The&Partnership's Liz Oakley on Cannes

Senior Creative Liz Oakley from The&Partnership shares her views on this year's Cannes Lions Festival.

Talk to us about your current role and responsibilities?
I’m a senior Creative at The&Partnership working across a range of clients. I also run a farm (yep, you read it right) am a mother of two, and because I don’t have enough going on in my life, I write a blog called Farmertising – celebrating the coming together of my two completely different worlds.
How did Cannes meet or not meet your expectations this year?
This was my first Cannes. Of course, I’d heard countless stories, seen a myriad of Insta feeds and witnessed innumerable cases of the Post-Cannes-Blues in the office. But this was the first year I’d been able to put my feet on the sand outside the Palais and drink in the atmosphere (and pink wine) for myself. And I wasn’t disappointed.
If you had to choose, what was the most memorable Cannes moment for you?
Realizing how big of a deal Cannes is to everyone – and not just those of us in advertising. We were walking down the promenade and people that were nothing to do with advertising were coming up and congratulating us. That felt weird. Nice, but weird.
Could you offer advice to first time attendees at Cannes?
I have three things to offer:

Book early.
Go for longer than 12 hours.
And most importantly, expense everything.
What should they expect/prepare?
I literally packed my bag in ten minutes. I probably could have done it in nine if I hadn’t stopped to pee, so packing is non-essential. Seriously though, go to as many parties as possible and talk to everyone there – after all, these are the people who can get you places.
What was your greatest take-away from this year’s Cannes festival?
That I want to come back again next year. And the gold lion, obvs. [The&Partnership picked up Gold and Silver Media Lions (for Excellence in Media Execution & Use of Data-Driven Insight) for their '80 Days of Argos' campaign]
Attendance at this year’s festival was down from last year; How could Cannes improve for next year?
I liked that Sarah Latz from FCB Chicago came to Cannes with her toddler, Henry. The agency paid for both of them to show their support of working parents, which was a nice touch and it allowed her to give her whole self to the festival. Could making the festival more inclusive be the way forward?