5 Challenges You May Face If You Are in Experiential Events Space in India To truly make an experiential event a success, a brand should not only monitor the vendors

By Arun Pratap Singh

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One of the most effective ways to engage and attract consumers today is by creating for them a unique tactile experience during which they can learn the nuanced story behind a brand or product. Such experiential events as they are called allow people to connect with the human side of a brand and often lead them to learn about the brand and to want to own products sold by the brand. Experiential Marketing, when it is executed well has the potential to charm consumers into wanting to own a product or to use the services of a brand, yet there are some challenges that companies in India face when they try to create an experiential event in India. 5 challenges to experiential events in India are elaborated below.

A Lack of Quality Talent

A well thought through and executed experiential event requires significant planning, talent, hard work, attention to detail, and an evolved understanding of human nature. While such skills can be learned, a relatively small number of people in India have the skills to successfully execute an experiential event. While it is common knowledge that hundreds of thousands of young people graduate from colleges and universities, what is less well understood is that a majority of such graduates and postgraduates lack skills that can be used by industry. So there is a shortage of skilled people who have a grasp of the soft skills that are needed to make an experiential event a success.

Even among the majority of MBA's the insight to create an experiential event is lacking and what's even more disheartening is that very few MBA graduates in India are even aware of the concept of experiential marketing.

Lack of Supporting Infrastructure

Despite pockets of highly developed communities in India where physical and social infrastructure is world class, vast regions in India lack the infrastructure needed to make an experiential event a success. Not only does an experiential event demand a talented team that can think through what kind of experiences consumers should have, but it also requires at times exotic materials and technologies. There is a lack of such supporting materials and technologies in India just as much of the required physical infrastructure to make experiential events a success is also lacking.

Advances in Technologies Make Events Hugely Expensive

To make almost any large event a success there is a need to use novel technologies that captivate an audience. However, using such technologies in an experiential event in India is prohibitively expensive for most Indian companies. Only companies that have huge budgets can successfully use such technologies in India and even when such companies do so they face other challenges that are unique to India.

Short-Term Visibility is Common in India

Many brands that expect to carry out an experiential event in India suffer from short-term visibility and hence do not fully think through how they expect to connect with consumers over the long term. This means that a brand may create an experiential event whose message is diluted in the minds of consumers in a relatively short span of time. The swift dilution of a brands message may make an entire experiential event completely meaningless. Companies should create a cohesive long-term brand strategy that incorporates experiential events and also drives consumers to online e-commerce portals where the brand's story and experiential events can be further enriched.

Monitoring Vendors and the Event Planning Process

An experiential event must be well planned and executed if it is to truly serve its intended purpose. This means that to be successful in the experiential space an organization must be required to manage a large number of players who will work together to make an experiential event a success. The difficulty in managing a large number of vendors throughout the event planning process is common in India and even more so as such events are still relatively uncommon and less well understood.

To truly make an experiential event a success, a brand should not only monitor the vendors who are helping it make an experiential event a success but should use all mediums including e-commerce portals to create a consistent narrative that humanizes a brand or product.

Arun Pratap Singh

Founder and Director, Dial4Trade.com

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