Cannes Lions organizers are holding a monthlong educational event in place of this year’s long-running advertising confab.
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity normally brings around 12,000 attendees to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France, each June. It has dozens of creative communication-focused panels and workshops, exhibitions from major advertisers like Google and Facebook, and doles out awards honoring the year’s most innovative marketing.
But, like all other mass gatherings, the 2020 Cannes Lions has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers originally tried to bump the festival from June to October, but earlier this month ended up cancelling it altogether.
Now, they’ve revealed that from June 1-31, they’ll run Lions Live, a free, educational platform offering digital versions of the content one would normally find at Cannes Lions, Variety reports. Throughout the month, anyone can get on the platform to attend masterclasses and “hangouts” with members of creative industries, see lectures from folks who were due to speak at this year’s festival, and see a panel of experts–called “Future Gazers”–discuss how the pandemic has affected the advertising industry.
And though it appears the festival’s usual awards are off, Lions Live will apparently give nods to top COVID-19 responses from marketers.
Organizers have also put together a certification course featuring content and case studies from experts, and are making The Work — a normally subscription-based archive of past talks and other content — free to access for the month.
“For the first time in nearly 70 years, we are unable to bring the industry together in one physical place in June,” Simon Cook, managing director of Cannes Lions, said in a statement. “In order to drive progress through creativity, and support our community during this difficult time, we want to provide the global industry with the opportunity to learn and network throughout June and beyond.”
You can see some currently available content on the Lions Live platform here. The rest will open up June 1.