Experiences are more than just events- Kiran Shetty & Ganesh Pande, Collective Heads

Organization skills, excellent time management, resourcefulness, efficient network and contacts, negotiation skills, passion, attention to detail, creativity, flexibility, multi -tasking ability, leadership skills, and so on… Event Management is not just about ideas, but about making ideas happen. We explore this through the journey of Kiran Shetty and Ganesh Pande, Managing Partners, Collective Heads, a decade-old firm in the business of events, promotional activities, channel marketing, rewards and recognitions programs and MICE.


Q- How were you introduced to the event industry?
A- Like most event managers, our trust with events began with organising social events while studying in college. This was much before our professional foray into events. Following that were long stints in an event management and marketing organisation. And finally the decision to start up an event management agency.

Q- What technologies do you use in your event execution?

A- It’s all about creating experiences for the audience, and its 2016 where events have been known for being more experiential & innovative for the viewers. To list down a few of the technologies we’ve used in our events are Watch out, Interactive Floor, RFID/Arm Band, Hologram, Interactive Wall, Tweet Cafe- post instant tweets, Snapster-Selfie Wall, Slingshot, Project Mapping, Virtual Reality, Digital Graffiti Wall, Augmented Reality.

Q- What as per you are the key elements of a successful event?
A- Key elements of a successful event include:
• Understanding of the client business
• A clear objective of the event
• A sound communication plan which outlines the desired take away for the audience
• The venue is paramount- location, quality, and cost are all important considerations
• A high performing, organised, and well-orchestrated team
• Account for contingencies
• Evaluation is an essential tool
• Close the event gracefully with client satisfaction
• Don’t over promise

Q- What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to new event planners?
A- There are many lessons that you learn along the way. Every event teaches you something new. The biggest lesson that we would pass on down the line is the old adage "god is in the details". If we can pay attention to details during the planning stage. We will be much better placed to deliver a flawless and successful event.

Q- Throughout your journey as a planner, what has been your guiding principle?
A- Throughout, we have believed that we will be relevant to the client only if we can deliver value to the client. That value may be in terms of creativity, efficiency or even planning. Always understanding the client's needs and delivering value in terms of our events has been our guiding principle.

Q- What trends and innovations do you see on the horizon in the event industry?
A- Event industry has evolved a lot in recent times. Nowadays the word "experience" is used more often than the "event." New event marketing platforms and other technological innovations, like social media and other digital communities are creating much more comprehensive experience surrounding an event. Engaging attendees primarily at the event itself have almost faded out of the trend .These days new technologies provide several additional opportunities to interact before, during and after an event.

Q- What is one thing about the Indian event industry that drives you and one aspect that you despise?
A- The opportunity to innovate and do interesting work is a big driver. The industry is in an evolution phase and also the landscape for agencies like us is very attractive. The Indian market is diverse and provides many opportunities to do 'different' types of projects. The one aspect that is often a dampner is that there seems to be more focus on cost than value.

Q- What do you think is the future of the event industry?

A- We have all along spoken that creating experiences for audiences is a key focus of the new age marketer. Events go a long way in achieving this. So the future of events looks to be very promising. Going forward, we are sure that integration of event and technology will add newer and more valuable dimensions to the event offerings and clients would certainly find value in it.

Q- What are the latest trends in MICE?
A- Demands for MICE are

growing day by day. The client is willing to spend more and more, and new age

technology has become a mandatory element for events. We are seeing countries

promoting themselves as MICE venues to attract event companies. Travel

companies have also started offering MICE packages, which is a win-win

situation for all of us.

Q- What are your expectations from the year 2017?

A- In 2017 we expect the market and client sentiments to remain positive. We do expect more opportunity to do innovative work with clients as they would be looking to move away from the clutter. There should also be some initial movements in the market place towards consolidation of agencies.

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