Abbys are back with robust changes’ – Srinivasan Swamy, Chairman – Goafest 2014


It’s that time of the year again, where the advertising fraternity lands in Goa for India’s only advertising festival – Goafest. This year, the event has seen its fair share of controversy, with several big players pulling out and the management being brought under media scrutiny. However, Mr. Srinivasan Swamy, Chairman – Goafest 2014, is an optimistic man. Here he speaks to Everything Experiential about what to expect at the festival to be held at The Grand Hyatt, Bambolim on May 29th – 31st.

The changes in the judging process are definitely steps in the right direction. Can you comment on this? 

Yes, the judging process has been made more robust. You may know that the initial shortlists made in the first round are already in public domain at Based on review of comments received, the jury will finally vote and determine who the winners are. Further KPMG will ensure that the advertiser has duly authorized the winning work and that the same has been exposed in media.  Based on these measures we hope there will be neither complains of plagiarism or scam work being awarded.

This year's list of speakers is quite eclectic. How did you zero in on them? 

Unlike in the previous years where the focus was principally on international and advertising industry speakers, this year the Knowledge Seminars have a good mix of international speakers, inspirational speakers, Indologists, and speakers on innovative aspects.  This is based on a survey conducted among the last three years’ Goafest delegates and after consultation with a wide variety of industry leaders. Based on such feedback, we have put together a very special list of speakers for Goafest delegates to listen to and interact with.

Take us through a few attractions at the festival this year. 

Apart from the Seminars and Conclaves, Goafest this year will witness Adventure sports, Beach Sports competition as well as some fun filled activities.  There will be foam & rain dance over tow days and after night parties all three nights.

The Adventure would include rock climbing, zip Line, flying Fox, traversing, rappelling, various beach sports competitions, cricket, volley ball, football, Tug of war, fun Activities, foam & rain dance, aqua zorbing and thematic after-night parties every night.

How has it been working with the event agency this time around?

Since we have moved to a new location this year, we decided to do a review and based on this we have hired a new events agency called Tantraa.

This is the 7th year that AAAI and The Advertising Club will come together to deliver ABBYs, India’s definitive awards that celebrate creativity. Continuing with the changes that were inducted in 2012 – there will be a Grand Prix for Film, Print, Radio, Outdoor, Design, Interactive Digital, Direct, Media and Integrated. It remains to be seen whether the festival will hold its own despite the apparent lack of big names this season, but Mr. Swamy’s optimism is contagious.

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