In Conversation With Gaurav Juneja, Director, MEX Exhibitions

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ES. Gift world Expo is one of the successful trade exhibitions held post-pandemic. What were the key highlights of the Gift World Expo 2021?

Gaurav Juneja. Gifts World Expo aims to get the latest trends in the gifting industry to suit all budget ranges. Held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from 9-11 September, the 2021 Edition was organized specifically to target the post-pandemic market and get back to business!

Ten different segments were key highlights of the show: Corporate Gifts & Premiums, Health & Hygiene Products, Custom Branding Machinery, Electronic Appliances & Gadgets, Awards & Rewards, Home Decor & Handicrafts, Houseware & Home Furnishings, Office Supplies & Stationery, Gourmet Hampers, and Gold & Silver Gifts. Thereby, catering to Celebration Gifts, Festive Gifts, Corporate Gifts, and Promotions.

ES. Each year we talk about the problems, and now we are starting to see some subtle and not-so-subtle shifts from the worries of 2020. What do you think are the biggest challenges surrounding this sector?

Gaurav Juneja. In 2020 a lot of virtual buying was happening. But with the show coming back on the ground, we see that people were eager for face-to-face interaction, to have a touch and feel of the product and make their buying decisions after an interaction, after a touch and feel of the product. So this platform of exhibitions is there to stay and to grow and cannot be substituted for anything else. We see a bounce-back of the industry with the re-launch of the show.

ES. According to the reports, the Indian gifting market is projected to grow significantly, from an estimated $ 119 million in 2019 to $ 159 million by 2025. What is your forecast in terms of the trends that will shape the gift industry in India?

Gaurav Juneja. The post-pandemic market has seen a shift in the kind of products that are in demand. There has been a new category on health & hygiene products that has been added. That has also become an integral part of the gifting now.

ES. What are your upcoming plans in regards to your shows in India?

Gaurav Juneja. The plans are to hold exhibitions keeping Covid Protocols in mind and following the social distancing. Planning more and more entry by invitations and targeting selected prospective buyers to ensure that business happens as usual and also health and safety standards are taken care of.

The shows will be held keeping all the protocols in mind. While focusing more on buyer-specific campaigns so that the crowd is more filtered and more fruitful for the show and for the exhibitors exhibiting their products.

ES. How do you ensure that visitors are directed towards their chosen segments of interest and can efficiently use their time at the expo?

Gaurav Juneja. We have tried to flag every booth marking the board segments it caters to so that buyers with interest in that particular segment enter the booth.

The entire expo is planned well in advance. We create a floor plan that very much suits even a first-time visitor. Every segment is categorized and exhibitors matching with that segment, represent their booth accordingly. As mentioned earlier, this edition comprised ten segments.

For example, if visitor A is looking for home decor products, he/she will find all the products for home decor in one segment which is well labeled to be visible from a distance. This will ensure that visitors are directed towards their chosen segments of interest and can efficiently use their time at the expo. For any help, we have our organizing office at the show.

ES. Normally, Gift World Expo witnesses participants from all across the nation & also had records of successful editions previously. What was the response to this edition of Gifts expo 2021? How has the post-Covid-19 scenario changed the overall experience of the show?

Gaurav Juneja. This year also we had exhibitors from all across the nation though the size of the show was smaller. But we had buyers from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Central India, Southern India & Northern India, which was very encouraging. Also the feedback from exhibitors told us that the less serious buyers were not seen at the Expo. Everybody who visited had their specific requirements and was there to do real business. There was also an increase in the number of corporates attending the show.

ES. What kind of an overall impact do your shows make on their respective industries?

Gaurav Juneja. We are very focused on our shows and we put in a lot of effort to make every show very successful in terms of creating the right platform for both buyers and sellers to interact. Our campaigns are very specifically targeted at the industry profile and the exhibit profile. They act as the growth engines for the particular industry segment and are the most sort after platforms for doing business.

ES. What have you done to keep the visitors safe on the day of the event?

Gaurav Juneja. All the norms for preventing the COVID-19 were strictly followed throughout the show. Announcements at regular intervals to wear a face mask and sanitize hands were followed. Our staff was available all the time during the show to monitor the social distancing regulations.

ES. What differentiates GWE immediately from other shows. How has it grown to become one of the biggest shows on corporate gifting in India?

Gaurav Juneja. We have tried to cover the maximum segments possible and to categorize the show as per the varying demands of the buyers. We tried to include all the budget range gifts so that complete sourcing can take place at the show. Also, we have a very strong data bank built over the years which is refined every year to ensure that the right kind of buyers come to the show.