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Articles March-April 2021

Step Inside the All New Mondosonic Studio

The all new Mondosonic Studio, located in Ottapalam, Kerela, is a custom Music Production Facility and Studio. With Recording Equipment, Workflows..... read more

Bishwadeep Conceptualizes Sound Design in the Box

Having spent most of his career in Song and Music Recording, Bishwadeep Dipak Chatterjee was constantly toying with the idea of getting involved in designing sound for films..... read more

Celto Acoustique

Established in 2011, CELTO Acoustique is a premium manufacturer of professional audio products for the events and install industry. Founder, owner and CEO - Arthur Felix first displayed his entrepreneurial skills at the age of 14 when he built..... read more

Acoustically OdBle

With Vijay Benegal and Mujeeb Dadarkar

Vijay Benegal and Mujeeb Dadarkar have between them more than 4 decades of extensive experience in the audio industry in India. They have done it all, from recording and mixing for ad films, to doing live sound for renowned artistes..... read more

All About Music, the Marantz Story

In conversation with Joel Sietsem and Alankara Santhana

Marantz has established a strong foundation in the industry with their High fidelity audio systems since the 1970s. Marantz designs products that have intricate detail..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms - PART 6

By - Rahul Sarma, CEO, Menura Acoustic Labs in collaboration with Sound Wizard

We started this series with the definition of a small room, and went on to discuss wave interactions. We continued onto sound isolation, absorption and diffusion in parts 2 and 3. Parts 4 and 5 covered system design goals and finally how to optimize a system..... read more

Studio Showcase

If you had a sign above every Studio door saying ‘This studio is a Musical Instrument’ it would make such a different approach to recording.” - Brian Eno..... read more


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The Ever-Evolving Experiential Industry

The last two and a half decades has witnessed constant evolution of the experential industry. In this article, Sushma Gaikwad provides insights into this indutry which has through the years provided an opportunity for creativity and innovation to blossom into enterprises and business collaborations

Sushma Gaikwad, Co-Founder & Director, Ice Global

Just recently, in March, I celebrated 25 years in the Indian event Industry. Over these past two and a half decades, I have been a witness to the evolution of the industry and the experience has been exciting and extremely rewarding. This article is a tribute to this dynamic industry that has constantly evolved to provide an opportunity for creativity and innovation to blossom into enterprises and business collaborations.

It began a little over three decades ago

A few local companies known for organizing concerts and public shows began offering event services for a fee by cajoling and convincing prospective clients. This began the journey for the event management industry in India. Initially the growth was slow and laborious. The pace quickened in the early 90’s with the advent of Multinational companies launching in India. The need for the event agency was established and the industry grew in leaps and bounds as event agencies mushroomed across the country.

In the following years, the industry developed rapidly and eventually attracted investment by global players and today is recognized by global associations and operators as an evolved and established industry.

Over the years

The industry has seen changes, some massive, some insignificant. As markets and technology evolved, the industry seamlessly adapted to the changes.

The industry that we call the experiential industry has been built on the pillars of passion, perseverance, resourcefulness and creativity. Driven by the need to innovate, the industry has constantly collaborated to strengthen service offerings and provide value in content, technology, entertainment and engagement.

Lines have blurred as media houses and experiential agencies have partnered to curate and produce content. Partnerships have blossomed as agencies collaborated with travel houses, technology providers and artistes to increase service offerings.

The industry has evolved through shifting markets, emerging trends, dynamic technologies and service requirements. I have captured a few observations over the years in a feeble attempt to chart the development of the experiential industry in India.

From One-stop-shop to Specialists

In the early years, agencies would offer a host of services which were branded Promotions, Corporate Events, Special Events and Birthday parties. Over the years, the terminologies as well as agency offerings have seen a dramatic shift. Agencies have moved from offering a host of varied services to positioning themselves as specialists in one or few areas.

Hence today, specialisations in key event categories exist such as MICE, Concerts, Festivals Weddings, Brand activation etc. Moreover, agency roles have evolved from service providers to solution providers as agencies are now being engaged on a turn key basis by clients & brands.

Domestic Operators to Global Players

There was a time when agencies grew at a rapid pace with offices across India and this was considered the mark of a flourishing agency. The need at that time was to establish presence across India and provide a network of services to clients in the country.

With the world getting smaller, the need for collaborative growth exists as experiences are both exported as well as imported, today. The trend has moved from domestic to international presence and there is a larger emphasis on the bandwidth of collaborations and agency networks across the globe. This, has further led to a rapid infusion of international event concepts and technologies which are now being hosted in India.

" Even after three decades, the industry is still known as the sun rise industry. With constant evolution it keeps reinventing itself to emerge as a force to reckon with. "

Technology – The Game Changer

There was a time in events when 3 gun Sony projectors existed, when clear coms did not and when analogue control boards were considered latest in equipment. There was a time when event managers walked the length and breadth of football fields to deliver messages and walkie talkies belonged only in James Bond films.

India has rapidly moved from the dark ages when technology played the role of mere event aids. Today, the role of technology has increased as it provides the opportunity for deeper impact, wider coverage and a stronger presence in event creation.

Technology engages across all event phases with a distinct ability to engage, immerse and enthrall through wearable technologies, apps, gamification, AR, VR, programable lighting tech and special effects, robots, drones, holograms, projection mappin... and the list is endless.

Today, technology provides an opportunity for creative innovation and event impact thus earning the rightful title of a game changer.

Limited to Unlimited : Event Content & Amplification

One of the major changes has been the evolution of content.

In the first few decades, the event content planned was limited to live audiences and then evolved into content curation for televised audiences. Yet, over the past decade, social media has gained prominence and events have evolved into generating complete immersive experiences for audiences present at the event as well as those present on social media and television. Dynamic social media trends provide an opportunity for constant innovation in event content and event amplification.

Service Providers to Intellectual Property Owners

While ticketed events have been around for decades, a growing affinity to create Intellectual Properties was established two decades ago by a few experiential agencies. These IP’s have charted a new way forward for experiential agencies today. Many have evolved from client commissioned events by developing creative propositions and own successful Intellectual Properties that are internationally acclaimed.

Developing into a Formidable Industry

The best measure of the evolution of an industry is the ability to share best practices and attract best resources.

The industry has come a long way. At first, experiential agencies functioned as sole operators and over a period of time relationships and networks were created for mutual benefit. The past decade saw a shift in mindset as agencies joined hands to create EEMA, an association that would represent the best interests of experiential agencies and the event ecosystem. The momentum has gained ground and many regional associations are now coming together with an aim to share best practices and enhance knowledge.

One of the indicators of the shift is the fact that today event management has found its way into the curriculum of management degrees. This has become possible because the perception of the event industry has shifted and event management is on the consideration set of prospective serious career options.

And it has just begun...

Even after three decades, the industry is still known as the sun rise industry. With constant evolution it keeps reinventing itself to emerge as a force to reckon with. Industry associations forge together to make pathways in influencing government policy, share knowledge and attract the right talent. Global tourism boards and travel giants have begun to recognize the influence of the Indian experiential industry. Creativity through signature experiences is the new mantra and with dynamic technology to give it wings, it can only shift to level next. The Sun rise Industry is here to stay.

About Sushma Gaikwad

Sushma is a veteran of the event industry and is the co-founder of Ice Global, a premium experiential management company. She is also a partner in DVFX team, a visual effects firm.

Driven by a passion for learning, Sushma has set up a leadership coaching and training institute and is a sought after leadership coach, motivational speaker and business mentor.

Sushma is a frequent lecturer in management colleges and is a Director of Wizcraft Management Institute of Media and Entertainment, India’s premium experiential education institute.

Sushma has recently been appointed Member of the Board of Studies of Somaiya International Convention Centre and Academy

Facebook : sushmagaikwad.ofc

Twitter handle: Sushmaspeak

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