Cannes Lions 2016 : The Festival Guide for Creative Influencers

Bespoke Yacht Charter's Guide to Cannes Lions 2016.

Cannes Lions 2016 : The Festival Guide for Creative Influencers

Cannes Lions 2016, the International Festival of Creativity, will be held between 18 June – 25 June 2016 and bring together over 15,000 delegates from 4000+ companies dedicated to creative communications, advertising and related fields.

The 8-day Festival incorporates 3 events – Lions Health (18-19 June), Lions Innovation (21-22 June) and Lions Entertainment (23-24 June) with interactive sessions, workshops, screenings, masterclasses and inspirational talks that aim to connect and inspire industry professionals.

Bespoke Yacht Charter is a specialist in Cannes Yacht Activations with a professional service that fine tunes every detail of your yacht charter, from catering on board to entertainment and securing the best yacht berth on “yacht row” in the Port of Cannes for your company at Cannes Lions.

Our yacht charter brokers have compiled this Useful Guide for Creative Influencers for Cannes Lions 2016 to help both first timers and Cannes Lions Festival stalwarts get the best from one of the world’s largest advertising festivals.

Cannes Lions 2016 Speakers

Cannes Lions 2016 includes an annual programme of masterclasses, forums and talks from top speakers hailing from various sectors including tech, education, entertainment, advertising, politics, arts, fashion, business and travel. Speakers at Cannes Lions 2016 include:

  • Dawn Airey – CEO of Getty Images
  • Christopher Bailey – Chief Creative, CEO at Burberry
  • Clay Bavor – Vice President of VR at Google
  • Andrew Bennett – Global CEO of Havas Creative Group / Havas Worldwide
  • Jeff Bewkes – Chairman, CEO of Time Warner Inc.
  • Anthony Bourdain – Host of Anthony Bourdain Paris Unknown on CNN
  • Troy Carter – Founder, Chairman, CEO of Atom Factory
  • Brian Chesky – Co-Founder, CEO of Airbnb
  • Adam Grant – Professor at Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Academy Award-winning Director, Writer, Producer
  • Aaron Lau – International President at Cheil Worldwide
  • Tham Khai Meng – Co-Chairman, Global CCO at Ogilvy & Mather
  • Fergus O’Hare – Head of APAC Creative Shop at Facebook
  • Gwyneth Paltrow – Actress, Author, Singer
  • Jennifer Prince – Senior Director, Media & Entertainment at Twitter
  • Shane Smith – Founder, CEO at VICE
  • Will Smith – Actor, Musician, Producer, Philanthropist
  • Harvey Weinstein – Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company, Co-Founder of Miramax
  • Anna Wintour – Artistic Director at Condé Nast
  • Yoshihiro Yagi – Creative Director at Dentsu Inc.

The Lions Awards

Cannes Lions has humble origins as The International Advertising Film Festival first held in Venice, Italy in 1954. The Venice Lion in St Mark’s Square was the inspiration for the Lion trophy for the Festival, which was hosted the second year in Monte-Carlo then alternated between Venice and Cannes before taking up permanent fixture in Cannes in the 1980’s.

Originating as one award, Cannes Lions has diversified as changes in communication across industries leaps forward. Winners receive the highly-coveted Lion trophy, presented at 4 award ceremonies throughout the week where the winning ads are awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions. The Grand Prix are awarded to the best of the Gold Lions, and the Glass Lion is handed out for work that addresses gender inequality or prejudice.

Media Network of the Year Cannes Lions
Media Network of the Year


There are now 24 awards across categories such as Design, Health & Wellness, Innovation, Media, Mobile, Pharma, PR & Radio and more, all decided by a jury of almost 400 people from 40 countries.

At Cannes Lions 2016, the Press Lions will now be called the Print & Publishing Lions and the Cyber and Mobile Lions award has been split into 3 with a new category, Digital Craft. Alongside Digital Craft, there are also 2 other new awards for 2016 – Entertainment, and Entertainment Lions for Music.

Special Awards are also handed out for Network of the Year, Agency of the Year, Grand Prix for Good, Media Person of the Year and even their own Palme d’Or Award for the most successful Production Company.

We’re expecting to see some excellent entries in the VR & New Tech Games Category (Entertainment), Use of User Generated Content (Entertainment Lions), Innovative Technology (Innovation) and Cyber and Mobile categories.

Fast Track Tips for First Timers at Cannes Lions 2016

For first timers to Cannes Lions, look over the schedule well in advance and favourite them or pre-book so you know where you need to be on time.

Must-Do Scheduling:
  • Make use of orientation sessions to get your bearings. On Saturday 18 June from 10am-10.30am and Tuesday 21 June at 4pm there are Meet Up sessions hosted by Liz Moseley of Cannes Lions with the aim of filling in the gaps for where and how to go about making your first Festival successful.
  • Also, look for one of the ‘How To Cannes’ sessions which encompass a quick 30-minute walking tour of key sites.
  • On the official schedule, keep an eye out for ‘Inside the Jury Room’ Talks which are your window into being in an Awards jury room with insight from the Awards judges. ‘Talks: Interactive’ are superb sessions for informal networking and meeting the speakers.
  • Cannes Lions Beach hosts Sundowner Sessions each afternoon (check the times as it varies slightly each day) which are great for getting a recap of daily highlights such as emerging themes, Awards headlines plus a preview for the following day’s programme.
  • To unwind after a day’s sessions, make a beeline to the Lions Rooftop bar on top of the Palais from 5.30pm daily – not only recommended for relaxed drinks but the best view of the parties happening on board all the Vieux Port’s superyachts.
Charter Yachts at Cannes Lions
Charter Yachts at Cannes Lions


Our pick of Cannes Lions 2016 sessions:

– Thinking Design, 2pm, Monday 20 June

– How Drones and 360 Video Will Change Creativity, 2pm, Monday 20 June

– Experience, 3pm, Monday 20 June

– Why Dynamism Is The New Currency, 4pm, Monday 20 June

– Can Your Brand Keep Up With the Speed of Culture, 4pm, Tuesday 21 June

– Snackable, Unskippable Content, 11.30am, Wednesday 22 June

General Tips:

  • Ensure you pre-purchase your Festival pass – if you choose to pay in Cannes you’ll also be subject to an administration fee of €85 + TVA.
  • If you are aged under 30 years or studying creative communications, there are passes at reduced rates.
  • The Lions Network is a new tool to network with other delegates before and during the Festival. Once you receive your Delegate I.D after registration, log in on the official website to start connecting.
  • If you miss a masterclass, seminar or workshop, visit the Cannes Lions Archives online at the official website after the Festival.
  • Check out Lions Live on YouTube, an 8-session live feed of Speaker seminars during Cannes Lions 2016 voted by the public.
Party at Cannes Lions on yacht
Yacht Activation at Cannes Lions

Social Events:

First time at Cannes Lions? Pick one of these places to network with other newbies:

Starting Monday 20 June, drop into the daily pop-ups for:

  • Facebook : 9am-6pm Monday-Thursday at Plage Majestic Barriere
  • Spotify House : 3pm-4pm at Spotify House, 61 boulevard de la Croisette
  • Twitter : 4pm-7pm Tuesday & Thursday at C’Beach (follow the latest @TwitterBeach)
  • YouTube : 9am-6pm at Plage Gray d’Albion and Plage du Festival

All of the above will host drinks, panel discussions, music and activities such as beach sports.

Monday 20 June : 5pm-6pm at Cabana Town

  • Hosted by Haymarket, the PRWeek Happy Hour will be returning over cocktails and making good on their promise “Let’s go bananas in the cabanas”. Expect banana cocktails and monkey business!

Monday 20 June : 5pm-6pm at Góeland Beach

  • When in France do as the French do and play pétanque. #FrenchCampCannes return to the beach with the unique Radio Cancan, drinks, DJ’s and of course the game of pétanque (boules).

Monday 20 June : 9pm-midnight at Carlton Beach

  • The Opening Gala – food, drinks and dancing till late

Saturday 25 June : 9pm-midnight at Cannes Lions Beach

  • The Closing Gala – food, drinks and dancing till late

How to get to Cannes Lions 2016

Getting to Cannes Lions is easy from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport with a range of public transport or private transfer options.

Taxis are located at each terminal at the arrivals level. The approximate oneway taxi fare to Cannes is €85 (dependent on traffic). Cash only, no credit cards. Helicopter transfers from the airport to Cannes take 7 minutes, the fare is €160 per person booked direct with Azur Hélicoptère.

Cannes Helicopter Transfers by Azur Hélicoptère
Cannes Helicopter Transfers by Azur Hélicoptère


Cannes train station is a major hub which is reached via the nearest train station to the airport, Nice St-Augustin station (a 5-minute taxi ride from the airport). Trains service Cannes regularly with reduced timetables on weekends and in the evenings; a oneway journey takes around 40 minutes. There have been frequent train strikes since May so check timetables in advance.

For bus transport, a oneway journey costs €20 and takes around 50 minutes when using Rapides Cotes d’Azur (RCA) daily express bus service between the airport and Cannes. The bus is number 210 and stops in Cannes at the Gare Routiere (near Hôtel de Ville and 2-minutes’ walk from Vieux Port and the Palais des Festivals), and leaves from outside Hotel Gray Albion. (Avoid bus number 200 from the airport, it is cheaper however much busier and the oneway journey is twice as long).

In the evening, ensure you pre-book your transport as taxis will be limited during Cannes Lions, and train and bus schedules are reduced especially after 8pm.

Beyond Cannes Lions 2016

Outside of Festival galas and talks, here are 5 tips for things to see and do during Cannes Lions 2016:

  1. Be aware that Sunday 19 June coincides with the 2016 observance for Fête des Pères (Fathers Day) in France which is usually a popular day for family celebrations at restaurants. Advance restaurant reservations are highly recommended on this day, especially for lunch.
  2. Every year in France, Fête de la Musique is recognised across the nation with free concerts and music performances. On Tuesday 21 June, Cannes will host a variety of free gigs – wander over to the Allées de la Liberté Charles de Gaulle across from the Vieux Port for music from 3pm, or head to the fountain on Boulevard du Midi Jean-Hibert on the seafront from 6pm for DJ sets until late.
  3. Cannes Lions coincides with the UEFA Euro 2016 football; if you’re a football fan you can watch match coverage in Cannes at Ma Nolan’s pub (6 rue Buttura), the Quays Irish Pub (17 quai Saint-Pierre) or Morrisons (10 Rue Teisseire). Or, reserve your spot with other Cannes Lions attendees at Havas Café’s 10th Anniversary celebrations on Tuesday 21 June and Wednesday 22 June at Le Grand Hotel Gardens where they’ll screen the evening’s football there.
  4. Starting Wednesday 22 June, art enthusiasts can get a dose of surrealism at the Centre d’Art La Malmaison’s Salvador Dali exhibition: The Frontiers of Reality.
  5. The same evening as the Cannes Lions Closing Gala, the roads around Vieux Port will be closed to traffic and come alive from 7pm with a free public festival ‘Le Port de Cannes en Fête with the theme Cap Vers L’Aventure’ with music, kids entertainment, costumed actors and food trucks.

Connect with Cannes Lions 2016

Official Cannes Lions 2016 website:

The Cannes Lions app available on iOs and Android has listings of talks, Award ceremonies, parties and Festival updates. Download it on the App Store or Google Play.

Official Facebook page for Cannes Lions 2016

Cannes Lions 2016 on Twitter: @Cannes_Lions

Cannes Lions 2016 on Snapchat: #CannesLions

This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke, who with over 10 years travel industry experience loves to share ‘must-do’ destination tips and hidden spots to discover in France and beyond.

To discuss your Cannes Lions yacht charter requirements, please contact Rachel Coles at Bespoke Yacht Charter: