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Cannes Lions International Festival: A guide for beginners

by Alex Hales

We are just a few months away from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2023- the largest and most prestigious event in the advertising and marketing industry. Celebrating the year’s best work draws the brightest creative visionaries to the South of France every year.

Here’s what you need to know to get through the week on the French Riviera, where rosé flows, and parties and networking are round-the-clock. First of all, let’s learn the hype about the Cannes Lions festival 2023.

What’s The Hype About Lions Festival?

The lions festival cannes is an international advertising festival that has been taking place annually in France since 1954. It is considered one of the most prestigious and influential events in the advertising industry.

International Advertising Association (IAA) invented this mega event to promote creativity and innovation in advertising. The first festival was held during the Cannes Film Festival and was initially called the “International Advertising Awards”. The first Film Festival in Venice, which ran from June 20 to July 3, 1955, also featured the first Lions. There were only three categories that year: radio, television, and press. After 30 years of holding the carnival alternately in Venice and Cannes, the latter became its permanent home in 1984. Lions are now held on the Croisette every June.

Who attends Cannes Lions?

The Cannes Lions Festival brings together attendees from all facets of the business for a series of discussions, debates, and live panels with renowned filmmakers, performers, writers, sports, and lecturers. The festival’s goal is to celebrate the importance of creativity in branded communication. In addition to the conference panels, this mega carnival is an annual series of award ceremonies recognising significant industry members for their outstanding creative work.

Every year for 5 days in the warm South of France, 15,000 guests from over 100 countries, including start-ups and established creative agencies, attend this carnival. Attendees of Cannes Lions categories—a worldwide event that spans every sphere of the creative communications and marketing sector, include:

  • Web Design Agencies
  • Social Influencers
  • Health & Wellness Practitioners
  • Distribution Companies
  • Communications Companies
  • Entertainment/Digital Media Companies
  • Creative Marketing Agencies
  • Music Production Companies
  • Tech Companies
  • Print Media
  • Travel Companies
  • Television Production Companies
  • Publicists

So, in case you’re involved with one of the industries mentioned above, you are eligible to attend the gigantic film festival. Also, don’t forget about the Cannes lions 2023 submission deadline.

Schedule everything in advance so that you don’t miss anything.

You can’t risk missing the best in the show, and for this, you need to create a schedule and work on executing it. Moreover, it is advisable to shortlist events and their timings that you would definitely want to attend.

There are numerous award ceremonies, high-profile speakers, back-to-back activities, and networking opportunities throughout the week. Do not let the sheer quantity of activities overwhelm you, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a first-time guest. 

It is simple to choose what to do and who to visit next, thanks to the daily lists of all the talks, award ceremonies, parties, and fringe activities throughout the city. By putting your favourite seminars and activities on your schedule before you come, you can tailor your schedule to your interests.

What to look for when choosing a venue for your side event during Cannes Lions?

When selecting the ideal space for your Cannes Lions side event, we have you covered whether you’re searching for a venue in the city centre or a little further out of town. We’ve put up a few suggestions to assist you in selecting the ideal venue for you and your company in order to make sure your event is a success:


Choosing a location during Cannes Lions 2023 dates week will have the most significant impact on your event. While picking a location near the Palais des Festivals will guarantee that attendees can get to your event swiftly, choosing a location away from the Croisette crowds has many advantages. Whether you want instant access to the events in the city centre or prefer to chill out in a villa set in the hills around Cannes, Executive Accommodation Services can help you find your ideal Cannes Lions space.


You should obviously consider your event budget while selecting your Cannes Lions venue. You may consider throwing your event during the day rather than in the evening by choosing a more unusual venue, such as a private apartment or office space, to ensure you stay within your budget. Flexibility with your dates and times can be a fantastic way to negotiate rental prices with your venue. Of course, to guarantee that you receive the best pricing for your Cannes Lions international festival, Executive Accommodation Services also advises making your reservations as early as possible.


Another choice to be made while choosing a location for Cannes Lions is the venue capacity. You should inspect your location’s layout and room capacity before deciding on the kind of event you’re having. Remember that setting up for seated events takes more space than for stand-up events and that additional space may be needed for equipment and speakers for corporate presentations and meetings. Therefore, it’s advisable to confirm in advance that the venue can meet all of your needs.


Suppose you’re considering leasing a venue outside of the city centre. In that case, providing a vehicle or shuttle bus service for your visitors is worthwhile because of the crowds. Getting to know about transportation during Cannes Lions week might be challenging.


While many attendees choose not to rent a car when they visit Cannes, those staying elsewhere will need transportation to and from the festival every day for the duration of the conference. It’s worth asking about private parking or perhaps offering a valet parking service for attendees with their car service if you’re holding your event in one of the venues outside the city centre.


Technology will undoubtedly be at the top of the list of necessities when you prepare your event strategy because Cannes Lions is all about keeping connected. You must confirm that your location has quick WIFI access so your guests can share your event on Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat with their followers. It’s always wise to verify before making a reservation because you’ll need to ensure the location has enough power outlets and connectors for any audiovisual or lighting equipment you want to use.

Services and amenities

Executive Accommodation Services can assist you with planning and organising the event and finding the ideal location for your Cannes Lions International Festival. We may propose the following because of our large network of regional service providers along the French Riviera:

  • suppliers of lighting and sound
  • catering businesses
  • furniture leasing firms
  • printing and branding firms
  • transportation options
  • hosts and staffing firms
  • Florists

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