Chennai saw its first ever meeting of the events and wedding fraternity at The Park Hyatt, Guindy.
In attendance were the industry leaders and who’s who of the Indian Event & Wedding industry such as Samit Garg, President EEMA, Sagar Pingali, Executive Vice President, Siddharth Ganeriwala National Secretary, EEMA & DV Vinod Gopal, VP-South among others.
The gathering was organised to discuss the way forward in this booming market. According to a 2018 report by KPMG, it estimated the Indian wedding market to be worth over USD 50 billion, with an annual growth rate of between 25 and 30 percent given that 10-12 million weddings are held annually in India.
The Indian wedding industry has always been a robust contributor to the nation’s economy. Given the size and scale of the average function, the sheer variety of services and products involved, and the number of people engaged in putting together this grandest of affairs, that is only to be expected.
With weddings being an irreplaceable part of the cultural fabric, there was much to be discussed and discuss they did. From how to overall scale the industry to setting policies in place – nothing was left to chance.
Similarly, the event and entertainment industry in India during the FY 2019- 2020, was at Rs. 10,000 crore which primarily included the events hosted by the corporate world, award functions, concerts, and the like. The 2020 pandemic of course hugely impacted the event industry like it did everything else, but in the FY 2021-2022 the industry is bouncing back after having shrunk to about 20% and is now growing at 16% CAGR according to IMCI.
The industry leaders were well aware of the monumental task ahead of them especially the challenges both from within the industry and from outside.
One of the main discussion points was that of regional representation – how can the fraternity come together to build a community.
A community to share, to experience, to disseminate knowledge in real time Samit had to say, the need of the hour is for all the cities and regions to come together under one umbrella of an association, under the apex body of EEMA.
Another discussion, one of the most pressing challenges was that of venues – every event whether it be a corporate show, an award function or a wedding – the challenge of finding a suitable venue has been an everlasting hindrance. To counter this one of the tasks was to appeal to the government of creating and earmarking venues that would mitigate this perennial issue.
Another challenge facing the industry is that of music licences. Gone are the days when any event or wedding could blast any music they fancied. This is no longer the case, now prior to every event, the organisers must ensure that they have all the permissions in place. Organiser must be clear beforehand what it is that they intend to pay during the course of the event or wedding.
Then there is the issue of how to make any of it relevant, how do organisers and planners ensure that there us a connect to the brand, the company or the family. What do they need to do to build a bridge that makes the event stand out, that makes it relatable and memorable? How does one organise an event that is not just another run of the mill? These were some of the deeper questions that the industry leaders grappled with.
The fraternity also tackled more basic questions such as how does one raise an estimate for a wedding when the scope is unclear? As much as it is an emotional experience it is still a business where vendors and suppliers need to be paid. Larger questions were also addressed such as how to scale the industry as a whole and how to corral all the stakeholders under one umbrella.
Given the shift in perception and expectations of the people, it becomes imperative that the industry and the service providers also expand their offering to accommodate the ever-changing landscape of hopes and dreams.
Said Siddharth Ganeriwala, this has been a great start, a new beginning, there are some inhibitions as people are yet know each other, but with this kind of forums, we have a name to a face, which will help us go from strength to strength.
All in all, it was an day of firsts – the first time Chennai saw an event dedicated to the event and wedding industry, The first time that industry leaders came under one roof to discuss the way forward for the industry. The first time that a city in South India played host to an industry level gathering of movers and shakers. This may have been the first and never done in the past, but it certainly has paved the way for the future.