Braving the lockdown on the events industry, the sun rose on May 11th and May 12th for the first-ever virtual EEMA Eduposium 2020. An exemplary set of global leaders inspired aspiring event students, showcasing indomitable grit and sharing lessons from their own lives, providing perspectives on education, skill development, entrepreneurship and life itself.
EEMA EDUPOSIUM 2020 was embraced speakers from the global industry, the events industry, leading academicians, entrepreneurs, storytellers, mentors, authors and brands to provide a 360-degree perspective.
Setting the tone for the event was the globally-renowned Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer and Independent Crossbench Peer at UK House of Lords. Bilimoria opened with a famous quote “Fortune Favors The Brave” as he said “There is one word that sets entrepreneurs apart and that is guts. Guts to do things and the guts to stick with it when others would give up. More than ever, this is the time when we need to have guts as a global community. Even in these times, it should not stop anyone from coming up with new ideas and making them happen.”
He then gave inspiring examples of his own life, when he started his beer business in the face of an economic recession in the UK and succeeded thanks to innovation and determination. He illustrated his thought highlighting several success stories including the Cirque du Soleil- a marvellous mix of traditional circus acts with modern acrobatics.
Renowned author-academician, Dr Mukulika Banerjee, Director, London School of Economics South Asia Centre and Author of several notable works like ‘Why India Votes?’ ‘The Sari’ and ‘The Pathan Unarmed’; delivered the opening note. Banerjee made several interesting comments during her insightful talk. She said, “This moment is possibly one of the biggest global crisis anyone of us alive has seen, it also presents itself as one of the biggest opportunities we have seen”. Banerjee spoke at length about what constitutes good content, not blitzing users with information but coming up with sustained intelligent engagement. She added “You can say we are the best on the global stage, but unless you are the best, nobody believes you are the best” her opening note also introduced interesting nuances on political messaging.
A visionary of the Indian experiential industry and one its early pioneers, Mr. Sabbas Joesph, Director Wizcraft International spoke about ‘opportunity and innovation’ being close allies of the event industry. In his brief presentation, he shared the journey from “Zero to a billion”. He said “Zero number of event companies existed in the year 1987 and the next year, 32 years ago Wizcraft was born. The world had no place and no understanding of an events agency and we had no clue. Today we are a Rs 40000 Cr industry with more than 3000 companies employing 10 million people” His talk gave detailed insights on the contribution of the industry to the Indian economy and its impact on allied sectors like global tourism. Joseph’s number game was strong as he belted out impact v/s contribution of the sector, the Covid-19 challenge, the grit, determination and the promise the industry holds for employment, especially for women. “100% of the industry is at a standstill due to COVID-19, however, 90% of fundraisers are being organized by event companies, who are also working across the country with the government and local bodies to manage the lockdown, with temp housing facilities and temporary hospitals that city corporations and govt are struggling to put together”
Encouraging students further he said “The events industry needs more MBAs and management graduates” adding “300% is your chance of employment in the industry, 1000% chance to make a difference- and you can decide where and how you want to contribute- Weddings, Exhibitions, Activations, Social Causes, Sports- across arenas”
Commenting on the EEMA EDUPOSIUM, Sanjoy Roy, President-EEMA said “Having experts from various fields on one platform itself is a feeling of success for the first-ever virtual EEMA Eduposium for us. It was indeed overwhelming to see so many people attending the live sessions. We tried covering topics which would help the youth of today to start working towards their future by knowing the experiences of the experts from their respective fields. We hope this has helped people in answering their doubts about the market and technology. We thought this time could be utilized in the right way and we feel great that the multiple sessions on both days were executed so smoothly.”
Brian Tellis, Former President-EEMA and Chairman- Fountainhead-MKTG and Sameer Tobaccowalla, National Advisory Council-EEMA spoke voluminously about the opportunities that await students and young event practitioners in the world of touch-feel and experience. Their conversation highlighted the need for education and youth in this fast-growing sector.
Roshan Abbas, National advisory Council – EEMA and Managing Director, Geometry Encompass emphasized on how the world has gone ‘PHYGITAL’ i.e. the co-existence of physical and digital. He laid emphasis that in the coming future magicians, scientists and doers will have the power to create an imaginative world.
Commenting on the digital initiatives of EEMA, Deepak Pawar, Secretary-EEMA, Midas Next said, “ I feel proud to state that, EEMA is the only association to execute 100+ EEMA Live digital events during this lockdown period for its fraternity and kept them engaged. Eduposium went completely digital this year and reached students all across the country who are planning to be a part of our experiential industry.”
The industry also came forward with an educational aid for students. As a tribute to the late Michael Menezes, Founder-President, EEMA, the “Michael Menezes Scholarship” was announced. Vipul Pandhi – Vice President North – Event and Entertainment Management Association of India commented on the launch of the scholarship “Michael was not only the founder president for us; he was a father figure who we could go to in the time of a crisis. We reached out to leading colleges of India who are teaching event management as subjects and almost all of them were more than happy to be a part of this initiative.” The institutions offering the scholarship program are Indira Gandhi National Open University, Adamas University, WizcraftMIME Management Institute for Media and Entertainment, Pearl Academy, Whistling Woods International, Rachnoutsav Academy and Wedding Management Institute.
Sanjoy Roy also commented on the scholarship saying “In Michael’s memory, we want to give advantage to young, aspiring students to go out there and create new opportunities and innovate- everything that Michael stood for. Cash is going to be difficult in times to come and this is a step forward, to be able to help those who need help the most”
Topics covered a wide gamut of subjects like Dreaming Big – Design, Creativity & Communication, How Art Defines Science And Science Defines Art In The Events Industry, Developing Next-Gen Professionals, Sports, Creativity And The Growth Opportunities In The Next 5-10 Years with the role of technology being highlighted. Key factors like unpredictability, insurance, hygiene, digital events while also focusing on revenue growth in the near future were addressed. A large focus of the event was how the world of education and events had moved to the virtual world which were explored by the speakers through various lenses.
Few of the notable speakers from an extensive list of prominent leaders include, Mr. Subhash Ghai, Filmmaker, Founder-Whistling Woods International And Chairman-Media And Entertainment Skills Council; Prof. Nageshwar Rao, Vice-Chancellor- Indira Gandhi National Open University; Prof(Dr) Balvinder Shukla, VC- Amity University, Ashish Kulkarni Mentor Animation And AVGC Industry, Prof Ujjwal Chowdhury, Pro VC – Adamas University; Gunjan Arya, CEO- OML; Brian Tellis, Former President-EEMA and Chairman-Fountainhead-MKTG; Sameer Tobaccowalla, MD-Shobiz Experiential, Mandeep Singh, CEO & MD – CPM International; Albert Almeida, COO-Book My Show; Ankur Kalra, MD-Vibgyor; Atul Nath, CEO—Candid Marketing; Siddharth Ganeriwalla, CEO-Aura Integrated; VG Jairam, Co-Founder-Director – Fountainhead-MKTG And Oranjuice; Sushma Gaikwad, life coach and co-founder, WizcraftMIME & Ice Global; Tabassum Modi, Founder-Director- Victor Tango; renowned designers Sumant Jayakrishnan and Devika Narain, Dr. Indu Shahani, President And Chair – Indian School Of Design & Innovation and Indian School Of Management & Entrepreneurship.
Every year, the EEMA Eduposium brings together educationists and students wherein event entrepreneurs share their experiences and provide exposure to the opportunities in the industry, inspiring and guiding the students to choose event management as a career. This year, the event highlighted the role of the youth who are the future of tomorrow.