Cannes Festival Creates Cannibalism with One Small Restriction

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

By SummitSync


Ever convince your boss to send you to Cannes, France for work? If you have or haven’t, you’re probably aware that the festival is pretty impressive; in fact, it’s a giant rosé fueled yacht party…I mean a business conference that I’ve been fortunate enough to be forced (actually no one was forcing me — I love rosé & yachts) to attend over the last ten years.

This Super Bowl of what I’ve coined as “Corporate Tourism”, is a week-long rosé charged junket where meetings are held on “Google Beach”, or on a super-yacht in a sea of other super-duper yachts. Those “strategic meetings” and Sting concerts with 400 “partners” were meant to inspire productivity and creativity, and I’m sure in many ways it did.

It was real, it was fun, and it was REALLY FUN…

That is, until they created the new restriction on bars and hotel lobbies during the event.

By popular hotel lobbies and daytime bars restricting access to pass holders and their guests only, they’re cramping my, and thousands of others,’ style. In my decade of attending Cannes, I have only bought a pass once — which range from $2,000 to $6,000 USD PER TICKET. Do you know how much rosé I can buy clients for with that money? That’s why an estimated 20,000 attendees don’t purchase passes. They fly to Cannes and spend all day in the lavish hotel lobby bars, schmoozing clients, and networking with other professionals, just like me.

I guess they really didn’t like our way of doing things because the new Cannes rule restricts access to the five famous hotel lobbies at Cannes to pass holders and their guests. Not only did they restrict these hotel lobbies, but they also restricted the harbor for pass holders until 6 p.m. each evening.

For a festival that claims to celebrate innovation and creativity, they sure didn’t like our creative ways of booking meetings at Cannes. By “convincing” these businesses to restrict access, they’ve stifled their own creativity as a company. Companies that make decisions driven by fear end up making their fears a reality a lot faster than companies who are willing to truly innovate and be creative at re-inventing their business models. Will this decision result in fewer people attending the festival overall? We’ll let you know.

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