Inhibited to exhibit

21 Apr, 2016

Inhibited to exhibit ?

For as long as I have been in the travel industry, I have been drawn into this critical argument - to be a part of Fairs and Exhibitions or not. Surely it is entirely an individualistic point of view depending on your brand and strategy. At Rare India we singularly vote for being 'exhibitionists' and are quiet uninhibited to proclaim so. Firstly as an offline marketing company how do you ensure that you are seen and heard by a fraternity that is an ever stretching chain of stakeholders - suppliers, operators, experts and promoters. And as promoters and self motivated crusaders for the RARE and extraordinary we tend to be unabashedly exhibitionist. This is not only to promote ourselves as Rare India but purely for the benefit of our partners and if we cannot find avenues that allow us to use the megaphone for them and laser beam them into the spotlight, we are in the wrong business.

 I visualise fairs as a kind of on-the-spot 'we are valuable to your business' campaigns even as we devise creative strategies on how to stay on top of buyers minds. Remember buyers at a fair are inundated with products and destinations where the product base is as wide as buzz words like 'experiences and luxury' are narrow. For the nay sayers there are but a few arguments to convince them otherwise. In an industry that is constantly prone to seismic shifts at the sight of every local or global disturbance, fairs provide a comforting commune - there is a lot of energy going around here, trends are seen and gauged, the year past is judged and the season coming up viewed with renewed hope. For instance this year's GITB's agent list had many agents from new markets, a gentle pointer towards trade inclinations? My personal point of view and probably one of the reasons having begun early and we kept going despite the slow responsiveness towards the off-beat and experiential hotels RARE has always promoted, is the unprecedented interest of visiting buyers. So seeing close to 50 tour operators as sellers from across India just widened our scope to promote ourselves and GITB 2016 has acquired a stature of being the most inclusive platforms for travel aimed at Inbound we have in India today. The quality of invited buyers, their strategy linked with sponsors from the industry will always be a point of concern for the sceptics but I would surely give it to FICCI for the choice of venue, general organisation and also ensuring that the buyers do complete their meetings ! Atleast till something else of this magnitude and focus comes along…. And I don’t see that happening in a long time.

 Ah..yes, if there is something I would like to change it would be the piles of garbage this show ( like every other show ) generates.