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We’ve created a brand new companion app for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which kicks-off this Saturday and runs for 8 days in the good ole south of France. The new app is available in all good app stores (Android and iOS).

It’s the fruit of an ambitious six-month project to re-imagine how an event experience can be extended and enabled with a digital service layer.

A combined team drawn from Cannes Lions, Ascential (Cannes Lions’ parent company) and Made by Many have delivered a best-in-class app that successfully balances ‘useful’ with ‘beautiful’, and lays the foundation for future development.

The app provides an exceptional scheduling experience to help you plan and navigate hundreds of awards shows, talks, workshops, parties and meet-ups. But we’ve also pushed well beyond the core ‘what’s on’ stuff in a number of ways:

  • This year the app brings the Lions awards themselves centre stage like never before. There’s a dedicated stream of awards news, updates and alerts. This stream, and a separate Highlights stream, are constantly updated with commentary, quotes, links, videos, GIFs, images, instagrams, tweets and other snackable nuggets
  • The content is richer and it’s ‘live’ — there’s a rolling, glossy magazine of featured content in the new ‘Explore’ and ‘Guardian Recommends’ sections.
  • The app supports people who want to plan every day meticulously, as well as people who don’t plan at all and revel in the serendipity of accidental connections and happy accidents. We’ve made the experience great for both types of people.
  • And it helps you build up a collection of highlights — the topics, sessions and themes that you’re interested in or attended — which should make it easier to explain why it was so vital that you attended — and what you actually learned there — to the people back at work.
  • For the first time the app will be useful for people who aren’t even there! Naturally, it won’t be nearly as much fun as actually being there but you’ll be able to follow the festival as it unfolds, and at least you won’t have to try to speak French.
  • You’ll also be able to ‘braindate’ people (yes, that’s a real thing). The app links to a third-party, topic-based peer-to-peer learning and networking experience called Braindate.

This is version one. We’re in learning mode at the festival.

This year’s app is a first release of the experience and product that will be developed iteratively over the next few years. A customer insights and testing team from Made by Many will be in Cannes this year talking with users, testing concepts and learning how to make it an even better experience and product over the coming years.

We love feedback so please get in contact if you’d like to tell us what you think. Tweet us at @madebymany.

The new app marks something of a departure for Cannes Lions. Previously, they deployed a white-label solution that provided a vast array of features but wouldn’t allow them to craft their own focused experience.

We worked with Ascential to build the app from the ground up so that we could create a very focused ‘Cannes’ experience. We involved real users from across the industry and around the world throughout the design process. Again and again, they’ve helped us understand where to focus and how to make the right trade-offs. The app has emerged as a trusted guide that’s smoothing away more and more little frictions, whilst helping everyone to get more and more from the unique experience that is The 64th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Tim Malbon

Tim Malbon

Tim founded influential digital product design company Made by Many in 2007. He’s a leading voice in the emerging practice area of product design and innovation, customer experience and business strategy. He’s the Webby Awards UK Ambassador and a member of the IADAS, and was recently named by Creative Review as one of the 50 Creative Leaders "driving change, not just within their organisation but in the world at large."


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