To contemplate over the present condition of the growing event management industry and advertisers’ concerns around it, exchange4media Group’s organised a Roundtable discussion on July 29, 2010 in Delhi. The conference, which was part of the run-up to the launch of the Group’s new event website, witnessed stalwarts from both event and advertising industries discussing various complicated issues related to the industry. The topic of discussion was ‘Do events deliver value for their advertisers given their limited reach?’
Speaking on the importance of events, Gaurav Gupta, Director - Marketing, General Motors, said, “In our case, events are extremely necessary, because people want to have a touch and feel experience with the product before investing a huge amount of money on it. We spend 15-20 per cent of our overall media budget on events and 30 per cent of our time is spent in planning and execution of it.”
“Our marketing spend on the events is 15-25 per cent, however, it differs according to sectors,” said Amit Tiwari, GM, Philips. He added that what mattered more to them was relevance of the events than the reach and the objective was to not get a larger crowd, but a ‘relevant crowd’ at the events.
MacDonald’s have been doing various consumer engagement campaigns through events and Rajdeep Chatterjee, GM - Marketing, North and East, MacDonald’s, believed that events were a better place to engage consumer in one on one conversation. On the outcome of any event, he said that getting complete mileage through event depended totally on the event execution. “Our objective behind any event needs to be crystal clear for better outcome,” Chatterjee noted.
Giving a different perspective, Amarjeet Singh Batra, Country Manager, OLX, identified two ways of observing any event. He said, “First, was how many people were attending the event and second was who all were not attending the event.” He further said, “The biggest thing is how we communicate with the people who have not attended the event. That needs to be taken care of. Event is all about the creativity and ‘buzz’ around that. Buzz that an event can create inside and eventually lead to social media conversation outside.”
“Events definitely provide value, given the point that they are focussed and well planed,” noted Sanjeev Pasricha, CEO, CS Direkt. He further said that mass media could not be substituted by events, however, it could be a part of events. There are several luxury brands that only do BTL and even ask why ATL is needed.
KJS Gurna, Director, Bellset Entertainment, asserted, “No other media can deliver the touch and feel experience to consumers that events can do.” He also said that to improve the efficiency of events, agencies needed to guide their clients properly as well as upgrade their own skills so that companies could start taking them seriously.
Speaking about the non-metro cities and the problems in these markets, Priya Monga, Business Head, RC&M commented, “We need to think beyond metros. How to communicate to different categories in different regions should be kept in mind while entering regional markets.” Speaking on the existing data for prioritising the markets, she said that the data available today was almost a decade old. “Event companies needs to upgrade the data and their knowledge about their field. Integrated approach with different media tools is very necessary for the success of any event,” she remarked.
Speaking about the lack of talent in agencies Sameer Mutreja, CMD, G2rams, said that agencies needed to upgrade talent, specially, in the account planning division. “To get a better understanding, we should go through some international case studies and present to clients,” he added.
The entire discussion was moderated by Pradyuman Maheshwari, Group Chief Editor, exchange4media Group.