Event management and fun came together at EEMA East Conclave 2018

How to make your next event look good? How do you plan a grand wedding on a budget? How do you hire artistes? All these hows — and there were plenty of it! — were addressed at the second edition of Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) East Conclave 2018, in association with The Telegraph, on April 4 and 5, held at The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat and JW Marriott Kolkata. Here are our takeaways....

  • Published 24.04.18
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Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) East Conclave 2018 began with a Kathakali performance on April 4 and was followed by...

How to make your next event look good? How do you plan a grand wedding on a budget? How do you hire artistes? All these hows — and there were plenty of it! — were addressed at the second edition of Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) East Conclave 2018, in association with The Telegraph, on April 4 and 5, held at The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat and JW Marriott Kolkata. Here are our takeaways....

...Somlata and the Aces

EPR of Underground Authority
Soham Chakrabarty

1. Aptitude, talent and passion are the three musts for managing events.
2. Recognise and appreciate talent. Make sure talent at the workplace is looked into and be sensitive to the needs of your co-workers.
3. Empowerment is not something society will give you. It is something you have to give to yourself.
4. Create experiences so that you and others can learn from it.
5. We must change the way we view ourselves. We never understand the power that we hold.

The KKR story 

When a session starts and ends with Shah Rukh Khan, you know it’s going to be a good, good one! And that’s how Venky Mysore, the KKR CEO and managing director, got us hooked at his session on Day 2, held at JW Marriott Kolkata. Smiling through the session, the former financial services man shared how “lightning struck” one day when he was talking passion and cricket with KKR co-owner Jay Mehta, which then led to a meeting with Shah Rukh Khan and the “rest is history”, a “fascinating and fulfilling journey”.

1. Listening to Venky you felt that probably one needs to take chances in life. 
2. There are the certain “controllables” and then there are certain “uncontrollables”. “When they cross the boundary line and go on to the field, whatever happens, happens. What I will control is the business side of things,” said Venky. Well, that’s what he told Shah Rukh Khan when he met him eight years ago. What did King Khan say? “He said, ‘Woh sab thik hai, lekin jeetna hai, yaar,’”. That would be two championships (2012 and 2014) and lots of highs. “It is very important to ensure that the business is viable and over time becomes profitable. You don’t want to wake up one day and think what am I doing in this business?” he said. 
3. Yes, you won’t win every time, but a winning mindset is important.
4. Brand and fan base are the two “pillars” of franchise sport. “These are two drivers of revenue. We have 22 brands that work with us. Why? Because there is a power of the KKR brand,” said Venky. From going in for a “brand refresh” with a “new logo” in 2012 to focusing “a lot on Calcutta-based brands”, staying connected to the city and “not just be a two-month snapshot”, KKR has shown how it’s done. 
5. Fan base thrives on connect. “We use social media extensively. Fans love seeing unique content that you don’t get to see on television,” said Venky. 

1. You have to make your food look good and appealing. Presentation leads to temptation. 
2. Someone great at production may not be good in presentation but most clients don’t look into these matters.
3. More technicals are needed for the food industry and the entire process of production and presentation should be divided up.
4. The food at any event needs to look like a part of the event and not a standalone. 
5. You are what you eat, so don’t make it fast, easy and cheap because you will never get a second chance to make a first impression.

1. It is necessary to have unique ideas in order to grow. 
2. Follow your dreams. Build on what you are passionate about and excel at it.
3. Take risks. It is important to face hurdles and threats and then overcome them.
4. Keep it as transparent as possible. Make sure all rules are followed.
5. Educate the youth because they are the future. They will bring growth in the industry.

1. Give youngsters programmes that would make them proud.
2. Plan ahead and plan well, without which a festival cannot be a success. 
3. Cooperate with industrialists when it comes to reviving unique crafts.
4. Event management groups need to have an updated database of artistes.
5. Festivals should be made more accessible to the public rather than being celebrity focused.

1. The time and energy spent behind planning a wedding will never be understood by the clients.
2. Monetisation can start from your home ground. People always want grand weddings outside the country but they don’t realise that some places in India, like some of the biggest hotels in Delhi, are also great wedding venues.
3. A destination wedding in your city will comparatively be a lot cheaper because of less travel expenses.
4. When you plan a wedding on your home ground, there is a feeling of belonging, support from vendors, a strong hold over the market and local knowledge to cater to last-minute needs.
5. Destination weddings only used to be limited to oceanfront hotels and island retreats. Now destination weddings can mean golf courses, historic hotels, city rooftops, suites, villas and beach homes.

What makes weddings big

Samit Garg’s session was ‘Indian weddings — How big is big’. He is the founder and director of E-Factor Entertainment, a luxe wedding agency that has been behind the weddings of Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai, Raj Kundra-Shilpa Shetty, Sanjiv Goenka’s son Shashwat and Subrata Roy’s sons.

1. One must understand that different people look at weddings differently. For example, at Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s wedding there were only 350 guests. But the wedding was very big because celebs were involved.
2. Big weddings have a lot of guests coming from outside. Two hundred to 300 is normal in case of destination weddings, but when the number goes up to 800-1,000, it becomes very big. This is because of the logistics involved. 
3. Putting up a help desk, getting guests to check-in or picking them up from the airport is not hospitality to me. Hospitality is to make guests feel important and if that’s done properly, guests talk about it.
4. Scaling up requires incorporating the right technology, method and design. 
5. Culinary maps are vital. In the last few years we have seen specialised chefs being flown in from across the world.
6. Collaborations and partnerships with the right people are important. Most of the big events have more than one player. It is about getting together with the right people for different aspects of a wedding.
7. Accept it or not, many use weddings as a tool to build a social network and highlight one’s status in the society.
8. Involvement of the government and city administration is important. 
9. Everyone wants to know “What can we do that people start talking about it?” In a span of four-five events, one needs to decide what he/she can do to make the event stand out. 

All that glitters

The two-day event came to an end with Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety actress Nushrat Bharucha speaking about the film industry. “I have seen myself grow. I saw some of my old interviews and I was shocked to see the difference!” she said.

1. Acting is not as easy as it looks.
2. You have to be ambitious right from the word go.  
3. Reach a position where you can do whatever you want to do... when people will depend on you.
4. You have to pull up your socks and do your job.
5. Do roles that others do not want to do.
6. It takes that one film to make a breakthrough. Choose your roles carefully.

Some EEMA members got together for the t2 camera at the end of Day 2 at JW Marriott Kolkata. “The event is by the fraternity, for the fraternity, to connect, build contacts and grow,” said Vijay Bokadia (vice-president, EEMA East).

Text: Urvashi Bhattacharya, Madhumita Ghosh, 
Saionee Chakraborty and 
Pramita Ghosh
Pictures: B. Halder, Arnab Mondal and Koushik Saha

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