Successful IPs strike a right balance between business objectives and serving the cause: RP Singh
RP Singh, Curator, CMS Asia 2019 also spoke about the art of building successful IPRs.
In an interview with everythingexperiential.com, RP Singh, Curator, CMS Asia 2019 spoke about the art of building successful IPRs and challenges facing the events industry today.
What are the three elements needed to create a successful IP?
1. Content. This will always remain the key USP for any event IP. People come for content, period. Everything else adds to the experience.
2. Innovation. Every year with the format itself. Attendees will always expect something new every year. With users getting more sophisticated with use of technology, the very basics of an event have changed.
3. Right balance between business objectives & serving the cause. This is where most of the events fail and don’t go beyond a few editions. Yes, everyone needs to make money but it should not be at the cost of ignoring the cause. There are many such events in India which started on a promising note but got lured with Sponsorship money and the real cause took a back seat.
With so many conferences happening on the same theme across the world, how do you ensure that it is differentiated offering every year?
There may be a lot of conference on same theme across the world, but there is absolutely none in the APAC region of this scale and that’s our core territory. But having said that, it does not stop anyone else to start a similar conference on the same subject, purely because there is enough interest and demand for this subject. In fact, in last 6 years, some small events tried to do something similar in various APAC markets but they could not continue beyond an edition or two. Also, CMS Asia is the only marketing conference of Indian origin to launch in South East Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Japan markets whereas usually, IPs come to India from other markets. We are also known for experimenting with the format every year. While there is a constant element of a conference, we keep introducing newer elements such as Deep Dive workshops, Working Lunches & something as exciting as a Live Pitch of Content Marketing solutions to a real client brief.
How are you using technology to curate new experiences for delegates?
In this tech world, you should not stay away from using technology and we use it quite well. Right from curating the content of the conference with the help of potential & past attendees, to engaging with speakers, promoting the conference, to execution on-ground and finally during collecting the audience feedback, there is no stage where tech doesn’t have a role to play. We try to strike the right balance between using technology and delivering audience experience with a human touch which helps us avoid over-dependence on technology. There are still a lot of aspects which should not be controlled by technology.
What are the three biggest challenges facing the events industry today?
1. Shrinking budgets to Attend and Sponsor events. This is hitting everyone in this space. While CMS Asia is not dependent on Sponsors and is growing year on year in attendance, the other events, however are facing this heat and I am sure it may hit us soon if we don’t keep innovating every year.
2. 'Me Too’ events. If you look at marketing events scene in India, there are over 50 small to large events operating which are targeting more or less the same audience. That creates a very fierce competition among the organisers. And the number of such events is growing rapidly. The real problem is that only some of them have a great offering for the attendees or sponsors. Earlier it used to be publishers who used to organise events, but now there is competition from marketing tech service providers too who have started hosting their own events.
3. Events being a very unorganized sector in India tends to pose problems like Lack of Talent, Lack of Good Quality Vendors, non-standard pricing of material and equipment, different governing laws which can vary by state among others. I believe if we can address these concerns as an industry, it will definitely grow much faster.
How would you call the highlights of this years event?
We are known as a conference with an agenda driven by attendees and not the Sponsors. We are a not-for-profit event which helps us in keeping full control on the content of the conference. Thankfully, our partners & sponsors stand by us in this cause of growing the ecosystem. It also allows us to keep offering novelties to our delegates. One key highlight of CMS Asia for 2019, and past editions, is our focus on C-Suite speakers from the brand side, from both B2B & B2C sectors. For 2019 specifically, we are doing an Industry-first Live Pitch of content marketing solution to a real client brief. To our surprise, 22 agencies have sent their request to participate in the live pitch. Third highlight, I would say, is our Content Marketing awards platform which is curated by our global Jury to felicitate content marketers in over 20 categories.
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