We followed a 5-pronged approach to be awarded 'Best New IP'- Jaideep Singh, founder, Dessertarian Fest
In conversation with EE, Jaideep Singh, founder of the young award winning event- Dessertarian Fest- speaks about taking a chance with a novel concept, the quick ascent to success and everything that worked in his favour.
Q. How was the journey of building this IP over the last 2years?
Overall, the journey has been fabulous. Starting from Day 1, when we conceptualized the idea of Dessertarian Fest – as an event to celebrate desserts, each day has brought in new learnings that added value to the IP. Travelling the road less travelled is always challenging because there are so many unknowns and no precedence. Every move seems like a gamble, but when things work out, the joy in incomparable.
Q. This event was recently awarded as 'The Best New IP'. What do you think were the major factors behind this victory in such a short span of time?
We paid attention to 5 major factors which we knew would make Dessertarian Fest a successful IP.
- Strong Concept With Big Potential - We started with a unique idea to create and establish Dessertarians as a third category of foodies that is different from Non Vegetarians and Vegetarians. Our focus was to tap into the growing Dessert industry in India and build Dessertarian Fest into a B2C event for Dessert brands that want to establish direct contact with their target audience.
- Right Venue – We chose Select Citywalk as the venue for Dessertarian Fest because it is centrally located and attracts one of the highest footfalls in India. Shoppers who frequent Select Citywalk were also the largest chunk of our target audience. We were very happy to have made this choice.
- Correct Timing – We curated the 2nd edition of #DessertarianFest in December just a week before Christmas. This is the time when most of the exams in schools and colleges are over and festive spirits begin to set in. The weather was perfect for an outdoor event with pleasant afternoons and moderately chilly evenings.
- Engagement & Entertainment – #DessertarainFest offered visitors lip smacking desserts with a noon to night entertainment on all three days. We had live bands, DJs and performances that people enjoyed during their visit. We also planned interesting activities and innovative games to engage visitors.
- Celebrity Chef Visit for Master of Desserts – To heighten the spirits of the participating exhibitors, we organized a competition in 5 different categories of desserts (best indian dessert, best pattisirrie , best ice cream etc). Celebrity chefs including Marut Sikka, Ritu Dalmia and others tastes all the entries, declared the winners and distributed the prizes.
Q. Did this idea come from your love for desserts or another inspiration?
It’s true that I have a sweet tooth apart from being a big foodie. That may be a reason why I have been gaining weight lately. As a foodie, I used to visit every food festival I could. I noticed that majority of people in these events thronged the Mughlai, Vegetarain, or Global cuisines stalls. Those serving desserts never seemed to be getting highlighted or recognized. Because of my love for desserts, I would always try as many desserts that I could. On one of such visits, I thought, “Why not turn the headlights on the desserts?”
That’s when the idea of Dessertarian Fest was born. And, it was fueled by my strong desire to create my own event where 1 lakh people come under one roof to enjoy what they love.
Q. Why did you specifically choose to create an IP around 'desserts' and not a complete range of foods?
Who doesn’t love desserts? A lot of food festivals are already organized in India and creating another food festival would have no uniqueness. Instead, I chose to seduce the tastebuds of Delhites by focusing on just one category of food. Everyone craves for good Desserts. No one can even think of missing a good dessert after a meal.
Q. Is there a reason you decided to charge no entry fee?
#DessertarianFest is a first of its kind event in Delhi. Before visiting Dessertarian Fest, most people would have never imagined a congregation of so many exhibitors all of whom are selling desserts. We wanted people to come in, walk around, get delighted by the sight of beautiful desserts and try as many desserts as they craved for. Not charging an entry fee encouraged people to walk in, get impressed and then hang around for a lot longer. There were people who came twice a day for all three days to try different desserts and have a great time.
Q. How has the footfall grown over the last 2 years?
The first edition of Dessertarian Fest was attended by around 75,000 people over a period of three days. For the 2nd edition, we wanted to double this number. We designed an aggressive marketing and media plan which included print, radio, outdoor and of course, digital marketing. We were delighted to touch almost 2L people this year.
Q. What are some of the insights/trends you have noticed among your audience in the last 2 years?
2 years is a relatively small time to notice any significant behavioural trends of people toward desserts. However, the fact that the attendance of Dessertarian Fest has almost tripled in 2 years is a strong indication that people are acknowledging their love for desserts and are keen to experiment with new flavours and recipes.
Q. What is the impression time per customer at your event?
Dessertarian Fest saw an extremely high impression time per customer. This could be a combined effect of great weather, an amazingly wide choice of delectable desserts, activities, events and entertainment. Although the average impression time would be a little above 2 hours, we saw several people spend up to 12 hours across three days. They would come in during the day and then be back in the evening to enjoy the outdoor bands.
Q. How to ensure they stick around for longer at the event?
A relaxed and visually enticing environment to enjoy their favorite desserts and try new innovative desserts together with engaging activities and lively entertainment is the key to increase stickiness.
Q. What is your long term plan for scaling up this event?
The long term objective of #dessertarianfest is to build a community of dessert-lovers and bring them together under the #Dessertarians umbrella. We would love to know them personally and grow with them.
We want to make Dessertarians as powerful and impactful as vegetarians and non-vegetarians. We consider desserts a separate cuisine and would like to inculcate that feeling in the minds of our fellow Dessertarians. There are plans to replicate Dessertarian in different cities across India to give an opportunity to all dessert lovers to experience the best variety of desserts under one roof
Q. Do you think an IP like this has the potential to bring something new for people to experience every year? And how?
Innovations are continuously happening in the dessert industry. New flavours and recipes are introduced every year in both traditional and international cuisines. In every edition of Dessertarian Fest we promise our visitors an array of the most innovative desserts they have ever tasted. Our team is already working on how we can enhance the experience of our visitors.
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