Electronic Voting Systems

Cannes Lions is quite simply the most important annual festival in the advertising and media world. More than 10,000 registered delegates from 94 countries and around 12,000 visitors attend this event to celebrate the best of creativity in advertising. One of the most important features of the events are the 'Lions' awards, the advertising equivalents of the Oscars. There now are over 20 different media categories attracting thousands of submissions each year. At the festival carefully selected juries vote on submissions by category, narrowing them down to shortlists for further discussion and final voting. With over 250,000 votes required the data collection system has to be electronic and the results must be available in near real time.

Codegate was originally chosen to replace admin intensive paper based data collection with a number of different voting solutions designed for different media categories. These included the world's first PDA and WiFi based voting solution back in 2004. Carolyn Lowery is Festival Director at Cannes Lions. "One of the key reasons I originally selected Codegate was their open and honest approach. From the outset Codegate proved to be flexible, adaptable and very pro-active. We have continued to work closely together ensuring that Codegate is constantly able to tailor its voting solution and its delegate registration and tracking software to meet the unique demands of our advertising festivals in Europe and Asia.'

Codegate's electronic voting systems have expanded ever since, each integrating with the Festival's back office system. The judges now cast their votes using different types of computers including tablets. The voting data is then automatically uploaded to the back office systems, eliminating the need for the Festival to employ a large number of temporary staff to manually process the votes, often late at night.

The Codegate team is always on site during events and through the observation of the Festival's processes is able to recommend new developments. That quickly led to the development of Media Launcher, which enabled all supporting material to be loaded onto any PC, building a complete digital library of items to be reviewed by the judges. Because Media Launcher software understands the schedule to which each jury is working it presents this information in an intelligent, timely and orderly manner, making the whole review process much quicker and easier. Media Launcher also provides the Festival organisers with visibility of which judges have voted on which category, enabling greater flexibility in scheduling as the voting sessions progress.

"We have also worked closely with Codegate on tailoring its delegate registration and tracking software to allow us to manage our delegates more effectively. The Codegate solution enables us to verify delegate details at registration and their picture is taken via a webcam,' continued Lowery. "Delegates are then issued with a colour coded badge which includes a personal barcode and their photo. The colour denotes which days of the event they can attend and the barcode relates to their individual registration details.'

Codegate has further developed the delegate registration and tracking solution to allow the Festival organisers to gather additional delegate data by scanning the barcode on their badge as they enter seminars and workshops. The data collected now forms an important part of the post Festival analysis, showing which delegates attended which seminars and which workshops were the most popular.

"Codegate is also working on a number of other developments for us, not just for Cannes Lions, but also for our European awards competition, Eurobest, our Middle East and North Africa awards, the Dubai Lynx and our Spikes Asia event,' concluded Lowery. "Codegate's solutions help to make our events run even smoother and ensure that we maintain our position as organisers of the most prestigious advertising events in the world. We have come to regard Codegate as a key and much valued member of our Festival teams.'