- EFY Group is organising India’s first online trade show event for the stakeholders of electronics industry
- The show will enable buyers and sellers to connect with each other from the comfort of their homes
- Covid 19 pandemic has made social distancing a fact that might haunt the entire ESDM industry for a long time
- This is the right time to connect with new clients as India is poised to become the next big thing in the electronics sector
Ramesh Chopra, Chairman, EFY Group, shed light on why he and his team have come up with India’s first online buyer and seller meet event. Focused towards the electronics industry and its stakeholders, India Technology Week will be organised in two parts – Trial and Main Edition.
Incepted in 1969, EFY Group has been organizing events like India Electronics Week and IoTShow.in for the past several years. The media group is known for joining the dots between the different stakeholders of IoT, Leading Technologies and Electronics Industry. You can find answers to all of your questions related to the event here as well.
Here’s what EFY’s Chairman had to say about the upcoming India Technology Week.
Q. Why do we need an Online Only Expo?
A. With ‘Social Distancing’ becoming a way of life–the prospect of organising traditional events where we get to physically meet each other–seems a bit challenging in the near future. But, the need for Buyers and Sellers to connect–remains.
Besides the risk to health and safety because of diseases like Corona, traditional events involve a lot of investments–man-power, travel, materials, physical exhibits, shipment of products and equipment, etc–all a burden on our environment.
Thus, we believe an Online Only expo is to traditional events, what Google is to traditional phone directories.
Q. Is it really needed during these days of doom and gloom?
A. Well that depends on perspective. We believe there will be TWO types of organisations right now:
1. Those who are facing a ‘Fight for Survival, and are looking at cutting all possible costs to survive. We appreciate the challenges being faced by them, and would suggest them to first think-through the question “if our team managed to meet 100 good customers–will that translate into quick cash for us to survive?” If the answer is not a resounding yes–we will advise them to not to invest in ITW at this stage.
2. At the same time, there will be many firms who are fortunate enough to be in a ‘Let’s Be the Leader Despite Odds’ mode. These firms are the ones who typically believe more in customer outreach, and invest in it. We believe that even in challenging times like these, these firms (and their leaders) will be looking at smart and inexpensive options to connect with customers and prospects and build a strong top-of-the-mind recall–so that once business resumes–customers will flock to them. ITW is the perfect platform for such firms.
Q. What are the similarities and differences between an online-only expo and a traditional expo?
A. While designing our Online Only expo platform, we tried to look at the core values that a traditional expo creates for its exhibitors and visitors. We wanted to see how many of these values can be replicated by the Online Only expo, and which of them will get sacrificed. Here’s how our online-only expo compares:
1. Enables Buyers and Sellers to have face-to-face interactions. Yes! Our platform will enable face to face interactions too–using the power of video conferencing tools.
2. Enables Buyers and Sellers to be there at one place at the same time. This will certainly be achieved. ITW@Home will be held on specific dates within specific time slots, so that Exhibitors and Visitors can confidently use the platform to engage with each other.
3. Enables Buyers and Sellers of specific product categories to connect. While trade shows create physical zones and halls to segregate exhibitors–digital technology enables us to make it even easier for buyers to locate the suppliers they seek. In other words, while the digital event can cater to a larger variety of exhibitors and audiences, it can provide simple tools to audiences to identify the exhibitors they seek. In other words, the Long Tail of exhibitors is possible now.
4. Enables Exhibitors to exhibit their innovations and new products. Again, this can easily be achieved through ITW@Home too. In fact, our platform enables you to provide supporting documents such as price lists, white-papers, videos, etc without having to invest in bags, kits, USB drives, print-outs, etc.
5. Enables Exhibitors to build a list of prospects: Here again, a digital platform does better than a traditional one. At ITW@Home, you will not be required to store any business cards or scan any badges of visitors. You will get data of all visitors who engage with you (and allow sharing of their data) automatically, at the end of the day.
6. Enables touch and feel of products. Online Only expo will not enable this. But, we hope that for many Tech products and solutions–touch and feel is not an important consideration. And, for those exhibitors who need this aspect–we would (humbly) not advise them to exhibit at an Online Only event.
Q. You mentioned LONG TAIL of exhibitors. What are the NEW type of exhibitors that can exhibit here who would not exhibit at a traditional event?
A. Amazon and Netflix have taught us that the concept of Long Tail works brilliantly in online platforms. In other words, products or services which have very limited audiences–find traditional platforms to be very expensive and wasteful w.r.t. RoI. However, since Digital Platforms enables the unique set of audiences to explore their unique set of requirements effortlessly–these same Long Tail suppliers find amazing success on an Online Only platform.
Two examples that come to mind:
1. You want to sell your used equipment (2nd hand). You will not take the risk of investing in a large expensive booth–not knowing if you will get a buyer. Plus, your sale value may not be equivalent to the value of the booth! But, with ITW@Home’s 10K entry price, it’s a no brainer. In fact, you could be amongst the most visited exhibitors–since many seeking 2nd hand equipment now know where to get it from!
2. You want to sell off your unsold inventory. Almost anyone into manufacturing has unsold inventory on their hands. Some dispose of it as garbage due to lack of a platform to find buyers for the same. Here is one–now!
We’re sure there can be many more such opportunities that enterprising entrepreneurs and marketers can identify and change the destiny of their business and their team members.
Q. It seems nice to read about. But is there some demo or video one can look at to get a better sense of how this Expo will look like to an audience? How simple or complex will it be for audiences to engage with exhibitors?
A. Yes, there is.
We have put together a short video to display the Mock version of the platform being put together by our IT team. WARNING: It’s a bit amateurish. Professional grade version will be released soon. Additionally, there will be a trial version and then the main event.
Q. What all modes of interaction will be there between Visitors and Exhibitors?
A. While we will be providing multiple options for your team to interact with the audience, to ensure you get maximum benefit from your booth, we suggest you look at your Online Booth as an extension of your team. In fact, it can do maximum marketing for you in a DIY mode for your audiences. Allow me to explain. A large percentage of visitors on any booth typically seek supporting information for the exhibits or the firm. If you plan well and upload all necessary information on your online booth–then your audience will get the information they seek in a DIY (do it yourself) mode, and you will get information about who sought which info–something your team can’t keep a tab on, if done manually!
Coming back to the question, audiences will be able to interact with your team via the following methods:
– Face to face video interactions
– Telephone calls
– Plus, your team will get access to a database of visitors engaging with your booth (or your team) at the end of each day. So, they can reach out to them through traditional means–at any point of time. You could even depute a different team for this activity.
Q. How are you confident that the audience will come to an online only expo?
A. If we sent you an email inviting you to explore India’s first online only expo–would you not be curious to come and check it out?
Also, given that we are all locked down at homes, would a platform where we can explore new technology, new suppliers, network with new people–not excite you to attend the event?
Plus, if you just look at all the ‘advantages of an online expo event for audiences’–we believe the question might turn to–are you confident of handling all the visitors at one go?
Q. You mentioned Trial Edition and the Main Edition? Why the Trial Edition?
A. We understand that this is a new idea. And new ideas face hiccups in the beginning. We want to use the Trial Edition to enable a specific set of exhibitors and audiences to try out the platform and share their feedback and suggestions.
Plus, whatever amount of Quality Checks we may perform at our end, we will not get to know system flaws unless an event is held using the platform.
Q. Wouldn’t companies see trial Edition as an audience and then exhibit in the Main Edition?
A. That’s a fair question. Here are few reasons why you they should try and exhibit in the Trial Edition and not wait for the Main Edition:
1. They have ZERO Risk–you will get the same booth at the Main Edition at no extra cost! And, if they don’t like what they experienced at the Trial Edition–you can seek full refund, no questions asked.
2. You get TWO for the price of one–you pay for Main and get all engagements in Trial for free.
3. You can share problems you faced with us, so we can improvise.
4. Most Important: You get to try out the platform and learn from your own mistakes–hence when you exhibit at the Main edition, you are already ahead of the others and can maximise chances of your success.
Q. At a typical trade show, visitors are able to see equipment LIVE in action. Will they miss this opportunity at ITW?
A. With a little bit of smart thinking anyone can solve this problem too. Few ideas…
If you have a video of that equipment in action–you can display that in the Exhibits page. Better still, if you are at the same place as the equipment, or a colleague of yours in another country can be–you can video call them in and have them display the equipment LIVE!
NUTSHELL: With LIVE video-conferencing–the sky’s the limit for creative folks.
In fact, we will be eagerly looking forward to best practices being shared by our exhibitors on how they maximized this platform for their benefits–and Rewarding the Top 10–a month after ITW.
Q. When will audience registration for this event start?
A. We will start driving registrations for the Trial Edition by 25th of April. Frankly, we already have a database of 10,000-plus tech decision makers and influencers who’ve shown interest in attending an online-only event like ITW@Home. Hence, we may not invite any new registrations and restrict entry to our existing audiences who’ve shown interest.
Our main registration drive will start after the Trial Edition–on 5th of May. Here, we will be targeting a much wider database of technical decision-makers and influencers.