I have always been a big believer of investing in your professional career and education. As a professor, there are some events, festivals, and even conferences you have on your bucket list you want to go and see what it is all about.

There are some events that are held in each discipline and profession that are where the top of their game attend. You have SxSW for social media, the ESPYs for athletics and teams, and of course The Oscars for movie stars and film. However, what is the equivalent of this for the PR, advertising, and marketing world?

There has been one place that has been on the top of my list for years – and I never knew if I could go or how I could possibly. Now, I can say that attending this event will become reality. In fact, I will be there this summer for the first time.

I will be attending the Cannes Lions Festival this summer.

Image logo of Cannes Lions (credit Cannes Lions)

That’s right – this is the Oscars of my field -where the best agencies, brands, and professionals all come together with some of the best campaigns and pieces of work from the field. This is where the big players not just in the US come to play, but everyone from the global stage. It will be a time of networking, learning, growing, and exploring here.

It’s of course not going to be all fun and games for me because I am here on business. I am here for a couple of reasons. Here are some of them:

  • Beginning stages of study abroad program. First, I am here to explore the possibility of establishing a study abroad program to bring students with me in the future to attend the festival. This was what really struck out at me because I was not aware there were already programs like this set up at other universities. I have already pitched this potential idea to my colleagues and this would be a great opportunity for future UofL students to take advantage of. The beginning stages of #CannesCards has begun!
  • Opportunity to network and do research. Second, I am here to do some research. In the field I am in, it’s not only about looking at what is being written about these campaigns, but talking to the professionals behind the brands, agencies, and teams that are creating these pieces of content. I will be a student for sure for the week I am in Cannes – learning, soaking in as much information as possible, and attending as many sessions and talks as possible. Plus, it would be amazing to see how Cannes Lions is able to manage, engage, and create strategies for social media for such a high profile event. Really excited to learn from the best in the business!
  • Investing in professional education. Lastly, I am here to invest in my professional education. It is an investment to go to an event such as the Cannes Lions Festival, but when you think about the cost of some of the other conferences I have gone to – where else do you get the chance to rub elbows with the top professionals and leaders in the field? Not many places. I have been fortunate to have attended and presented at some amazing places, but the Cannes Lions Festival is at a whole other level. It’s not only about being able to talk about these events with students – but show them what the possibilities are and what this means for their education. Attending and networking at these types of conferences and events has become the new standard for professors, especially those who are involved in our field in strategic communication and social media. We have to invest in our professional career more than ever now.

Even though the conference and event is later this year, I am beyond excited to learn, grow, and be able to share what I learn with my students, colleagues, and community. If you are heading to the festival as well, please let me know and would love to meet up.

Thanks and have a great day!

Best Wishes,