EEMA needs a young, dynamic leader who is in touch with today, in tune with tomorrow: Siddhartha Chaturvedi
In an interview with Everything Experiential, Siddhartha Chaturvedi, Founder CEO, Event Crafter spoke about his contributions to the industry, vision for EEMA, and more.
Siddhartha Chaturvedi, Founder CEO, Event Crafter and Festival producer, Taalbelia has been a part of the events industry for over two and a half decades since the age of 19. Working across the entire realm of experiential and being a first generation innovator and entrepreneur, he is a self taught experienced events professional and understands both the micro and macro aspects and issues of the events and experiential space.
In an interview with Everything Experiential, Chaturvedi spoke about his contributions to the industry, vision for EEMA, and more.
How have you contributed to EEMA and the industry as a member?
I have always lived by this one thing that Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Having practiced it in all aspects of my life, it has also trickled down into my EEMA journey, As a member and a key stakeholder in the industry, I have always put my passion, love and growth for industry first and started initiatives on my own instead of being complacent and waiting to be a part of the NEC.
●Grow the community – In 2016, I had 26 members join EEMA in a single day from a state which had 2 members for 8 years. Post that, the number has increased to 40+. The larger and stronger the community, the higher and faster the chances to bring about a change.
●Know the community – Through Gyan café, I urged people to share their life stories and journies for the community to know what each one of us bring to the table, the values that we bring to this collective cause.
●Work with the community – Raj-is-sthan was a first ever industry B2B meet wherein we hosted members from across the country for a speed vending session with the vendor partners of the state. The idea was to recognize and know the talent available in our industry and more importantly in EEMA.
●Bringing the community together – I was a co-host of the EEMAGINE 2013 which had set a new standard for the convention back then. But, my collective leadership and a true example of I deliver, what I commit was when I was the convenor of EEMAGINE 2018 – It was the first time ever, in the history of EEMAGINE that we had a government body sponsoring and co-hosting the convention for us besides ofcourse a ride on the palace on wheels and the EEMAX awards ceremony at the Ganesh Pole at Amer Fort – an experience that money cannot buy.
What is your vision of an ideal EEMA?
EEMA is the single largest business body with the largest representation of a 10,000 crore industry, an industry employing millions of people and with hundreds of ancillary industries associated with it. Now, THAT is the kind of responsibility and onus that lies on EEMA and our elected representatives need to understand that and the huge level of impact that their positions and decisions can make. We need to start putting the industry good before us and the day every single person starts realizing that is when politics will take a backseat and good work, a bright industry future, a happy and kind industry, an industry that attracts some of the best talent will flourish. In all these years as a member, I have lived and worked exactly with view so what probably sounds too idealistic a viewpoint to a few is a reality for me and simply my way of living. We need to stop being micro and get macro in our approach for only then will we all see our collective dream come to light.
What are the best ways to come out of the ongoing crisis for the event industry?
We are losing out on time. Time that is costing us our livelihoods, people and money. And so we need to work relentlessly towards this. We need to set up a task force which becomes the main spokesperson with the government, industry and industry partners.
● Set SOPs of conducting safe events in COVID times
● Display confidence to Govt. and other stakeholders like Hotels
● Conduct workshop for both vendor partners and employees
● Consultancy to members to obtain scheme based MSMS loans to smoothen working capital
What is the kind of engagement EEMA needs to have with the government?
There is a serious need for the government to start seeing the Events and Experiential industry as an important industry. We need to bring together the right set of influential members from across the country to be a part of the task force that regularly dialogues with the government both at state and central levels and ensures this message is trickled down.
● Special Task Force will work on all the financial matter with the government including GST slab reduction and discharge of RCM on sponsorships and TDS rate standardization – A very good example of this is how the catering association which is a part of our supply chain got together across regions to lobby with the government and got their GST down from 18% to 5%. If they could, then imagine the wonders that we could all do together.
● Continuous dialoguing with the governing bodies
● Create permanent engagement
● Establishing our industry as the key drivers of the experience economy
What will you do to ensure the right skilled talent comes in?
This is very close to my heart and could be a game-changer for EEMA. Good talent and skilled talent and a need for templatized education has always been a key issue for the industry and what we really need is to impart the right industry ready skills to the upcoming talent and future leaders. The focus has to be on Skill Development and to making EEMA a Certification Body.
● Industry Ready Resource
● Setting an Entry Benchmark
● A new business model
How will you ensure a greater representation of EEMA with industry bodies?
●With leading representative organisations from allied sectors of Travel & Hospitality, Advertising & Media, Convention Promotion Bureaus, Content Platforms, Licensing bodies representing to government in key matters.
● A cross exchange of memberships with the following associations: FAITH, AAAI, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM.
How do you plan to engage brand EEMA with existing members and with the outside world?
This would be a two-fold approach – One where we need to create programs and educate, upskill and help existing members and their employees for the new normal and two where we further grow the community across the country.
●Task force will be made for workshops specific skill development for employees
●Creating a well defined HR SOPs
● More engagement and interaction amongst the members on a regular basis
● To reach out to the farthest of corners and deepest of districts of the nation in joining EEMA as a member and affiliates.
● Regions to be pushed for a higher engagements in other event centers around the epicentre town
● Raising bar for new EEMAGINE and other flagship events and initiatives
● Outreach program to invite corporates to join EEMA
In the new normal, there is going to be a strong focus on health, safety and sustainability – how will you help to ensure that?
● Task Force will be made to take workshops for employees and partners for making ‘safe event’ a habit.
● Plastic and flex free events
● Achieve lesser carbon footprint per event
● Creating a benchmark, we will create to check on reducing carbon footprints
External audit agency to be hired for a mandatory HSS audit for member events
How are you going to ensure a safer and more women inclusive events industry?
I have always maintained that women are better workers and better leaders. With women constituting a large majority of the events workforce, it is imperative that they be given a larger representation and we work towards building more women leaders.
● “We Care” Task Force
● More amplified campaign with active helpline
● Regular workshops at each city briefing the Vishaka Guidelines to all stakeholders including employees, partners, artists etc.
How are the EEMA working guidelines incorporating the new?
The world is changing and we infact have a new normal now. To be more relevant and present and move along with the times, we will have a task force to refresh the constitution for it to be made more inclusive and up to date.
How are you going to make the system more effective, inclusive and transparent?
● Monthly Virtual Town Halls to be introduced for better communication with members
● Secretariat needs to be given more functional powers to conduct and oversees various events and workshops across the country
● Regular and timely circulation of MOMs and overall engagements information.
● A smooth, diligent and transparent working which engages members across the board
No one can whistle a Symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.
Let’s Create a Perfect, Inclusive and Collective Harmony!
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