‘Need of the hour is to bring more transparency’

Talent is something that we have to work on and then skill development aspect of the government will become important

The first and the only organisation of its kind which seeks to bring together the country’s leading event management, sports management and brand activation companies, MICE and wedding planners, experiential marketers, entertainment professionals, artist management companies and international counterparts on the same platform, Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) was incorporated in 2008. Over the years, EEMA has been instrumental in organising the coming together of industry stakeholders at its annual convention EEMAGINE and has instituted EEMAX, the industry premier award ceremony to recognise excellence in the event and experiental marketing space.

Samit Garg, Co-Founder & Director, E Factor, was recently elected unopposed as the new President of EEMA. Excerpts from an interview:

As you take on the new role, what are your top priorities?

There are 30 agendas that we need to pursue as an industry body but there are four or five key points we need to focus on. The most important one is to become more visible. We want to become a unified voice that is heard across the industry. We want to deliberate, liaise and talk to the governments, both at the Centre and the state levels so that they know the value we bring to businesses. Every industry has some ministry that they fall under but unfortunately it’s not the case with us. We aim to keep raising the issue on priority. 

We want some position in policy making, some of which was started by Sanjoy Roy during his tenure. He is a part of a few committees in FICCI and by virtue of him being in those committees, there is an opportunity to interact further. So, government engagement is a priority. The other major problem that the industry faces today is talent. Covid, over the last two-and-a-half years, has displaced talent. The problem existed earlier but the pandemic aggravated it. Talent is something we have to work on and then the skill development aspect of the Government will become important.

Do we see EEMA adding new events, IPs to its annual calendar?

EEMA has always been very active on these fronts. The last two-and-a-half years were challenging as we were unable to execute initiatives we would have taken otherwise. With environment becoming more conducive to hold events, there will be more on-ground engagements from EEMA.

A significant part of the event industry is still operating in an unorganised way. How do you plan to address this issue?

It’s a very relevant path of what we have to pursue. However, let’s accept that such practices will not change overnight. The good part is that there is conversation already underway to deal with this issue and this largely happens in the wedding business. Also, this practice is mostly prevalent in the smaller cities. I believe an active process has to begin now and there are many people involved in this chain, entrepreneurs and individuals, even the government and we are ourselves to be blamed to a certain extent. It is the need of the hour to bring in more transparency in our industry. The more legitimated our practices, the better the value of our businesses will be and so will our standing.

How are you planning to bring in more associations and event companies under your fold and push representation further?

There has been a sustained effort on that front, especially over the past four years. There was tie up with many regional associations and we are planning a few more over the next six months. I think there is a need to relook at the prequalification of the members so that the spectrum of participation becomes wider and diverse.

What is your message to the industry peers?

Everyone needs to come forward and contribute as at the end of the day, it’s a collective effort and I seek support from everyone. n

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER - THE WEDDINGS & MICE SPECIAL'

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