Future Of The Event Industry

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In today’s hyper connected world where every second seems to be a race to the finish, the quantum of messaging pushed out has imploded! Its not news nor views that make the NEWS, its fake news that finds more eyeballs and creates a lasting impression!

How then will brands stand out and make a true impact. Digital’s biggest disadvantage is its lack of lasting impression because of the lack of the `touchy feely’ factor which allows our brain cells to format what we know as, `Memory’!! The millions of images that pepper our screen and reflect off our eyeglasses tend not to have `a sticky factor’ and fail to imprint itself its our psyche! Santa Claus a derivative of Saint Nicklaus adapted by Coca Cola to be its brand ambassador sporting the now famous red Santa costume, denoted happy family, joyous times, celebration, gifts and more, was the perfect experiential Marketing roll out ever!Shah Rukh Khan’s `come to Dubai as my guest’ personalized the experience and created a sticky factor – implanted a memory!
Experiential Marketing events will become more and more rarified; A box at center court, or at the finals of the T 20 are not nearly enough any longer. Tomorrow’s events will have to go way beyond this. Niche events where you fly 20 – 30 people to the Antarctic ice shelf for a sleep over and to watch a faultlessly choreographed contemporary dance act by a group of performing Penguins who invite you to their home for a meal of albatross and flying fish is what will be the norm. Marry history, culture and built heritage with tradition and the exotic, creating experiences that are both breath taking, visually satisfying, a gastronomic delight, and offering up the pleasures of retail therapy, or occasions that allow you to bond together, feel the love, find peace, celebrate life itself or perhaps embark on an adventure that you will never forget!

Most companies and `eventprofessionals tend not to think out of the box and prefer to copy, adopt, adapt or steal ideas rather then experiment, experience and invest in long term brand building experiences. The need of the moment is education and information – old advertising is long dead …give way to the new! To do this you need daring corporate marketing managers to take risk, young professionals to understand their clients and wow them not just with a stupendous set and fanfare music but by being able to embed them into the heart of the event.

The event, exhibition and experiential industry in India is worth tens of thousands of crores, it provides jobs, contributes to local economies, employs millions and yet we remain in the shadows, working under the radar, bringing in the riches in a form that isn’t recognized and cannot be tabulated. As per the EY report the industry segment grew at 15% and while margins remained under stress ticket sales in this segment crossed INR 7 billion. The wedding industry in itself is reputed to be over 100,000 Crores. To attract World class exhibitions to India, we need infrastructure, a modification of customs and goods duties, innovative designs, a trained workforce, higher margins, an intent to reach out to International organizations and lobby them to consider bringing their business to India and explore he opportunities thereof. To be able to move forward and create strong structural innovations, we need to clean up our act and clean out the skeletons in our proverbial cupboard.

We need to ensure health and safety standards and steer away from accidents and incidents which always seem to haunt us, we need to put into place good governance and HR systems. We have to nurture the young, celebrate the genius, bring in the design and throw out faux copy of an outdated act, above all we should want to be original and create that one occasion that will live on in people’s memories!

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