With Dubai Lynx coming up, Team TMN sits down with Thea Skelton Festival Director at Dubai Lynx, to find out what to expect from the upcoming event…
When is Dubai Lynx 2018 and where will it be held?
Dubai Lynx 2018 will take place at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Dubai from March 11-13 with the Dubai Lynx Awards Ceremony to be held on March 14.
Tell us about the concept behind Dubai Lynx…
Dubai Lynx is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s annual event for the creative communications industry. The Festival brings people together to learn, network, be inspired and celebrate the brilliant creativity that comes from the region.
As a sister Festival to the globally renowned Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity, Dubai Lynx is part of an influential network and its premium global standards makes it well respected as one of the most credible awards and festival in the creative sphere within the region.
How will Dubai Lynx 2018 be different compared to the previous years? Tell us about the new aspects…
This year we have a new focus on healthcare, including a specific ‘Healthcare award’ and ‘Creativity in Healthcare Communications Stage’. We are also expanding our startup offering with a dedicated ‘Startup Stage’, designed to unite start-ups, brand partners and agencies along with ‘The Business of Creativity Stage’, which will explore the business and management of creativity and offer advice and guidance on the practical aspects of business in the creative sector.
What are the challenges you face to make each year’s event different and meaningful?
The biggest challenge we face is raising the bar even higher each year. We bring a mixture of big name celebrities, industry legends, fresh faces and ideas to the stage along with experimental formats, and it’s really important for us to continue to do this and provide attendees with the best experience possible.
Can you tell us more about the awards/categories themselves?
The Dubai Lynx Awards celebrates the best creative work in MENA and have been doing so for the past 11 years. They’re all about recognising, nurturing and setting the standard for brilliant creative work in the region’s creative communications industry each year.
Do you have any feedback or tips for submissions, to help them stand out?
Feedback from our jury usually includes reminders to keep your submissions concise and provide clear examples of what the campaign achieved. If you’re considering entering but need some help, we have a team of experts who manage each award category from the very beginning of the process right through to coordinating the winners picking up their awards on stage. Their knowledge is encyclopedic and you can ask their advice or assistance at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who will be judging the entries for the Dubai Lynx Awards and Competitions?
The juries at Dubai Lynx represent the full breadth of the creative, design and digital communities. With over 2,600 entries from across 22 countries last year the breadth of experience and the global remit of the jury members is essential in ensuring that the benchmarks are set to the highest standards possible. The full jury line up will be announced in the coming months.
Who will be speaking at the event?
All kinds of creatively-minded people come together at Dubai Lynx. Each year we see a selection of top brand leaders, award-winning creatives, start-up founders, innovators, broadcasters, directors, marketers, artists, musicians from across the region and across the broader global creative community.
The line-up for the Dubai Lynx Festival 2018 will be confirmed closer to the Festival but to get a flavour of the event, take a look at who spoke at last year’s event through the website.
What will be the key topics of discussion at the event?
There is no specific theme, but all sessions have creativity in some form at their heart. Themes vary each year based on what the industry puts forward to discuss, ranging from creativity that drives inclusivity and modern storytelling to using technology as an enabler of creative communications.
What has been your advertising strategy in the region?
Dubai Lynx is a joint venture between Cannes Lions, the International Festival of Creativity and Motivate, with the support of Choueiri Group, Dubai Media City (DMC) and in association with the UAE Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA). These are fantastic partners with exceptional teams who help us share the Dubai Lynx message.
Is Dubai Lynx open for anyone to attend? What is the registration process?
Of course, anyone can attend and we encourage those with a passion for creativity and innovation to come and be inspired. Each year, the Festival attracts thousands of delegates from across the region and further afield including, advertisers, brands, fintech, governments, healthcare providers, innovators, media agencies and owners, production companies, startups and technology companies.
Passes can be purchased by visiting the website.
What is the reaction you expect, following the event?
We exist to recognise and celebrate the best of MENA’s creativity. The Awards Ceremony is always an incredible event as it demonstrates the quality and variety of regional creativity, which is showcased by the Festival. The connections made at Dubai Lynx propel people, brands and businesses, which is what drives us to make it better each year.
What kind of changes are you hoping to promote and encourage with this event?
We introduced an ‘Innovation Award’ last year to support and strengthen the efforts of the MENA region in becoming a global innovation and technology hub. This has grown and developed at a phenomenal rate with some of our Startup Alley participants taking their companies globally. This year we’ve launched a ‘Healthcare Award’ in consultation with the local industry. There’s a thriving scene of specialist healthcare agencies across MENA who are producing some truly innovative and pioneering work in a challenging sector. We envision that this area will grow in the coming years and it will be exciting to see how Dubai Lynx can help life-changing creativity in the region to flourish.