Tech bent for events
Sabbas Joseph, President, Event and Entertainment Management Association of India (EEMA), talks about the evolution of the events industry and how it relies a great deal on technology
What role does EEMA play in the industry? EEMA is an effort to bring together leaders of MICE, events, exhibitions, and the wedding industry on one platform to be able to learn from each other, to explore business opportunities, and to think together about the future. More than anything else, it’s about bringing leaders together.
Social media gives a boost to events these days. What is your take?
Social media has become an important tool for promoting at a much larger scale. I can do an event for 50 people in a room or I can use a social media platform like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and take the event to a much larger audience across the world. I can target different people, business influencers, the entire business community, and get them to listen to what is happening at a particular event. In some ways, I am dependent on media and in some I am dependent on social media to actually reach out to a gigantic group of people, something that was not possible before social media swept the digital market.
How has the events industry evolved in the past few years?
I think, the events industry has been in a constant state of evolution. Growth in the last few years has been centred around technology, creativity, digital forays, new ideas, new markets, etc. Also, the events industry of today is not just about the audience in the room but also about the audience outside. What can the events industry benefit from in the coming years?
I think it can benefit from multiple avenues. Firstly, thinking as one, functioning as one, and at the same time being an individual, each one understanding their strengths and building on those strengths, thereby building their own brand will be beneficial. Secondly, certain policy changes required at the government level can help boost the business of the events industry.
I think that licences need to be simplified and be available online. Multipurpose stadiums, football fields, and cricket stadiums should be made available for exhibitions, concerts, etc. This will be good for the entire industry. Once you have all of this, you will have a lot of global players coming into the country.
What exactly are you doing to engage audiences during events?
With use of technology gaining momentum, interactive sessions have become imperative; 3D experiences have also now gone beyond touch and feel. We aim to provide audiences with these experiences.
How are you providing seamless services to MICE clients?
Events are all about hospitality, delivery, having everything on your fingertips and your handhelds. A MICE developer has all the information and this can easily be made available to clients for a seamless experience and the smooth conduct of events.
Growth in the last few years has been centred around technology, creativity, digital forays, new ideas, new markets
This industry relies a great deal on technology. In my opinion, we aren’t utilising that space well enough; there is a lot more that we can do.