself that our guest list takes some serious consideration. Make sure to use that momentum; invite the people you’ve always wanted to talk to and make plans for the future. But in the end, a party is meant for celebration, so leave the business behind when you walk onto the dance floor.
5. Not invited? Start your own.
The best party on the Riviera is tonight and you ain’t going. We’ve been there. Unfortunately, we’re looking to raise the roof at the Palais des Festivals, not break it by exceeding its capacity. If MediaMonks history has taught us anything, it’s that bold ideas get the biggest reward and anything can happen in (almost) 20 years. Everyone loves the underground party, so get one going for 2019.
For this year’s edition of the MM&MM Party we invite our guests to take a journey inward. To help them on their way we’ve created a custom web experience using the latest WebGL and WebAudio technologies which proposes a simple question: are you mindful or mindless? The test consists of three immersive challenges that test the players’ meditative abilities. In the meantime state-of-the-art facial tracking software analyses their auras, eventually determining whether they are mindful or mindless. Regardless of the outcome, we welcome our guests to free their minds with us.
FREE YOUR MMMMIND
Wednesday 20th June 2018 (21:00 till 02:30)
Riviera Terrace – Palais des Festivals
Prom. Robert Favre le Bret 1, Cannes