First time Eurobest. I’ve attended big brother Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 7 times now. As a visitor, Young Lions Competitor, Board Member of Dutch Young Creatives and last year as a Speaker. It’s massive and there’s so much to do that you need to clone yourself at least 23 times to experience it all. The good thing about Eurobest? You don’t have to clone yourself. Or maybe once. One version of you for the festival, one for the parties.
Here are my highlights and learnings from 3 days of inspiration in Antwerp, Belgium.
Good, Better, Eurobest 2015
Our day started (too) early with a Thalys trip from Amsterdam to Antwerp.
After checking in at our AirBnB apartment we strolled towards the venue. I asked the security at the entrance where the press entrance was, but there was only one entrance. Obviously this was a smaller event than the Lions. At most big events you hope to meet some of the speakers or judges. At Eurobest you meet them all, multiple times. It’s the perfect place for networking and it was awesome to see my industry friends from all over the world again.
People can write a book in an hour
Ben&Andrew explaining their bold idea to write the #HourBook
“Hey, you wanna write a book in an hour?” Of course! Ben&Andrew gave a highly energetic session on the mainstage and together with the whole audience we wrote a book in one hour. Well, the start of it. We jotted down our thoughts as fast as we could and handed over the pages. The next phase was editing the book. I loved the idea so much that I decided to help with editing as well. We filtered all the entries on quality and originality to end up with nothing less than the best.
Editing the #HourBook with Marlon von Franquemont (DDB Berlin) and other creatives
On the last day of Eurobest Andrew handed out a few books to people who helped out. Luckily I was chosen as one of them and the #HourBook is now on my bookshelf (you can check out an online version here). It’s a great memory and also reminder that you can make things happen in a brief period of time if you focus and believe in the power of creativity and collaboration.
The magic is in the making
Kylie Minogue + Nick Bailey
Nick Bailey (CCO Isobar) opened up his creative mind for the audience and helped us realise that we should always keep going until the truth emerges: “The magic is in the making”. Personally I always take too much time before I really ‘start’. Just like beginning to write this blog. I did my laundry, went running, answered a bunch of emails and now, finally my fingers are dancing on the keyboard. The funny thing is that once I’m over that point, everything becomes easier. New things evolve and I quickly make progress. I also loved Nick’s quote about copywriting: “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story”. Hmmm…guess I have to rewrite this part later.
Useless is awesome
One of the useless ideas that Rogier Vijverberg shared on stage
The presentation of Rogier Vijverberg (SuperHeroes Amsterdam) was useless (and awesome). Accompanied by his big smile, Rogier showed us multiple examples of weird, crazy ideas and inventions from around the world. How useless some of them may sound or look like, they’re a huge source of inspiration: “The unthinkable may bring great discoveries.”.
An egg sells
A few seconds before the already notorious ‘eggsperience’
Sex sells. That’s nothing new. But an egg? Read on to discover how an egg became the talk of the town. Host Kerrie Finch (FinchFactor) invited Jennifer Lyon Bell (Blue Artichoke Films) and Sadie Lune on the mainstage. The two professional maverick pornmakers not only talked about their creative work but also showed some footage on the big screen. Checking out porn at Eurobest, why not. Creative people aren’t easy to shock but some of the footage was a bit ‘eggstreme’ (pun intended for people in the audience). Whatever you think about it, it did make people talk and that was one of their main messages. One of Sadie’s final pieces of advice on creativity was: “Fuck the box. Have faith in your own ideas and you go beyond your imagination.”.
Music is more powerful than medication
Dr. Stefan M. Oertl sharing his passion on the superpowers of music
Besides 3 days of seminars, Eurobest also organised different workshops. I learned a lot from Google on how to become an inventor in 60 minutes and how you can quickly generate ideas by The Pop Up Agency. But my mind was totally blown by the workshop from Musikvergnuegen. Walter Werzowa (Musikvergnuegen) & Dr. Stefan M. Oertl (ReCompose) shared their insights on the superpowers of music. How music can actually order your brainwaves. That it gives you more energy and even has healing qualities. That special soundtracks are created to make the Olympic swimming team perform better. After all, music and sports are all about timing. How cool is that! They are also figuring out the psychological mechanics of electronic music leading to altered states of awareness and an “optimal experience” a.k.a. the perfect sound. I’m all ears to see how these amazing experiments will evolve.
Hot Dogs by YoungDogs Worldwide
YoungDogs handing out free Hot Dogs to celebrate their world domination plans
After 25 years of helping young creatives gain experience in the creative industry, the Dutch Young Creatives a.k.a. YoungDogs now open their doors to the world; YoungDogs Worldwide. To celebrate this, the founders handed out free HotDogs to the hungry crowd at Eurobest. As a former Board Member of the Dutch YoungDogs it was awesome to see them taking it to the next level. If you’re an ambitious creative that wants to set up YoungDogs in your country, don’t wait and grab a bite while the meat is still fresh at YoungDogs.world (don’t you just love that URL?).
Industry leaders about Eurobest
Besides young dogs I also chatted with some good old friends of the industry. I asked them what they loved about Eurobest 2015:
“For me, Eurobest has a greater spirit for risk-taking than it’s bigger sister festival, Cannes Lions. I can’t think of many creative conferences, which would allow me to go on stage with a feminist porn director and a sex worker performance artist to discuss maverick porn making. And also show some pretty confrontational clips. Once you’ve seen the egg scene, you can’t un-see it.”
Kerrie Finch – FinchFactor
“I was overwhelmed by the local support in spite of all the security issues. People seemed to like the fact that Eurobest was so creative in lots of different ways… I hope people think it was different from other festivals that are out there. We deliberately chose to the speakers who were a bit different and put on activities that allowed to delegates to flex their creative muscles. I also asked speakers to tell very personal stories, and we were privileged to hear some amazingly personal accounts of creativity at work. Sometimes the stories were so honest they were uncomfortable listening, but I don’t apologize for that. I’m pleased that Eurobest is seen as a safe environment for people to share stories like that. As long as we’re challenging our audience we’re doing something good.”
Mark St. Andrew – Lions Festivals
“I loved the wide range of subjects, different perspectives on creativity, the cosy vibe, the awardshow that went smoothly, the beautiful location for the opening drinks and of course the fact that Eurobest took place in the Lowlands, which – as you will agree – is the cradle of creativity in modern Europe ;).”
Tom Theys – FCB Global
Thanks everyone for making this festival good, better and Eurobest. The next edition will be in Rome. Talk to you there papi’s!