For an Emcee, every event is a new experience- Lipi Goyal
Lipi Goyal has achieved much more than most people can hope to in their lifetime. Goyal is an established emcee, having hosted over 450 shows and events in India and across the world in a career spanning little over five years.
For those who don’t know her, anchor and actor Lipi Goyal is just like the bubbly girl-next-door. However, for those who know her, Lipi, who is just 26, has achieved, and more importantly learnt, much more than most people can hope to in their lifetime. Goyal is an established emcee, having hosted over 450 shows and events in India and across the world in a career spanning little over five years.
She has acted in Bollywood films Posham pa ( on Zee 5 OTT) ‘Sweetie Weds NRI’, and Gujarati film ‘Passport’ and began her stint with TV in her initial days with serials such as ‘24’ (Season 2 of Anil Kapoor’s popular production), ‘Umeed’ (Hindi serial on DD National), and ‘Apni Vachche Dariya’(Gujarati serial on DD Girnar), among others.
She is a trained Kathak dancer, a certified Padi Scuba diver, has Bungee jumped from Asia`s highest point and has travelled across the world for work and leisure.
We caught up with her for an exclusive interview. Here are excerpts from the tete-a-tete:
Tell us something about your journey as an Emcee?
It has been an amazing, fun-filled journey. There have been ups and downs, but the journey has been unbelievably good. I anchored my first show in 2014, and have more than 450 shows and events to my credit now. I recently bagged the Silver award in the category of Best emcee at Event management Federation, Jaipur. I am thankful for all the opportunities and experiences that have allowed me to learn and grow as a professional and as a person.
How do you think this profession has aided your career?
I moved to Mumbai to become an actor. I have done some theatre, TV shows and films already, but I continue to pursue bigger acting ambitions and dreams. Anchoring happened accidentally but it has helped me work on my body posture, voice modulations, and other so many aspects which are a must for any actor. Emceeing has given me a lot of confidence, especially while facing the camera and audience. Each assignment has a different kind of experience and exposure, which have added up to help me as an actor and a better & confident human being.
You have been credited with many firsts in the ‘Live Experience’ space, tell us about that.
As an emcee, the biggest challenge before me is to surprise the audience and to keep them engaged. This is not easy, as every show is different, its purpose and audience is unique. What I try to do is to present something new every time. I believe I was the first to get an opportunity to try live narration of pre wedding & wedding rituals, explaining the traditional significance of each of them in English, to a group of 100 guests who travelled from 10 different countries. Another experience I cherish is when I had opportunity to emcee in Toronto for a crowd of over 9000 yoga enthusiasts in the presence of Baba Ramdev. I have also anchored mega concert of musicians like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy & Udit Narayan.
What do you think are the drawbacks of being in this profession?
Emceeing is a very exciting and rewarding field, but nature of the work is such that one invariably ends up missing out on family get-togethers and celebrations. Also, scripting and last minutes changes in almost every event make it stressful. Plans have to be dropped many a time due to late or last-minute confirmation of assignments. Considering the amount of travelling involved, spending time with family and socialising with friends become a luxury. But it’s all a part and parcel of life.
Tell us about the experiential side of being an Emcee.
For an emcee, every event is a new experience. Even if the underlying theme is the same, every show, every audience is different. The energy level and expectations are different. There are new experiences and learnings to be had at every step.
As consumer segments continue to multiply and grow in volume and audacity, face-to-face marketing is gaining momentum and companies are forced to find new ways to engage and convert an audience of ever-shifting loyalty and shorter attention span into longer attachment with the brands. To combat such dynamics, marketing agencies are relying on newer avenues in experiential marketing to help brands differentiate themselves and communicate their message better.
No matter what the venue or event, I believe, these trends will only increase in popularity and impact, as they give a chance to satisfy ever-increasing consumer expectations and increase ROI for companies.
What are some of your major brand-collaborations. How well have they worked for you?
Every event is a challenge, but also a learning opportunity. I have worked with multiple brands, and from various sectors, which has helped me expand my horizon and grow as a professional. Many of the assignments that come my way are through referrals of people who have witnessed my work in some event or other, which is the biggest form of appreciation any successful professional can get. Also, there have been brands with whom I worked in the first year of career , and even today they call me every year !
What are the other activities that you are involved in apart from being in this profession?
Most of my time is devoted to emceeing, but I am also into theatre, TV shows, and short films. I am a trained Kathak dancer and a certified Padi Scuba diver (advanced and emergency responder). I love travelling, and go on solo trips as and when possible. I conduct public speaking and personality development workshops for corporate sector employees, students, & homemakers etc. As a part of my efforts to give back to society, I also train students of mass communications, upcoming emcees and anchors about nuances of the profession.
What is the scope of making a career in this profession?
As I said earlier, emceeing is an exciting career choice in every sense. There is a lot of exposure, one gets to travel often, meet new people, and the compensation is decent. However, it has its own set of challenges. For one, the competition is intense, as there are many established as well as budding emcees. One has to work really hard to create space and versatile profile for himself/herself.
What made you decide to take up emceeing as a full-time career and how supportive was your family?
To be honest, emceeing was not supposed to be a full-time career for me. I started as an emcee only to meet my expenses and to become financially self-reliant. I am someone who doesn’t make plans – I just go with the flow. It just happened that my work was appreciated, and more opportunities came my way. Emceeing has allowed me to travel and explore, and to do things I have always wanted to do. At the same time, I hope to make it big in acting.
I wouldn’t be where I am without the full support of my family. I am blessed that my parents a and brother have been extremely supportive. They not only shaped me as a person but also gave me the freedom and confidence to go out in the world and to do my best. They have stood by me like a rock.
Who has been your source of inspiration and why?
It may sound funny, but my source of inspiration for acting is the character Anjali that Kajol played in the film ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. I was just 10 when I first saw the movie, but there was something about Anjali that made me relate to her. A monologue on Churchill, which I saw when I was getting trained in advertising in Bengaluru a few years back, also left a deep impression on me. It made me realise the power of acting and how it can move the audiences and how a person gets the opportunity to play different characters in on lifetime. As far as anchoring is concerned, I am deeply inspired by TV host Kubbra Sait and Geetika Ganju.
To err is only human. Tell us about an on-stage epic fail that still makes you cringe.
I am very thorough with the script, and I make it a point to be well prepared. However, at an event in Mumbai, I mixed up the surname of a senior corporate leader at the time of inviting her to the dais. It was a slip-up, but I quickly realised my mistake and corrected it. I also approached her later and apologised. She was a generous soul and was quick to forgive me.
If you could what would be your advice to yourself as a newcomer in the industry?
My advice to myself would be to create my own path, even while going with the flow. People will say a lot of things, but I should only follow what my inner voice says. I would also advise myself to go out there and be the best, travel the world, read often & be adventurous.
What would your response be if your child wants to opt for emceeing as a career?
Well that’s an interesting thought. Such a conversation or setting is at least two decades away, and I don’t know where the industry will be then. However, I am very clear that like my parents, I will wholeheartedly support my child to follow his/her dream and passion.
Your word of advice for aspiring Emcees?
Have faith and believe in yourself. Even when the going gets tough, as it happens sometimes, don’t doubt your ability. Keep learning and developing your skills, be if voice modulations, or improving your vocabulary and language. But, most importantly, take good care of your body.
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