Ubaid Ahmad, Senior Director & Head – Marketing, Bangalore International Exhibition Centre


ES. Please give a brief overview of your background and your role in the organization.

Ubaid Ahmad. As an alumnus of AMU, I did my post-graduation in business administration (MBA). While in the exhibition industry, I also got an Exhibition Management Degree (EMD) from UFI, France. It helped me as a qualified IMS Auditor for QMS-ISO 9001:2015, EMS-ISO 14001:2015, and OHSMS-ISO 45001:2018 standards. My journey with IMTMA began when the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) venue in Bengaluru was built in 2007. I am now the Senior Director at IMTMA & BIEC. As head of marketing, I am primarily involved in CAGR of the venue, represent BIEC in various national and international forums and streamlining all processes to maximize client satisfaction. I also oversee all the exhibitions and events held in the venue. I am associated with (IEIA) Indian Exhibition Industry Association, as an executive committee member and work closely with exhibition-related groups across the globe. I am also an elected board member of the India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB).

“The exhibition industry needs to also look at supporting local communities through various CSR initiatives and partnerships.”

ES. How do you see BIEC as an ideal venue for holding various social and corporate events? Apart from trade shows, what are some other events hosted at BIEC?

Ubaid Ahmad. BIEC, located in the heart of India’s Silicon Valley – Bengaluru – is an unparalleled venue for grand events and exhibitions. It proudly stands as a beacon of the greenest luxury accommodations having hosted some luminous activities spread across major technology giants like SAP, Google, Sales Force, and Herbalife, to name a few, alongside celebrated film industry personalities gracing it with their presence at the 67th Filmfare South Awards. BIEC will continue to be known far and wide for its exemplary hosting standards that meet all corporate needs.

As one of the largest exhibition and convention center in India, BIEC has earned its reputation for hosting 5 of the top 10 exhibitions and events in India. EXCON, India’s largest construction equipment exhibition, IMTEX, South and South East Asia’s largest exhibition on metal cutting machine tools and manufacturing technologies, India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), India’s top-of-the-line jewellery show, IndiaWood – arguably the largest woodworking exhibition, and STONA, the largest granite and stone exhibition are among the prestigious shows which are regularly held in BIEC.

Furthermore, the exhibition centre hosted some high-profile conferences such as SAP TechED, Google Developer, Target and Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. What’s more? Herbalife, one of the world’s leading multi-level marketing events, is conducted here, too.

ES. BIEC hosted India Energy Week. With the PM visiting for the inauguration of Indian Energy Week, what challenges has your team faced in managing such events?

Ubaid Ahmad. The India Energy Week was one of the first big events following India assuming the G-20 presidency. Our hon’ble prime minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to BIEC was a momentous occasion, garnering significant public and media attention. Thanks to BIEC’s experience in handling high-profile events, security, and traffic flow management ran smoothly. The Prime Minister had productive discussions with delegates before launching a solar cooktop that would revolutionize Indian kitchens in the years ahead. India Energy Week proved to be an optimal platform through which India demonstrated its prowess as an energy transition powerhouse during its G-20 Presidency tenure. The event has set India off on the right foot and bigger things are expected in the coming years.

ES. Can you tell us how well the BIEC is connected via different modes of transportation? How far is it from the airport?

Ubaid Ahmad. BIEC is conveniently located near Bengaluru airport for international connectivity. With Kempegowda International Airport’s Terminal 2 recent opening and the upcoming metro station, commuting to the centre will become even easier. Thanks to the NH44, the 40-kilometer journey can be covered in just about an hour.

ES. What is your expectation from UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2023?

Ubaid Ahmad. BIEC stands to benefit greatly from the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2023 in several ways. First and foremost, the conference will provide an opportunity for BIEC to showcase its world-class facilities and services to a global audience of industry professionals. This exposure can help raise BIEC’s profile as a leading exhibition venue in India and attract more international events to the centre. In addition, attending the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2023 can enable BIEC to learn about the latest trends and best practices in the exhibition industry from experts and peers across the region.

This knowledge can help inform BIEC’s future strategies and investments, ensuring that it remains competitive and relevant in an ever-changing market.

The conference also offers ample opportunities for networking with industry leaders, potential clients, and partners. By building relationships with these key stakeholders, BIEC can open up new business opportunities, forge strategic partnerships, and strengthen its position as a hub for exhibitions and events in India.

ES. To reach a more diverse clientele, what kind of clients do you anticipate utilizing your facilities more frequently?

Ubaid Ahmad. BIEC is proud to welcome events and exhibitions of any size hosted by international and national organizers. The Union Government’s recent budget sets the stage for a new and exciting era for tourism and the MICE industry! A historic 1742 crore has been allocated to develop infrastructure, while an additional 242 crores has been earmarked towards promotion and branding, creating countless opportunities for job creation as well as entrepreneurial endeavors. The budget incentives attract a wide range of clients from various industries – ranging from medicine and defence/aerospace through plastics, renewable energy, and jewellery – all eager to benefit from BIEC’s world-class services. Additionally, new opportunities are being explored to offer even more value in the upcoming years. There are several ways that BIEC can garner more clientele and increase its revenue streams.

Building strong relationships with existing clients is the most important. It can also help attract new business through referrals. BIEC has always met the expectations of the customers through its services and will continue to reach the utmost satisfaction level to sustain the relationships and continue to grow their businesses. By investing in technology, customization options, relationship-building strategies, and targeted marketing efforts, BIEC will attract more business and affirm itself as a leading exhibition venue in India.

ES. What message would you like to share with us?

Ubaid Ahmad. Exhibition venues should become more customer – centric by focusing on delivering quality services that enable successful outcomes of exhibitions. Technology-enabled applications to serve exhibitors and visitors would take center stage while organizing shows in the future. This would assist organizers to hold shows seamlessly and make the attendee experience more meaningful and resourceful. These applications would not only save time but cost to every individual who is associated with exhibitions. Providing unparalleled experience through quality services to the attendees would build trust and satisfaction levels which help to bring them back to the shows repeatedly.

The shows will reach the sustenance level and continue to grow over a period. Advocating green practices by reducing waste, carbon emissions, and educating attendees to go for eco-friendly materials in stall building, promotional materials, and reducing the use of plastic in the packaging of goods and food help us in contributing to the protection of the environment. The exhibition industry needs to also look at supporting local communities through various CSR initiatives and partnerships.