Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Mantra of Brand Positioning and Personal Branding

 Mr. Peeush Tomar, Head Strategic Alliances, PVR India Pvt. Ltd.
Apple, BMW, Starbucks, McDonalds are all class brands that first pop into our minds whenever we think of buying a phone, car, coffee or  a burger and French fires combo respectively. Such is the power of their branding that they remain on our lips and minds even without being physically or virtually present there. In order to get our International Business Management and International Hotel Management students acquainted with this power and perils of good and bad brand positioning respectively, we, at INLEAD yesterday organized an Industry Expert session on the same by Mr. Peeush Tomar, Head Strategic Alliances, PVR India Pvt. Ltd.
“It’s all in the mind. Out of sight, out of mind.” is how Mr. Tomar introduced the concept of Brand Positioning to the students. He further elaborated, that Brand Positioning helps a brand to distinguish themselves from the sea of companies operating in the same domain as theirs. Hence, the prime motive of Brand Positioning is for the brand to carve a unique identity for itself in the minds of the people.  Along with this, Mr. Tomar also introduced INLEADers to a variety of Marketing Jargons like PIS (Proposition, Intent and Support), USP (Unique Selling Point) and concepts like how a bad review reaches out to ten people, while a good one reaches out to only three.

Mr. Tomar held the students spellbound for two long hours (without the students even realizing it) by making the session extremely fun and thought-provoking. In order to impart a better understanding of the concept, he also included various current examples of good and bad brand positioning by big brands throughout his session.

The session ended with Mr. Peeush Tomar treating the students with the inspirational Steve Jobsif today was the last day of my life speech” video and encouraging them to think something new and out-of-the-box in order to make themselves and their brand stand out from the crowd.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Venue Management and Operations in Event Management

The first thing that we inquire about whenever someone asks us to accompany him/her on a particular event is about the venue, the place where the event is scheduled to take place. Venue is of prime importance to the attendees for a lot of reasons. Firstly, they make their decision of attending or not attending a particular event based on the venue’s location and distance from their homes. Secondly, an event happening at a particular location speaks volumes about the scale of the event and the type of crowd that one can expect.

Venue of an event is not only important to attendees but it is equally if not more important to Event Managers. An event manager has to take into account a lot of factors before locking in a particular venue for an event as his duty does not end there. In order to get our students acquainted with this dimension of event management, INLEAD recently facilitated an industry expert workshop on Venue Management & Operations.

The workshop conducted by Mr. Ankush Roy Choudhury, Assistant Vice President - Twenty First Century Media Pvt. Ltd. offered great insights into the nitigrities involved in the process of Venue Management and Operations, right from the selection of the venue to the final culmination of the event.  The session which primarily focused on Sports Events Venue Management and operations, started with a brief introduction on Sports Management & Marketing. The extremely interactive session dwelled deep into the various elements of venue management like maintenance, housekeeping, filed of play, permissions, facilities, hospitality and many more.

The workshop proved to be a great learning experience for the Event Management and Public Relations students and added another feather in their knowledge cap.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Time Warp 2015!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. 

'Bit Dicey'
Following this philosophy, INLEAD recently organized Time Warp, a fun activity for its students. The activity which had students from all the current batches in attendance proved to be a breather from their daily study routine and left them with memories to cherish for life.

An air of fun and excitement engulfed the INLEAD campus for two long hours on Thursday as 15 super-fun games unwrapped one after another.  The games which were conceived and fully tried and tested by LEAD faculty, Ms. Priya Bali and Mr. Sumit Chakravarty, were an interesting mix that tested the participant’s concentration, response and intelligence quotient.

'Face the Cookie'
Games like Bit Dicey – which involved balancing three dices on a scale in your mouth and a race to the finish line, tested the participant’s concentration potential in a room full of hooting and cheering crowd. On the other hand, activities like Face the Cookie—which involved moving a cookie placed on your forehead to your mouth using nothing but your facial expressions was a great test of developing quick techniques for different tasks. Various other games like Gemstick- which involved sucking Cadbury gems from a bowl using a straw and then dropping it in a bowl kept on the other end had the audience in splits from start to end.

Time Warp was organized with a vision of adding a sense of competition and enthusiasm as a way of life in students.  The excitement and participation shown by INLEADers was worth a sight and took the momentum of the event to a whole new level. Though it was a competitive activity, INLEADers showed great sense of sportsmanship and encouraged each other to take part in the various games.

The event culminated with the joyful winners receiving their prizes and certificates from Mr. Deepak Sharma - Dean, INLEAD, Ms. Bindu Menon – Faculty, INLEAD, Ms. Parul Sardana – Faculty, INLEAD and Ms. Priya Bali – Faculty, INLEAD.

Overall, the energetic event recharged INLEADers mind and body and added precious memories to their student life album.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Niche Areas of Event Management- Event Industry Review (Part-2)

Niche Areas of Event Management  

Just like in the Medical field, where one decides to become a doctor, dentist, physiologist etc. Similarly, once you have zeroed in on event management as your career path, you can further narrow down your field of interest in the event management domain.

Event management is a big wide world in itself. There are weddings, sport events, award functions, family functions and corporate events like conferences, seminars etc. taking place throughout the year.  You can choose to stick with one niche and make your career out of it or you can choose to keep dabbling between different niches. The four main niches under the even management domain are as follows.

  • Wedding Management- Weddings in India have now become an elaborate affair. It’s no longer just about the regular band, baaja and baaraat. The scene has now progressed to an A-list band, an A-list Bollywood celebrity performer and a designer wear cladded baaraat, and anything below that, is just not acceptable. In order to make these once in a lifetime weddings a reality, wedding planners have now become an indispensable part of the wedding scene in India and abroad. 

Courtesy- Google
As a wedding planner, you are the engine who is driving the shatabdi train called wedding.  You are the one who is responsible for keeping the various coaches of this train like decorations, accommodation, Food and beverages etc. in sync with each other and running at a decent pace in order to reach to the final destination called the D-Day. So, a wedding planner is actually the third most important person at a wedding, losing the first and second position only to the bride and the groom respectively.

The industry which is currently pegged at around Rs. 100,000 crore is growing exponentially with each passing day. So, if Glitz, glamour and communication are your things, then wedding management is the niche for you.

  • Corporate Events- Events have now become the flavor of the corporate industry. You can witness events like trade fairs, auto expos, symposiums, conferences and seminars etc. taking place almost round the year. Such events allow people from the same industry to meet and remain updated about the various trends and happenings of the industry. They even offer a big inflow of business in some cases. 
  • Sports Events- Imagine yourself in a stadium full of cricket crazy fans shouting KKR, KKR or any other IPL team of your choice at the top of your voice. Now imagine yourself doing this in almost every other IPL match. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, this could be your life if you decide to enter the big and adventurous world of sports events. 

Besides IPL, the recent much-hyped fight of the century between Mayweather and Pacquiao was another sports event that made it into the top sports events of the year till date. The mega sports event drew more than three million pay-per-views, making it the most watched sports event of all time. The figure holds testimony to the fact that the world of sport events and its market is growing like never before.  So, if sports and events are your two greatest loves, then sports event management is the field for you.

  • Award Shows/ reality shows/fashion events -  In the last one decade, the number of award shows, fashion shows and reality shows have almost tripled in quantity. In the earlier days, there used to be just one major annual Bollywood award show “Filmfare” but now, we have a Star screen, IIFA, Big Screen Entertainment taking place almost every month of the year. Same is the case with the fashion shows and television reality shows. The increase in the number of such events has led to a direct increase in the number of event planners required to arrange these extravagant events.  So, if the world of fashion and Bollywood stars has always fascinated you, then this niche might be your perfect match. 

Event Management as a career is a hot favorite nowadays. A professional degree in this filed can escalate your career to new heights and give you the desired edge over others in the field.

The first part of the industry review series can be read here.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Healthcare Administration as a Career Choice

Chanakya once said, “A person who cannot decide his goal, simply cannot win.” Clarity of mind and a determined approach towards the goal is the reason for the success of all the Ambanis, Adanis and all the other successful people that we rave about. They became what they are today because they had a clear goal in mind and the courage and passion to diligently work towards it.

In order to provide our Healthcare Administration students with that clarity of mind, INLEAD recently facilitated an industry expert workshop by Dr. P.N. Kakar on the prospects of Healthcare Administration as a career choice.

Dr. P.N. Kakar, Director-Medical Services, Anesthesia & Critical Care (Surgical), Panacea New Rise Hospital, Gurgaon, is an eminent personality in the healthcare sector with over 32 years of experience in Critical Care & Anesthesia. He has an extraordinary track record of giving anesthesia to over 75,000 surgical cases.

The session, which lasted for two and a half hours, proved to be an extremely enchanting and mind-stimulating experience for the students.

Talking about the role of healthcare administrators, Dr. Kakar emphasized that Healthcare administrators are like the leaders of the pack as they work as an interface between the internal management and outside community. He further discussed about the various types of hospital administrators, their scope of employment, job profile, key responsibility areas and salary potential prevalent in the field.

 Dr. Kakar even shared experiences from his three decades long career in order to give the student’s an insider opinion about the working of the industry.

The lecture concluded with Dr. Kakar providing the students with a few expert tips on keeping abreast with new technologies, laws and regulations in order to become a successful and efficient hospital administrator. This was followed by an extremely enthusiastic and interactive question answer round.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Event Industry Review- An A to Z guide to the Event Industry (Part-1)

You have your entire week booked with the various events and gatherings that you have to attend. Your favorite singer Mohit Chauhan is in town, your slightly loud but lovely cousin is getting married and at the end of the week, you have the elusively arranged- practically begged, borrowed and at the end stolen IPL V.I.P passes from your friend. You are all excited and can’t wait for the week to begin.

Let’s for once peek behind the veil and experience these exquisite shows from the other side of the curtain. Enter the world of an Event Manager.

Every event, be it the cozy yet stupendously sun-drenched Goan beach wedding or the fun and adventure laden weekend trip to Mountaineering or even the grand anniversary celebrations your friend planned for her parents 25th anniversary bash or the exciting new episode of the latest talent hunt reality show, each and every event has an army of people working day and night planning, promoting and practicing every meticulous detail so that you can enjoy those few hours of the event to the fullest.  These behind the scene magicians are referred to as the Event professionals and the magic trick they perform is commonly called - Event Management.

Overview of the Industry 

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” - Gloria Steinem

The Event Industry has been thriving like never before.  What was just a small pea in the pod a few years ago, has now transformed into a fully grown tree, shooting out more and more branches every now and then.  The Indian event Industry is a multi-crore industry hosting mega events and shows every day.

The Event Industry is a classic example of supply creating its own demand.  The coming up of various big event companies have brought in a unprecedented growth in the number of exhibitions, conferences, seminars and product launch events taking place. With these events now becoming a symbol of class and style, there’s no stopping this industry from growing further.

Event management basically deals with planning, organizing and finally executing an event. An event can be described as any planned public or social occasion or gathering. Everything from Wedding Planning, Product Launches, Concerts, seminars to birthday celebrations, anniversary celebrations comes under the domain of an Event.

Professions under Event Management 

There are a plethora of tasks that need to be taken care off while arranging an event.  Organizing an event is not a one man task. It requires a collaborative team effort where everyone dispenses their respective duties assigned to them.  A person interested in the field can choose from a number of options based on their skills and interests.

Career Avenues in the Event Industry can be broadly divided into three following categories:

1) Event Operations- This department has to carry out the task of coordinating and integrating all the operations within an event and its associated venues. They are the minds that know what will work and what wont. They try to keep their event management skills up-to-date by regularly adopting to new technologies and methodologies.

People into Event Operations are famously known as the backbone of any event.  Various profiles under event operations include Wedding planner, artists manager etc.

2) Event Marketing- Imagine the IPL without all the witty ads, promotional activities, the glamour and the innovative branded props and merchandize – You can’t because it won’t be too different from a Deodhar Trophy or Vijay Hazare Trophy, which were premier limited overs domestic cricket tournaments that hardly anyone knows  about.

You might have a fabulous, well planned event in place but all this hard work is of no use if you are unable to market your event well.  Event Marketing deals with devising a promotional strategy for an event in order to attract more and more attendees or customers. Currently, Event Marketing is in its guerrilla phase with the virtual and physical means of marketing crossing paths and working together.

In order to become an event marketer, one needs to be innovative, quick, smart and energetic enough to face any problem coming his way head on.  Various profiles under event marketing include Business Development Manager, Client Servicing Manager and Account Manager Etc.

3) Public Relations- The difference between a good event and a great event is a good PR strategy at work.  A good PR plan can help you generate more ticket sales, secure advertisers and sponsors for the event and create an excitement and buzz around the event. Besides performing all these functions, a PR manager is also representative of the event or the event company at the times of crisis. They are the ones who bear all the tough questions from the press and try to salvage the image of the company or the event at the times of crisis.  Various profiles under the public relation domain for event management include Public relation officer, corporate communication officer and brand managers etc. 

Stay tuned for Part 2. There’s a lot more left to share with you.

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