FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’s DESK…
I have said this time and again, yet I would like to say this again…, there are too many fairs of the same content happening…, that too practically back-toback!
Not only are the participants exhausted with the pressure of deciding where to exhibit and how to manage manpower for the same, not to mention the displayed products, but even the industry is confused on which event to attend. Only recently, Ludhiana was witness to three technology events in a span of less than two months. Obviously, each fair lost a few visitations to the other…; just imagine what would have been the result if all the three fairs were combined to create a huge event, celebrating technology! And the clash is now no longer limited to national fairs…; this year the IIGF in New Delhi clashed with the Hong Kong Fashion Week due to which many buying teams were forced to take a pick on which event was more important for their buying strategy.
Only a few buyers had the determination to attend both fairs, but many of them admitted that they could not spend enough time at either of the events to really get full advantage of the visit.Twice a year – January/February and July/August, the industry is ‘bombarded’ with exhibitions and making a choice and prioritising can be a big challenge. No one can deny the importance of attending fairs, as not only do they update the industry on trends – in fabric, garments, technology, accessories etc., but also serve as a platform for interaction with people of diverse ideas and getting feelers on how the markets are moving.
Yet, enriching as they are, exhibitions lose their charm if they become routine and repetitive! Understood, fashion fairs need to happen twice a year because fashion is on the fast track and collections are made and discarded almost simultaneously. But better date planning will help buying teams to manage their trips more fruitfully, while also giving the exhibitors a chance to check out what other countries are up to.
Technology fairs, on the other hand, can easily happen after 2/3 years when there is something new to showcase. In-between, technology companies can hold private shows to display new updates on their machines. As long as the shows are in the hands of private organizers, commercial considerations will drive all decisions. I think the industry needs to come together on this issue and collectively decide as to when and how many shows should happen?
At a recent event, one of the top technology providers implored me to take the matter up as a service to the industry, highlighting the seriousness of the issue. This is not a new request, and over the last few years, the noise has been getting ‘louder’ as exhibition fatigue is setting in. Both the exhibitors and the visitors need value, not just quantity.
Also justifying so many fairs with the excuse that India is a huge country, is not rational. If people are serious about technology/fashion trends, they can travel to China, Europe and the US for fresh ideas; or can certainly travel within their own country for a ‘must visit’ event!
I hope the organizers of ‘mature’ shows are listening… It is time they take a pragmatic approach and pay heed to what the exhibitors and industry are saying, before it is too late…