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“Quality Visitors are the Key to Sustainable Exhibitions” – Ashish Gupta

Ashish Gupta, Director of MCO Winmark Exhibitions, talks with TFT in a one on one. He shares his thoughts about things related to the Upcoming 6th Edition of China Homelife Show India 2018.”

TFT – Can you tell us about the upcoming China Homelife Show India 2018?

AGThe 6 th China Homelife and Machinex India will be organized from 17 th to 19 th of December 2018 at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Nesco Complex, W.E. Highway, Goregaon East, Mumbai from 10 am to 6 pm. This is the 2 nd largest China Sourcing platform organized outside China (largest being in Dubai). It is organized by the Government of China and Meorient International Shanghai and managed by Winmark Exhibitions Mumbai. This event is approved by the International Exhibition Association UFI Paris and appears in their list of major international exhibitions in the world. This exhibition was growing 20% year on year since the first edition in 2013, but last year we did not get the desired growth due to Doklam effect, so this year, the effort is to make up with double growth. From 900 exhibitors in 2016 and 2017, this year the effort will be to bring in 1500 exhibitors. Also, there is a focus on Chinese companies who want to get into JV with Indian companies and invest in India under the PM’s ambitious make in India program. So visitors will really get more benefits from visiting this year edition.


TFT – What is the main reason of organizing this exhibition? What objective does it hold?

AG China is India’s largest trading partner. China exports to India up to $58.4 billion or 2.3% of its overall exports, and 12.6% of India’s overall imports in 2014. Our aim behind organizing this exhibition is to create a platform to further enhance trade relations and create new business opportunities for Indian importers. Instead of Indians having to travel to China and search for Chinese counterparts, we provide them with a 3-day opportunity once a year, to build business relations. So for a fraction of cost, entire procurement teams, merchandisers, marketing professionals can get the look, touch and feel of Chinese products by locally visiting this show. No problems of adjusting to Chinese food, language and no need to face other challenges when you fly to source from China. This exhibition is subsidised by the Government of China, and all participating companies go through a quality control and qualify for this subsidy based on their export performance and quality standards. The Government of China wants to strengthen the Made in China brand equity by showing the target country its ability to manufacture quality products at competitive prices. The common perception of Chinese products had been tarnished by low-quality low-cost high-profit goods that have been imported by companies with vested interest and hence a show of quality will help change people’s perception.


TFT – How many exhibitors are participating? Are the participants India based or only from China? What is the exhibitor profile for this show?

AG This year, 1500 exhibitors are participating. All the exhibitors participating are from China. They belong to a wide range of product sectors like Machinery, Autoparts, Electricity, Lighting and New Energy, Agriculture and Food Processing Machinery. We also have exhibitors from the Homelife Sector which have various products on display belonging from sectors like Textile and Garments, Luggage bags, Gift Articles, Home Electronics, Furniture and many more. These exhibitors are the biggest in their own markets and showcase the best of Chinese products.


TFT – What are the footfall expectations and who should visit this exhibition?

AG This year, we are expecting a footfall of 20,000 visitors. Large companies who want to look at China for alternate import options to expensive European or American products, Private label manufacturers who want to increase their range of offering, direct importers, people who wish to take agencies and distributorship of Chinese products, Companies who want to venture into a joint venture for manufacturing and all those who deal with imported products should visit this show that is keen on importing best quality goods from China. Trade buyers, opportunistic visitors and visitors looking for new and bigger trade relationships with China are the ones who should visit this exhibition.


TFT – What kind of innovation is going to be introduced in CHSI this year and how will it be beneficial for the stake holders?

AG As per our experience, there were large lines of visitors waiting for badges in a time-consuming manual registration process. To speed up, this year, all the pre-registered visitors’ data is on cloud and there is minimal human intervention in the registration process. In fact, clients will not need to talk to anyone at the registration counter, they can quickly and efficiently print own badge to get entry to halls speeding up the registration process. This innovation in technology would be seen this year.


TFT – Can you elaborate for our readers, what is the O2O platform?

AG The O2O platform, i.e. the Online to Offline platform is a platform made only for our visitors. Once they register for the show, they can use the platform to receive information about which exhibitors are coming at what is on the display. Once the visitors are acquainted with the same, they can set up meetings with the exhibitors of their choice and even order for samples that can be brought to the show only for them. This platform has no language barriers and a visitor does not need to wait until the show, to meet exhibitors. This is one of the USPs of the show, as not at all trade fairs provide this facility. Furthermore, the website ensures that coordination and communication remain active all year long.


TFT – Lastly, what will be your advice for organising or sustaining a successful show?

AG Visitors, Visitors, Visitors are the three mantras for successful and sustainable exhibitions. The right qualities of visitors need to visit the show year on year. To ensure quality control, the exhibition has strict policies for entry to weed out the unwanted profile of visitors, so that the exhibitors can spend quality time with right visitors and vice versa. Also, very detailed marketing strategies are implemented to get the message across to the target audience. Our experience of running this exhibition simultaneously every year in 13 different countries (Poland, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, UAE, Jordan, Iran, Mexico and India) gives us deep insights into visitor patterns and behaviour. Sector-wise consultants are empanelled to give right visitors for the different products creating a win-win situation for both visitors and exhibitors. Our social media campaign is designed in China, run from Australia, activated in Brazil and back ended in Gurgaon – we are one of the largest media buyers for internet advertising for all our countries and take advantage of economies of scale to run powerful campaigns.