The IEIA awards celebrated the achievements of its members and awarded the organisers, venue owners, technology and logistics providers, amongst others who have significantly contributed in different areas of the exhibition industry.
Future of Exhibitions in India
Venue creation, infrastructure development, technological advancements and innovation hold the key to cash in on the exhibition potential, says industry experts in a discussion during the IEIA Open Seminar 2018 ceremony.
We live in a world of communication where exhibitions make reach easier. The Indian exhibition industry is thriving and proving to be an effective medium to connect with customers. Though flourishing with great numbers, the industry is yet to see (or experience) its full potential and is crippled with challenges of venue space paucity, high prices, complexity and multiplicity of taxes, and not-so-friendly government policies. To address and discuss these challenges and the roadmap for the future, the IEIA Open Seminar 2018 was an apt platform.
Partnering with The Economic Times, the first-ever IEIA Exhibition Industry Awards honoured and celebrated the achievements of its members. The ceremony also saw industry leaders share some insights on the challenges faced by the exhibition industry. The discussion was moderated by Alokesh Bhattacharyya, Senior Editor- The Economic Times. Kicking off the discussion on a positive note, Corrado Peraboni, President, Global Association of Exhibition Industry (UFI), said, “We surely are in a lucky period. Obviously, we have certain differences between the mature markets and the emerging ones but in the emerging markets, the growth of the industry is strong and sometimes, it’s in double digits.”
The panel touched upon key topics including open borders, effective contribution to the economy, job creation, growth rate and overcoming challenges. Realising the importance of open borders, David DuBois, CEO & President, International Association of Exhibition & Events (IAEE) shared, “As part of the Global Exhibitions Day (June 6th, 2018), with our friends in UFI and 42 other organisations, all of us should advocate how important are open borders and free and fair trade. Because without international, good healthy trade, the exhibition industry would suffer.” Backing the thought, UFI’s Peraboni hoped that the industry could keep the borders open and keep peace among several countries.
Talking about growth rates and how compared to the West – which is growing at 2.5-3 per cent – the Indian exhibition industry is flourishing at 8-9 per cent, Bhupinder Singh, Honorary Secretary, IEIA shared, “Domestic exhibition organisers are unstoppable despite the local challenges. Because, I think at the centre of this growth is strong drive of the local businesses.” Although India faces infrastructural setbacks, Singh predicted that a double-digit growth rate in the industry next year won’t come as a surprise. Tech disruption is impacting the world and India is no different. UFI’s Peraboni explained how initially they were worried about the impact but now are trying to make the most from technology. He said, “The challenge is not in trying to defend ourselves from digital disruption but to take advantage of it.” IAEE’s DuBois added, “Augmented Reality and the technologies that are available pre, during- and post an exhibition extends the experience of what the attendees and exhibitors are looking for.” He felt that technology augments, enables and provides the platforms and the abilities for incredible experiences in exhibitions.
Talking about technology’s impact on the Indian exhibition sector, Singh explained, “Now, ‘Customer Wow’ has become the primary focus. And because the customers are becoming demanding and there is a very short attention span, technology plays a very important role in simplifying their on-site life.” He shared that technology can help you create a differentiator and this equips smart exhibition organisers to have the edge over the others. Both Peraboni and DuBois believe that innovation will play a key role and the best is yet to come and their two organisations (UFI and IAEE) are here to help the Indian exhibitions industry and are truly in a partnership to make India more successful.