1. Jury Work is an inspiring social experiment.
Because juries are impromptu teams, they are social experiments with a huge learning opportunity: most judges – accomplished leaders in their field – are used to groups that rarely question their agenda and opinions. But to gain acceptance or even authority within a group like the jury at Dubai Lynx you must be on your best non-autocratic behaviour. Almost every judge I talked to has had an invigorating experience by finding and assigning roles within their jury. What a training!
2. Our industry has meaning – Creativity.
A festival of creativity is a great reminder that our industry has meaning because it is creativity that drives commercial opportunity. Most industries do not have or need festivals, because they are driven by forces much less exciting and more predictable than creativity. For all the flaws of our industry, let us not be ashamed to have a place and time to celebrate its core: human creativity.
3. MENA region – refreshing Optimism.
Most of us coming to Dubai from western countries live in the constant anxiety of an uncertain future: not just Brexit and Trump, but climate change, terrorism, inequality etc. are constantly undermining peace of mind and instil a sense of a future under threat. No wonder, our societies turn inward and backwards, hoping to find solace in the world that was. Not so in the Emirates: whatever your feelings on the pace of change, its grandeur of vision and the sustainability of its lifestyle, one thing is certain: this is a society with an insatiable appetite for whatever is next: The optimism reflected in its building a grander tomorrow is quite infectious and a welcome break from the doom of London Angst.
4. Indies should not shun international awards.
Yes, award shows are an expensive and complex aspect of our business, but indies are wrong to stay away. The Dubai Lynx award entries – and winners – are not an adequate quantitative and qualitative reflection of the fabric of our industry and the importance of independents’ work. Sure, networks do great work and have the experience and resources to strut their stuff, but indies are wrongly absent: it really IS the quality of the work and the craft of an entry that makes you win these awards. Overcoming the network competition is our daily grind, so please: go for it!
5. This industry is still exciting.
With the digital transformation and the inevitable rise of the machines, many are bemoaning that the days of fun are over. But I feel that the exuberant indulgence of our industry needed a haircut anyway. Dubai Lynx brings together not only an amazing group of exciting people, but it also celebrates the force for good that advertising can do specifically in and for the region. You have to be a cynic not to welcome the positive impact of this celebration. Keep it up Dubai Lynx!