“Kamlesh Gohil, Managing Director of K and D Communication Ltd., talks with Bhavishya V Boricha of TFT in an Exclusive one on one. He shares his insights on Trade Fairs and tells us about Gujarat’s Largest Exhibition and Convention Venue – The Helipad Exhibition Centre – along with developments at K and D Communication.”
TFT – How do you see the future of Trade Fair Industry in India?
KG – Trade fairs of the 21st century are an instrument of the market economy, in personal marketing and effective communication between market participants.
Visitor attendance is the key for any successful exhibition. The benefits include opportunities to network, collaborate, gain knowledge, develop skills and prepare for the future. As business-to-business marketing evolves, the range of different formats an organizer is able to produce must also expand. No one format can serve all the interests in a given market. An organizer will need to be skilled and flexible enough to produce event experiences, in various event formats, that will attract and hold a diverse and cross-generational audience.
The ability to create engaging events will increase in importance as a professional skill. This means developing the skills to translate research results into creative and marketing concepts that lead to the production of exhibitions and events that target the audience’s value and is implicitly one that both exhibitors and attendees want to attend.
TFT – What can you say of the Indian Exhibition Industry? How much scope do you see and what changes are required for its betterment? Which are the things you believe are hindering the growth of the Industry here?
KG – The current scenario in the industry is reflecting growth for smaller exhibitions and organizers but for bigger exhibitions to grow we need better arrangements. The Exhibitions are transforming into a new paradigm, focusing on sector specific shows with immense efforts in terms of collaboration and Mergers and Acquisitions, with an initiative to consolidating the highly fragmented organizers. However, there are small changes that we need to make, and big positive results will follow. With better infrastructure and government support, the size will only grow in the upcoming years. To enhance our business share at global stage and sustain there in wake of tough business environment both at the domestic & international level, it is imperative for us to enhance our levels of competitiveness and also give due importance to technology & innovation.
TFT – Narrowing our focus on the state – How does the Industry fare in Gujarat?
KG – In Gujarat, the trade fair industry is certainly one of the rapidly growing industries. With the efforts being put in by the government in the creation and betterment of infrastructure and attracting major investors, I believe this facilitates the industry in a massive way and according to me, the Gujarat trade fair industry has massive potential.
TFT – Tell us about your new venue – The Helipad Exhibition Centre – Gujarat’s Largest Exhibition and Convention Centre. How do you propose it to be a crowd puller along with garnering more business?
KG – Helipad Exhibition Centre, as you mentioned, is Gujarat’s Largest Exhibition and Convention Centre. It was established to elevate the experience of witnessing ideas in action from conventions and exhibitions to large scale private events. It has witnessed some of India’s most exciting summits and exhibitions. HEC offers the largest space and an ideal location amidst a lush green, peaceful environment. If the grandeur of the venue is not enough, the location, I consider, will be a major crowd puller, being in the capital of Gujarat, Gandhinagar and in close proximity to the city Ahmedabad.
TFT – How has the response been for the venue so far? What plans are to be a part of the future?
KG – The response has been more than satisfactory. The space accommodates and elevates the trade fairs we organise quite perfectly. It successfully attracts the kind of audience we aim at having at our exhibitions.
TFT – What are your expectations with the Venue? What do you guarantee to the investors and stakeholders?
KG – While we have great expectations with the venue, it being an exceptional success with the previous events, a guarantee to the investors as has always been, continues to be, PROGRESS.
TFT – From your perspective, tell us the positives and negatives of being a Show Organiser.
KG – There are quite a few positives to being a show organizer. To keep meeting new and interesting people for instance and having a different and novel experience every time you work on a new show. There is a lot of scope for learning new things every day. Moreover, there is always a variety with each new show. There are still a few negatives though. The first and foremost that any show organiser would agree to, is the uncertainty. There are always things that go down in the event which are completely unexpected and are to be dealt with immediately no matter how much you prepare for it. Also, with the long and unusual working hours, it has proven to be one of the most stressful jobs even statistically speaking is one of the 5 most stressful jobs in the world.
TFT – What do you think is the Government doing for the betterment of the Trade Fair Industry in India?
KG – As I mentioned earlier, the government has vastly aided the creation of infrastructure, majorly helping the trade fair industry.
TFT – What according to you should be the focal points for the associations of Our Industry?
KG – The motto of grow and let grow is very important in any industry. We are to pull each other to actually help the industry grow as a whole and benefit everybody. Apart from that, I think the constant focus should be on how we can serve better. Only a competitive industry is an industry that thrives. May it be finding new ways to use technology or finding better ways of marketing, the industry needs it all.
TFT – How do you manage your professional and personal life? How do you cope with multi-tasking and stressful situations? Any tips for trade fair enthusiasts?
KG – What has helped me deal with stressful situations is taking it one step at a time. I think this can help anyone in a stressful situation. If you don’t look at the situation as a whole but as a sum of its parts, it becomes a lot easier. In this case, solving one problem at a time, you will have come out of a situation without realising how stressful it is supposed to be. As for multi-tasking, it is a skill that can be developed with time, so to all the trade fair enthusiasts out there, don’t give up, success is just round the corner.
TFT – What will be your advice for a successful and sustainable event?
KG – Through the years, some of the things that have helped me are; firstly, beginning well in advance. This is because for an event to flow smoothly, the planning should be as accurate as possible. Furthermore, one has to be flexible while dealing with an event because changes can take place at any time and you need to facilitate them. Also, it is important to always have a backup plan.
TFT – What personal and professional motto(s) do you stand by?
KG – Hard work is the key. No matter what challenge it may be, no matter at what standpoint life brings you, I believe that beneath hard work lie all your solutions and this is what I try to follow in both my professional and personal life.
TFT – If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? Which things would you like to do differently?
KG – While I would want to do things differently and reverse all my decisions that have caused me to fail, it is through our failures that we grow. All my decisions have led me to become the person I am today. So to answer your question, no, I wouldn’t want to change even a bit of what I have experienced in life.