ACE 2014 receives overwhelming response
The dust around ACE 2014 finally settled on 12th and 13th September, 2014 at YMCA convention center, Ahmedabad - after all the anticipation that was generated around EMF’s maiden effort. The location couldn’t have been better with its hall boasting huge seating capacity that was completely filled up with a jubilant crowd on both days of the event.
The maiden event received overwhelming response from Gujarat and across India. The venue witnessed leading socialites, businessmen and bureaucrats from across Gujarat and beyond convening under one roof. Over 400 delegates from leading cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Gujarat etc. were seen attending the event. The event was also widely covered by both print and electronic media with leading print mediums such as Ahmedabad Mirror, DNA, Divya Bhaskar, TOI etc. carrying ACE 2014 event as a front page news.
The first day of ACE 2014 was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, the legendary Subhash Ghai and Maharaj Kumar, Prince of Mewar, Lakshyaraj Singh, who was the guest of honour. The inauguration began with a cake cutting ceremony following which, a ‘diya’ was lit up by Mr Ghai and Lakshyaraj Singh, which is an Indian tradition to do before doing anything auspicious.
The event started with a keynote by the President of EMF, Dr Jaydeep Mehta, following which, a panel of speakers and a moderator initiated sessions. Subhash Ghai himself was a speaker on the first session that talked about the future of events. The sessions were insightful and addressed some of the important challenges that the event industry of Gujarat is currently facing. An ample amount of knowledge sharing also took place during these sessions. After each session, the audience, which comprised primarily of event managers put the speakers on spotlight by asking tough and clever questions. Unsurprisingly, the speakers with their industry experience and knowledge, were able to address each question with valuable inputs that the current and future event managers could use. The lunch on the first day was a Gujarati extravaganza with over 101 different dishes from the region and people were seen relishing their favourite food while trying out others.
The day witnessed 2 sessions back-to-back and a third session after the lunch break. The day concluded with an evening breakfast post which, they were asked to come back for evening performances by artistes.
The evening witnessed an exceptional turnout of crowd who not only overfilled the venue but were lively. The evening crowd grooved to a host of artistes from across the country who made everybody’s foot tapping in the hall. From Aishwarya Majmudar, Kakkar Sisters, the Band Agnee, Akriti to International acts, the passionate performances were the perfect way to end the first day successfully. The chief guest present during the evening entertainment was none other than Dr S K Nanda, Additional Chief Secretary- Home Department, Government of Gujarat. From the entertainment fraternity, Terence Lewis was also present during the evening performances to witness artistes show their talents, but he got so involved with the their performances that he himself took up on the stage to do few steps while Akriti Kakkar was performing.
To summarize, day 1 began with inauguration, speaker knowledge sharing sessions followed by performances in the evening.
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Day 2 of the event began quite early with a session on ‘Gujarat - The Land of Opportunities’. During the session, many factors were discussed and highlighted, all of which established why Gujarat is not just an industrial hub but the next destination for events in India. The most power-packed and profoundly insightful session of the day was that of IP titled ‘How to Create Your Own IP’, which had Anil Singh, Supriya Sobti and Anwar Haleem as speakers - moderated by Anurag Batra. The session stretched longer than the time it was allocated with but with Anil Singh’s exceptional knowledge sharing and powerful delivery, everyone was in awe and simply got lost in the conversation.
The lunch on day 2 was a stark contrast to day 1 with a focus on western dishes. From exotic varieties of cheese, pizzas to exotic foreign women gracing the venue, the lunch had a more professional and formal decor to it. The lunch was followed with a solo session by the Maharaj Kumar, the Prince of Mewar - Lakshyaraj Singh on ‘Destination Wedding’. The younger crowd in the audience were seen participating in a one-on-one conversation with the Prince, who swayed them with his charm and status.
After a brief break, the evening saw the most sought after moment of the day that the audience anticipated for, which was entertainment. Artistes like Kainaat Arora, Monali Thakur and stand-up comedian Raju Srivastav helped create an air of excitement and laughter. The renowned Sufi singer, Kavita Seth specially came for the evening entertainment as a guest of honour. She also took to the stage to present few awards.
The most important part of ACE 2014 ensued after the initial performances, which was the awards ceremony. On its maiden effort, EMF received a total of 164 entries out of which, 44 awards were given out to various event agencies from every nook and corner of Gujarat. To spice up the awards ceremony, some funny awards were also given to lighten up the evening. It included giving awards to random people who had a funny picture uploaded to their Facebook account and awards that attributes certain quality of a person from the event fraternity.
The most prominent moment of the evening was the dashing entry of Dia Mirza as a chief guest, who turned all heads to the front row where she was seated after arriving. She brought a lot of grace and elegance with her and added starriness to the evening. As the awards ceremony continued, she personally handed out the awards to rest of the winners. The awards ceremony drew to a close with a performance by Sashi Suman, who surprisingly awed the crowd a lot more than what was seen in earlier performances, especially the younger ones seated at the back. He sung prominent numbers from the recent times that required vocal proficiency, which he could easily manage. With each number, the crowd went frenzy and voices were heard clamouring in his support. The event closed with a bang that begets a great start for EMF going forward.
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