Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director of Informa Markets in India speaks to Mice Affairs Media Group and shares key insights about "Changing Trends in Exhibition Business" Check out the conversation below:
Q1: Covid Outbreak has changed almost every business segment. What changes Organizers foresee in the new phase of Exhibition Business?
Answer: The pandemic has indeed played havoc with public health, necessitating a lockdown that had a huge impact on the economy and has resulted in an overall business loss of more than INR 1,25,000 crores as no exhibitions were held since March 2020. Even though, the global spread of COVID-19 had brought trade shows and exhibitions to a halt, it is also unleashing a new era of change for the business.
Likewise, the trade show industry has also adapted to virtual events. With the right technology, these virtual trade shows enabled the industry communities to stay connected and fill the gap. But now with the government's to re-opening physical trade expos, we will be delighted to kickstart the proceedings with trade exhibitions in the new year. This will be done with complete adherence to the government’s extremely balanced SOP, further ring-fenced by Informa’s AllSecure health and safety standards.
Looking ahead, there will be more hybrid engagements, combining the best of physical and virtual platforms. These will enable us to offer efficient, impressive and state-of-the-art solutions for our stakeholder’s evolving requirements.
Q2: Virtual can’t replace physical shows. What’s your viewpoint on virtual space with reference to exhibition business?
Answer:Physical exhibitions, now enhanced by the digital corpus, will always remain relevant. Professionals in different industries are passionately curious, prefer the touch and feel aspect of products, and view networking as more than just a clinical process. Face-to-face aspects in some key sectors such as jewellery, food ingredients, leisure or where large machines are involved are even more relevant.
However, 2020 has irrevocably transformed us and our businesses and the digital medium will be an intrinsic part of our shows. Our virtual events are safe and a key element for engaging with our stakeholders and their evolving needs. We have already been making the most out of the virtual space, having conducted more than 125 events seamlessly. These offer personal space to each attendee as they can be a part of any event from their remote locations and leads to growth in audience engagement as participation is not bound to a city or a country. The feedback that we get from attendees is quick and transparent, leading to an even more state-of-the-art experience.
Q3: As an organizer, what’s the feedback from the exhibitors market. How interested are exhibitors to plan for their next participation?
Answer:Our exhibitors are all fueled by the purpose of re-starting their businesses and to choose the most viable option to enable them to continue their critical business conversations and networking. With the Government’s go-ahead to trade exhibitions, many establishments were keen to re-start. At the same time, given the unprecedented and unpredictable nature of the pandemic, and the various national and international currents of thought, some of them decided to be more cautious and be able to participate wholesomely in the coming year. We respect their wishes and are ready when they are.
Q4: Please share key developments at Informa Markets for our readers?
Answer:To cater to the new normal in India, Informa Markets created the ‘AllSecure’ safety standard. A detailed set of enhanced measures, AllSecure provides attendees with the reassurance and confidence that they are participating in a safe and controlled environment. These international protocols are based on 10 Key Commitments of enhanced cleaning, personal hygiene, non-contact registration, physical distancing, the highest standard of food safety, avoiding physical contact, wearing PPE kits, accessible first-aid kits, screening participants, and trace-and-contact participants (if necessary). We also are consistently keeping in touch with our stakeholders, association members, and the government.