IEIA conducted a roadshow and networking event for the first time in Mumbai on the 21st of Sept 2016 at Business Lounge of Bombay Exhibition Centre. Heading the roadshow was the President of IEIA, K V Nagendra Prasad. Present at the roadshow, you could see some of the big names of the industry, however many of those invited were missing. Our TFT Mumbai correspondent spoke to with the President of IEIA at the roadshow. Following is the interview.

TFT: This is the first time the IEIA roadshow is taking place in Mumbai. Why has it taken such a long time to conduct a roadshow?
KVNP: This is the first time for Mumbai. However, we started this about two years back where we are conducting roadshows across the country. We initially did this in Hyderabad. The idea is to move closer to our fraternity, members and non-members to listen to them, to share our ideas, to network and build the organization & the association.

TFT: How important do you think are these kinds of roadshows and networking events for the industry?
KVNP: As IEIA we interact with our fraternity once in a year through the open seminar, of course offline through our Exhibit magazine and through emails but direct contact is only once in a year.
So these kinds of networking events we believe will help us understand our fraternity’s requirements, specifically coming to places like Mumbai or Hyderabad, Bangalore or Delhi, we can look at local issues, whether the industry in these cities are facing any issues and whether the association can collectively address those issues, it is important in that way and also to be close to our fraternity, understand and address their issues and grow the organization.

TFT: We have quite a few members of IEIA in Mumbai. So why is it that only now you have come to Mumbai with the roadshow?
KVNP:There is no reason like that. We have been coming here. Three years back we had the open seminar in Mumbai. So Mumbai is an integral part of the association. We have done a few training programmes here and yes we do have a lot of our members here. So this is a routine activity, we will be covering all the major metros in India, now its Mumbai’s turn.

TFT: How often do you think you will be having these roadshows?
KVNP: So the idea is internally to have every fourth EC meeting in a different location. So we will keep doing it.

TFT: When you get enquires and issues from organizers, how does IEIA take that into consideration and help the organizers and what kind of issues do you mostly come across?
KVNP:: It is a common issue, generally nowadays that we are hearing about, entertainment tax in the city, number of permissions required to host an exhibition. Mumbai and Delhi particularly have this problem.So as an association we have been trying to address this, we have met concerned ministers, secretaries and government officials in this regard and a lot of representations have gone in and there is also commitments from the governments side also that this would be sorted out and in Delhi and Mumbai we now have single window clearance. I would not all attribute it to our achievement alone but collectively other associations have worked on it. So if everybody pushes for this then it could be achieved. This is one of the major issues.

TFT: Where will the next roadshow be held? Are you randomly choosing cities?
KVNP: We have to see. We haven’t yet decided. We will be sitting down with the EC and find a location, the best possible place to conduct the roadshow and networking event. We are rotating it one after the other, but the next location the EC has to decide.