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10 ways to grow your network in Cannes

With around 15,000 people from across the world descending on the city next month, making new contacts in Cannes could be as easy as bumping into someone on the Croisette. But to make it even simpler, there are a number of official networking tools and events for you to choose from. Here’s a taster...

created on Friday 26 May 2017

1. Join a Meet Up

Led by relevant industry leaders, these informal group sessions are the best way to meet like-minded people during your time at the Festival. Come along to get talking to specialists in your field, swap contact details and discuss the industry issues most important to you. See the Meet Up schedule in the Cannes Lions app, register online or just turn up on the day. 

2. Go 'Braindating'

New for 2017, Braindating blends online matchmaking with real life meetings. Available through the official Cannes Lions app, users can set up a profile detailing the skills they can offer, then get searching for people with the skills they’re looking for themselves. Once you’ve found a match, you can set up a meeting with your ‘Braindate’ on the Connections Beach, between 10:00 and 15:00. 

3. Explore the Festival Fringe

The networking opportunities extend well beyond the Festival’s main venue. Companies including Spotify, YouTube, Pinterest, Havas, Campaign, Facebook and MM&M will be stationed across the city throughout the week, offering up an exciting programme of activities to official delegates – from panel debates to hands-on demos. Filter events by ‘Fringe’ in the Cannes Lions app to see what’s on and when. 


4. Head to the Cannes Lions Beach 

Home to the morning ‘Wake up with the Economist’ panel debates with leading CMOs, lunchtime ‘Chief Creatives on the Beach’ sessions and early evening Shakers and Stirrers events featuring industry disruptors, the beach (just across from the Carlton hotel) is the place to rub shoulders with industry greats. Open exclusively to delegates, you can also grab lunch, host meetings and bring a plus one along from 19:00. 

5. Visit the Discovery Zone

During Lions Innovation (19–20 June), this area in Palais II will be home to an exciting crop of start-ups boasting a variety of new products and platforms. Relevant pass holders can visit the check-in desk just outside the Zone to see the full company line-up and set up a meeting with the brains behind them. 


6. Take a seat at the Dot Dot Dot Roundtables

If your pass includes access to Lions Entertainment, you can join a network of entrepreneurs, innovators, founders and CEOs to consider some of the more practical challenges facing the entertainment industry today at a series of roundtables

7. Attend the Talks and Awards Shows 

The Lumiere Theatre in the Palais des Festivals seats 2,500 people and plays host to talks and awards shows throughout the week. Simply turning to those sitting around you in the auditorium will guarantee you get talking to people from different countries and disciplines. 

8. Go to the Parties and Galas 

From the spectacular beachfront Opening Gala on Monday 20 June to the after party and post-event drinks for Lions Health (18 June) and Lions Entertainment (22 June), there are all kinds of opportunities to come together and celebrate with both new friends and old. 


9. Enjoy Happy Hour on the Connections Beach 

As the day winds down and the sun starts to set, stroll down to the beach just in front of the Palais to enjoy a drink and mingle with people from all corners of the creative industry. There are certainly worse places to swap business cards! 

10. Visit the MedTech Expo 


For those with access to Lions Health, the MedTech Expo is the place to see the technology and techniques set to transform the healthcare industry and the way we communicate about it. Even better, it’s the place to meet the people making them possible. This year’s exhibitors include IBM, Google and Control Bionics.