More than 12,000 people gathered in France for seven days to discuss, debate and celebrate the best in creative advertising during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Among those attendees were creative agencies from around the world including Crispin Porter Bogusky, BBDO, Leo Burnett and the global leadership teams from brands such as Coca-Cola, Hyundai and Visa. AOL was on the scene, both on the ground and online, highlighting our thought leadership in online advertising and creativity through stage presentations, panels, events and activations.

During the "Engaging Generation Social" presentation, Rene Rechtman head of AOL Advertising International and CEO of GoViral, spoke about "high impact formats and how brands should concentrate on creating a peer-to-peer environment." Meanwhile, Arianna Huffington and Roy Sekoff presented "Tapping the Zeitgeist: The Participation Revolution, Unplugging to Recharge, and Tweeting Our Way to Compassion," a session about building a more human Internet. They also previewed HuffPost Live (formerly called Huffington Post Streaming Network) on a global stage for the first time. Video highlights from both sessions are available here and here.

AOL Agency Development, a small strategic team dedicated to building and strengthening our relationships and business across the four largest holding companies, held numerous meetings and events designed to dig deeper into the challenges, opportunities and successes in the agency business. During AOL and Interpublic Group (IPG)'s panel discussion on "Why Brands Matter," panelists from AOL, IPG, Initiative North America and Purpose spoke about the unique role advertising and creativity can play in building a better world. AOLer, David Shing also sat down with WPP's GroupM CEO Rob Norman and Y&R CEO David Sable for a discussion about the year's biggest trends, prior to a dinner for 40 WPP clients at the AOL suite.

AOL spent a full day with Publicis hosting two panel discussions, the first, made up of six senior creatives from across VivaKi and Leo Burnett, explored the best work of 2012 for an audience of 100 clients. Publicis ad agency Digitas also brought the highly successful Digital Content NewFronts, of which AOL is a founding partner, to their global clients in Cannes. During a private panel for 50 attendees, Karen Cahn represented AOL speaking about great partnerships and moving brands forward through AOL's Branded Experiences.

On AOL's last day in Cannes, we hosted a panel on the hottest topics and biggest stories emerging from this year's Cannes Lions. Led by David Shing and Jonathan Haber, Chief Innovation Officer of Omnicom's OMD, our closing event provided an excellent summary of all that was seen, celebrated and debated during the week.Check out more highlights from our trip to Cannes by reading our Storify recap below.