It wasn’t the Croisette, but it was still very much a celebration. For most of the attendees at MediaLink’s New York City event held during the Cannes Lions on Tuesday, it was their first time attending an in-person industry gathering in the 15 months since the coronavirus pandemic first struck.
Roughly 200 people had to prove they were vaccinated to attend MediaLink’s bash at the Whitney Museum, the only in-person programming tied to this year's virtual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. It occurred about a week after New York announced it had lifted nearly all coronavirus restrictions on businesses and social gatherings.
For MediaLink’s Live @ The Whitney event, a sit-down lunch was followed by a series of panels discussing major topics faced by the industry, from the upcoming loss of cookies and the ever-changing role of the chief marketing officer to technology and e-commerce, and ended with an interview and performance presented by iHeartMedia featuring Dave Grohl, lead singer and guitarist of the Foo Fighters.
The event featured several well-known executives including Mark Penn, chairman and CEO at MDC Partners and managing partner and president at The Stagwell Group; Kate Jhaveri, exec VP and chief marketing officer at the National Basketball Association and Fiona Carter, CMO at Goldman Sachs. The event trailed a virtual interview MediaLink Chairman and CEO Michael Kassan conducted earlier in the day with Reese Witherspoon.