Global Venues: Cannes

Friday, September 29th, 2023

Redefining Creativity: Hosting a Memorable Presence in Cannes with AP LIVE Events

Part of our  Finding Global Event Venues wouldn’t be complete without a stop at this glamourous French Riviera hot-spot, Cannes.

AP LIVE are regularly delivering brand objectives at the Cannes Lion Festival. As a full-service event agency, we share some of the uniqueness that makes Cannes Lion so extraordinary.

The French Riviera welcomes The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity annually. It has evolved from its 1954 roots in the International Advertising Film Festival, inspired by the Cannes Film Festival. This Festival has developed into the world’s premier event for the creative communications and advertising industry.

Annually held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France, this five-day festival attracts around 15,000 delegates from 90 countries, celebrating excellence in brand communication.

The festival, replete with product launches, branded yachts, packed beachside activations or activities, and rooftop or private villas, branded for their specific daily events. This Cannes Lion week offers a myriad of networking opportunities, industry talks, and award ceremonies.

Born from cinema screen advertising visionaries in the 1940s, the festival, initially held in Venice, was anchored permanently in Cannes by 1984.

Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is pivotal, as it not only showcases global creativity but also establishes its significance and charts its trajectory, with impeccable branding and execution as its hallmark.

To highlight the popularity of this world class industry event, the visitor numbers far supersede those who attend the prominent Cannes Film Festival.

Awards & Recognition:

The Cannes Lions Awards, conferred by global expert juries, cover categories from Film and Design to Media and PR, with the Innovation Lions spotlighting technology’s role in creativity. Prized awards, such as the Palme d’Or and the Lion of St. Mark, which honours individuals uplifting the creative community, are part of the ceremony.

Representing the pinnacle of creative excellence, the Lions received 26,992 entries for 2023, an increase of 6% from 2022. These came from 90 countries and were judged by a diverse, world-class creative community.

Cadbury’s Shah Rukh Khan-My-Ad campaign, which boosted the brand’s business by 35%, clinched the Creative Effectiveness top prize this year.

Winning a Cannes Lions is an unparalleled achievement in the industry, placing winners amongst global elites. In this year’s special awards, Apple was named the Creative Brand of the Year, breaking Burger King’s three-year streak, while DDB Worldwide and GUT, Buenos Aires, respectively won Network and Agency of the Year.

Brand presence

There are so many noteworthy international brands, showcasing their products, entertaining VIP guests, launching innovation, hosting thought leader’s discussion and challenging the boundaries of advertising communication in this famous spot on the French Riviera.

AP LIVE and Cannes Lions

This is where AP LIVE full-service event agency can help. From supporting a hosted event to project managing the entire production.

We have built years of Cannes Lion experience and have the local and industry knowledge to be able to deliver. This is how:

For some time, our sister companies have supported clients at the festival, and in recent years it was only natural that AP LIVE got involved, completing the groups offering by filling event management services.  

Our combined experience has led us to curate a reliable list of local suppliers and acquire invaluable local insights. These resources have been instrumental in swiftly adapting to unexpected challenges that events of this scale can often unpredictably present.   

As part of the Absolute Production Group, we can offer a comprehensive suite of event agency and production services. From creative graphic design to the latest audio-visual technology to staffing, floristry, local crew, furniture hire and catering.

Le Rooftop, La Croisette boulevard  

This year we were based at the stunning Le Rooftop, an impressive penthouse apartment located directly in a prime spot on La Croisette Boulevard.  Acting as the production agency for all Le Rooftop events, we supported meetings, fireside chats, breakfasts, lunches, conferences, keynote speeches and evening cocktail receptions.  

A last-minute request to source an alternative indoor event space when the French weather turned a tad too hostile for the clients planned open-air meeting was a particular challenge. Thanks to our reliable local support gained over the years, this last-minute curveball was made possible.  

You can see our show reel here.

Absolute Production Group and Cannes Lion


For the Teads’ yacht activation, we were briefed by the client’s agency to deliver both a technical and branding needs.  

Our production team crafted these custom items as well as providing IT and AV resources for a range of functions including presentations, meetings and receptions. 

Services Delivered: 

We designed and built distinct custom kiosks, footwear storage units, feedback centres, reception desks, and DJ stations. We also provided the technical equipment for a variety of events and guaranteed internet connectivity for attendees.  

Challenges Faced:

Several hurdles presented themselves. Primarily, the events were to be held on the yacht, anchored at Cannes’ quay, which came with its own spatial constraints. This challenged the design of items to ensure a suitable fit without losing impact, together in respecting the yacht-specific limitations. The yacht’s restricted pre-event availability meant adhering to a precise assembly timeline. With zero onboard storage and the events’ diverse nature, swift space transformation became pivotal. Our solution was a storage vehicle in Cannes, coordinated with port officials for easy dockside access. To ensure smooth operations, we deployed two dedicated teams – one for daytime activities and another for the evening. Internet connectivity was channelled through a dockside high-speed link, with 4G backups.  


Our efforts resonated so well with the client that we’ve been their chosen partners for this project for the past three years and counting.  

Cognitiv booked a superyacht during Cannes Lions 2022. This venture allowed them to host clients in style, offering a venue for industry discussions and networking, whilst maintaining a prominent branded visibility during the festival.  

AP LIVE played a pivotal role, aiding with logistics planning and onsite support during the installation phase.  

Services Rendered:

We fashioned an exclusive client entertainment zone and an industry discussion platform on the yacht. Our production team, with Display Graphics at the forefront, crafted and installed various brand-centric items, all overseen by AP LIVE on location.   

We masterminded the yacht’s complete branding make-up, from flags and vinyl’s to neon pieces and branded print graphics. Our portfolio also boasted a tailor-made branded Rosé dispenser, exclusive footwear outlet, signature backdrops, and distinctive tent setups.  

Obstacles & Outcomes:

As a group, we work on a passionate foundation of unparalleled excellence and our knack for conquering hurdles.  

A prime task was guaranteeing bespoke branding accuracy across every element, achieved seamlessly with our production team.  

The event, with hurdles and all, was a triumph with the client orchestrating a range of elite events. These included a daily health drink station, seaside meditative sessions, catering, and the intriguing “Rosé / Not Rosé! Gala”.   

Beach Front Activations

Along the shore, the beaches of Cannes are taken up for the entire festival by innovative brand activation, product launches, yoga and much, much more.   

Wherever you are planning to host in Cannes, in 2024, be it a yacht, penthouse, villa or beachside, we would love to have the opportunity to tender our capabilities to drive a smooth-running production and full or part support for your involvement.  

We’re ready to Support your Event Needs

With our passionate team at the helm, expect top-tier event production that ensures your brand message is seamlessly integrated, be it during product launches, keynote addresses, or intimate fireside chats. 

When it’s about creating waves at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, settling for ordinary isn’t an option.  

The energy and intensity of Cannes Lions really does drive our passion for everything ‘events’. During this bustling week, the crowds even surpass those of the famed Cannes Film Festival, intensifying demands, straining suppliers, and complicating logistics. Yet, with our decade-long experience orchestrating various Cannes Lions events, we’ve forged strong ties with reliable suppliers and mastered the art of navigating its unique challenges.  


Location Facts 

Getting there:

If you’re traveling to Cannes by air, the nearest major international airport is the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE). This airport serves the city of Nice and the surrounding French Riviera, including Cannes. 

Here’s how you can travel from the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to Cannes: 

By Car: Cannes is approximately 17 miles southwest of the airport.  

By Train: There’s no direct train from the airport to Cannes. You would first need to get to Nice’s main train station, Nice-Ville (Gare de Nice-Ville). From there, you can catch a regional train (TER) to Cannes.  

By Airport Shuttle: There are direct airport express buses that run from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to Cannes. This can be a convenient option, especially if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage. 

By Taxi : Taxis are readily available at the airport. Additionally, ride-sharing services operate in the area, providing another option for direct travel to Cannes. Private transfers can also be booked from the airport.  

Staying in Cannes

Cannes is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, many of which are located on or near the famous La Croisette boulevard. Right in the epicentre of the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity. 

Get in Touch

If you want to learn more about how we can help you during next years event, contact us. We would be thrilled to be able to discuss your needs. 

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