In both EIBTM and ILTM in Cannes we have had confirmation of our first impression about working with Indian planners last year: among the European players (suppliers) there is a very big interest for the Indian market, but at the same time they (with very few exceptions) simply have NO clue what it is all about, and what Indians look for!
Compared to last year, though we have noticed a sightly different approach: suppliers are still quite hesitant to work with Indians, but there is some more “courage” and openess, hence we are even more confident to be able to find the right solutions always for Indian customers in European destinations. To be confident, one needs to have the knowledge of both the destination(s) and also the understanding of the clients’ needs/mindset (that can be a total “black hole” for almost all the other players!). The Indian players, on the other hand, of course know their market very well, but have very little knowledge of the destination(s), and even when they think to have it, they have a stereotype perception of the European reality so they risk (basically all the times) to mix up things.
The issue is on the demand (the Indian) side: right after the EP road-show we have had some good contacts, but many of them have “vanished in the air”. In any case, all of them have demonstrated a general quite “rudimentary” and often ineffective way of working (that is exactly what scares or really frighten the European suplliers!). We are not blaming nor criticizing but this is something both sides have to see and solve together, to be effective and in a win-win situation.
We would “simply” like to find the right “way/gate” to work with Indian clients and do exactly what was said during the first camp-fire in Delhi, led by a well known wedding and event planner who was visibly “ahead” in his understanding compared to many other visitors. He was simply asking to us (exhibitors) basically one thing: “(true and trustworthy) cooperation”. The reason is simple: after years spent working in the Indian “standard way”, he has realized that, if everything is taken into consideration, true cooperation with suppliers is the only effective way to maximize clients’ satisfaction… and ROI! From our side (at least as PME and our European co-exhibitors) such a request is something definitely quite straightforward and obvious.
So the real issue is HOW to help Indian players (decision makers, influencers, counsellors, event planners) and European suppliers understand each other and start working in that way.
If that happens, then the “bingo” is done!… because it becomes a win-win game for both the parties!