There are so many moments throughout my three-day stint at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity (Festival) where I thought to myself – this is exactly why you entered this business. A business that loves to create, inspire and kick butt. I went into the Festival not knowing what to expect – you hear the stories – rose, yachts, parties. But for me, it was absolutely not the case. I spent my time advocating for PR and in sessions – with subjects tackling everything from creativity and data, to privacy and consumer experiences, and even a real-life robot.

I was there first and foremost to promote the industry. This involved waiting anxiously for the short list, promoting our member agency sessions via social media, arranging for video interviews with agency CEO’s and attending informative sessions that will help the PRC determine where we should spend our time helping your agency businesses grow.

The discussion on data and privacy was everywhere. How to maintain privacy concerns within data, while still generating a user experience, was a warranted and important discussion. As I began to think about it in ‘consumer’ terms, I realize how valuable my data is to brands – but what I understood even more was that the data is much more valuable to me. I personally love a targeted consumer experience – yes, I love a glass of champagne, why shouldn’t the hotel of my choice know this as I’m booking again, based on previous stays? There is a fine balance between data analyzation and privacy – and I challenge the brands to find that balance, and make sure not to cross it. Data analytics can DRIVE the creativity – so let it! Use what your audience loves about your brand, and expand it. Find out what your audience dislikes, and learn from it.

I hope that every communications professional takes the trip to Cannes at one point in their career. It’s unbelievably inspiring and I left knowing this industry was exactly where I wanted to be. A quote I live by is “make life your masterpiece, through inspiration and motivation” and there was no truer thought than at the Festival. Take a moment to take it all in – I promise you will walk away with fresh ideas, insights and renewed love for our industry.