The initial was the AdAsia 2003. And it involved escorting either Pradeep Guha or Goutam Rakshit or both, to numerous countries all over Asia. The recipe was the same. You wanted to have a host association that would arrange an event, or let you be an aspect of an event where you could earn your pitch.
This would comprise a couple of meetings with powerful people in the respective country to receive their confirmation that they would assist mobilize a committee for your event. At times one could take their assistance to bring a speaker for the event you were marketing. This was related to 2011 when the paid-speaker circuit got normalized. After that, it was money that talked.
In 2003 the highlights of my marketing tours were tying with Guha and Rakshit and attaining the sobriquet “honorary Bong”. I guess I was residing with two passionate Bengalis so much that I picked up a handful of the language, the culture and the impressions of the people of Bengal.
In 2011, (to market the AdAsia 2011 New Delhi) it was escorted, by Madhukar Kamath, all over Asia and Dubai. Presently, I knew the key movers and shakers in the region as far as the Marcom industry was apprehensive and they readily approved hosting our roadshow as well as mobilising delegations. The outcomes of both the marketing efforts were an irresistible success.
In 2018 we chose to market the IAA World Congress 2019, Kochi. This was a modern territory. I was instructed by a well-meaning friend that I didn’t have connections in Europe. Would the new “friends” in the West take the pain of governing events for us to make our pitch? I needn’t have concerned. Srinivasan (Sundar) Swamy was the World President of the IAA (the first Indian to hold that position) and I was symbolizing the organizers in India.
A tiny group consisting of Sundar, Pradeep Guha, Kaushik Roy, Shreyas Kumar and myself glanced into all aspects of the event. I started each demonstration on the roadshow with the lines, “We’ve set ourselves a target. Make it the largest. Make it the best!”
I’d like to speculate we maintained to our word. With some 2700 delegates, an interesting line-up of speakers, amazing entertainment and the platform in God’s Own Country, we couldn’t go nasty. The AdAsia Jaipur was the most comforting event of my life. And maybe the most boring.
I honestly feel that providing back to one’s industry is a very satisfying exercise. “Never warm a chair,” told Sundar, as he ran rough bringing the sponsors on board for the mega IAA World Congress. And I believe those are shining words for anyone eager in seizing an industry position.