How to Pack for Cannes: 13 Essential Items for Marketers

Ahh, it’s late June. Time for thousands of eager marketers to descend on Cannes, France for the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

My first time was in 2022. It was hot, it was tiring, and it was an absolute blast.

Whether it’s your first time or your 798678585th, here are 13 essential items every marketer should pack for Cannes in order to “optimize” their experience.

1. Travel Adapter

If you’re traveling anywhere outside your home country, you need to pack an adapter. This one has 4 USB ports (including Type C) and two plugs, and I’ve successfully used it in Europe, Asia, Africa, as well as the US.

There are ones with more bells and whistles, but this one is lightweight, compact and does the trick.

2. Sleeping Mask

Sleeping is not a priority at Cannes.

So when you have a chance to grab some shuteye, it’s important to get quality sleep.

This sleeping mask fits comfortably snug, gives your eyelashes space to blink comfortably, and best of all, shuts all light out. This is especially important when you’re trying to grab a quick disco nap back at the Majestic before the evening activities begin.

3. Smartphone Wrist Strap

You’re going to be on a yacht. Or, at the very least, you’ll be around water.

I’ve never lost my phone (or dropped it into various bodies of water) solely because of this item. It hangs securely from your wrist so you’ll never be tempted to put it down (and leave it) on a bar, brunch table, conference booth, mobile tattoo station (looking at you @Pinterest), or DJ booth.

Plus, it helps you feel secure from a snatch-and-grab situation, which is shockingly common in Europe. Take it from me – it happened to me in London a few months ago…don’t let it happen to you.

4. Portable Charter

A portable charger has saved me from disaster so many times. This one can charge your phone (iPhone and Android, computer, camera, reading device, or even other chargers).

Just make sure your charger is always charged.

My Mega Tip: if you’re looking to network, having a full portable charger will easily make you the most popular person in the room.  💁🏼‍♀️

5. Portable Fan

Cannes is hot.
Like, hot hot HOT.
You’ll be walking from one end of the Croisette to the other, in the blazing hot sun. Do yourself a favor and bring a portable fan to keep yourself cool and dry.

This one has 6 speeds and a USB port for yet another charging device. Win-win.

Don’t let yourself get sticky and wet with sweat. You want to make a good impression on everyone you meet, so prepare for the heat and use this fan as you stroll from your hotel to the Palais.

6. Mack’s Earplugs

New York may be the city that never sleeps, but during late June, Cannes doesn’t get any shut-eye either.

Earplugs are an ab-so-lute essential, and these are the best.  They fit comfortably in your ears (tip: squeeze the end into a point with your fingertips and shove ’em in there) and block out all of the ambient street noise from roving groups of tipsy marketeers.

My Mega Tip:  these are also useful for planes, trains, and automobiles if you want to tune out and enjoy the journey.

7. Breath Mints or Mouthwash

Do your best networking, late night at the Gutter Bar, with the confidence of good breath. (trust me, you’ll end up there for at least one late night!!)

Chewing gum is annoying and you certainly don’t want to be smacking it in someone’s face. Use this travel sized oral rinse to ensure you leave a good impression, instead of blasting your new friends with dragon breath.

My Mega Tip:  have a package of mints in your pocket or purse. It’s another great way to endear yourself to anyone who needs one in a pinch!

BONUS Mega Tip: get a tongue scraper and change your life. Bring the travel size to Cannes and scrape your tongue before you brush and after any meal.

8. Breathable, yet Professional Clothing

The dress code for Cannes is light, breezy, and airy. Do not wear jeans, tight clothing, or a wool suit – you will regret your decision, tout suite.

For ladies, stay cool and comfortable in a sleeveless top, linen pants, or a light, loose-fitting dress. If you’re sensitive to the sun, I’d also suggest a fashionable hat for daytime.

For men, I saw everything from linen shorts to bowling shirts to a full bespoke suit, complete with matching pocket square. I’d recommend staying cool with lighter fabrics, colors, and definitely leaving the tie at home (though bowties are always welcome!).

9. Liquid IV Sticks

Alcohol and coffee are two of the biggest diuretics. You’ll have no trouble finding water (and even less trouble finding alcohol or coffee), so keep yourself hydrated and in tip top condition with these Liquid IVs.

My Mega Tip:  my favorite flavor is the Sugar-Free Rainbow Sherbert or the Passionfruit. Stay hydrated, my friends.

10. Comfy Shoes

I love the sneakers/trainers with dresses look. I also love sneakers/trainers with pants or a skirt. Unless you have a 100% guaranteed and *thoroughly tested* pair of heels or sandals, I’d recommend a pair of sneaks.

You’ll be doing a lot of walking, standing around, and traipsing through grass and sand. Do yourself a favor and choose a comfortable, yet cute, pair of trainers like these.

11. Sunglasses

Your future is so bright, you gotta wear shades!!!!

For real though, it’s 🌞 very sunny 🌞 in the South of France so protect those beautiful eyes with a pair of polarized sunglasses like the classic Ray-Ban Wayfarer.

Plus, it gives you cover to surreptitiously scan the room and strategize for how to approach that CMO you’ve been wanting to meet. With a pair of cute sunnies, you can people-watch and celebrity-spot to your heart’s content.

My Mega Tip:  I lose or break every pair of fancy sunglasses I’ve ever owned. Since I’m only allowed to buy cheap sunglasses these days, here are some good dupes on Amazon.

12. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

This viral mask was recommended by many jet-setting influencers. For that reason and that reason alone, I resisted buying it.

I was a fool.

In my professional opinion as a full-time traveler, this mask is the real deal. It’s thick, non-greasy, and melts into my skin. It’s like the travel version of the Augustinus Bader moisturizer, my fave.

Use it to replenish moisture after you land or any time your skin needs a hydration boost.

13. Sunscreen

This sunscreen is simply the best. I love Supergoop too, but this one is lighter and way less expensive. It’s not greasy at all and absorbs quickly so you’re not walking around with white streaks on your nose.

It’s available at your local drugstore or handy-dandy Amazon. Stock up before you go to keep yourself protected from those hot Cannes rays. ☀️☀️

Get ready for an exhausting week of networking, deal-making, creativity, drinking (coffee, alcohol, and water with Liquid IV), and enjoying the gorgeous scenery of Cannes.

Have fun and see ya at Gutter Bar! 🍻

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means that if you buy through the link you support the site at no extra cost to you. All reviews and suggested items are items I have used and loved and am now singing from the rooftops about.