There is a committed festival committee that has been working on
this year’s Kinsale since last October, addressing issues like
accommodation, the usual oversupply of delegates, the question of
entries, selecting the jury, choosing a topic for the Friday forum,
deciding who should present the awards ceremony. So what’s new?
Let’s look at the accommodation situation. Kinsale is a small,
picturesque fishing town situated on the south coast of Ireland. As a
tourist attraction, it enjoys a season that extends well into September.
Securing 250 beds over three nights at this time of year is not an easy
task. Having said that, I never cease to be amazed at how we seem to
manage it year after year. OK, so you are the one that gets to stay in a
quaint little bed and breakfast 20 minutes drive away. At 2am with the
sounds of the festival club still ringing in your ears, it might just as
well be in Timbuktu.
Delegates - now that’s a real issue at this time of year. Or should I
say the waiting list? I spend a good deal of the day explaining to
dejected applicants how it is impossible to seat more than 350 for the
Actually, we have 366 people registered so we will be hoping the theory
that airlines apply to overbookings will work for us. Seriously, though,
this is one problem a hotel in Kinsale could solve if it were capable of
seating 400-500 delegates for the awards banquet. On second thoughts,
small is beautiful. Anyway, there is always the opportunity to join the
ranks of the ever-expanding non-delegate fraternity - those people who
lay siege nightly to the festival club.
A former member of this committee once pronounced that we really did not
need delegates as they cause trouble and cost money, and all that was
required to run a successful festival was entries. It was, in his
opinion, revenue with no strings attached. Sometimes, especially at this
time of year, I might almost agree. But I find it hard to imagine an
international creative jury having sat in a darkened room for three
days, wandering around the deserted streets of Kinsale in search of a
post box to mail out the results.
Assuming, of course, there were entries in the first place. He was right
to some extent - entries are the heart and soul of any advertising
awards festival and this, more than anything else, can cause sleepless
nights as the final date for receipt of entries draws near. Oh Christ,
it was last Friday! How many entries do we have in? Does that include
Give the Finns a call - they owe us one.
This article was first published on Campaign