Amid strict protocols and India’s practice of ‘larger than life’ occasions, the event industry unlocks with measures and changes that would put a spotlight on for a very long time. But, how do we celebrate amid an ongoing pandemic?
It has been five months that we haven’t stepped out of our homes. Well, for essential purposes, yes! But, it has never been about joyous celebrations, connections and communications or the real forms of intimacy and bonding. India being the hub of occasions and festivities had surely missed a lot. In the light of the pandemic, all of these have come to a halt. Mallika Agrawal, Founding Partner of Panodrama Events, an event organising house tells, “My favourite part during the planning, designing and curating the events would be getting to know each couple/family and the relationship we build with each one of them. I miss the adrenaline rush, in those 30 minutes before the guests are expected, when all the teams are running around with their last-minute touch-ups. The excitement of it all – I think all of us truly miss that – even the aching feet and the broken backs!” Unlike the other sectors, the event industry is based on human emotions, connectivity and physical touch. The new-work culture and physical distancing remains opposite to the earlier factors but ultimately adapting and reworking are the norms and of course, bringing back the missing buzz in the industry.
Events always symbolised togetherness and a personal affair. Well, celebrations would be there but cutting out the excess would what matter the most. Consumers would consider safety and hygiene as their top-most requirement but won’t cancel out to celebrate the little joys. At Crowne Plaza, Greater Noida there has been multiple weddings and related social events organised post lockdown in accordance with local government guidelines. Mr Lavraj Matnani, Associate Director Of Crowne Meetings shares, “The safety of our guests, as well as colleagues, remains our top priority in the current time. While certain celebrations can be easily organised in a virtual format in future too but, for instance, events couples’ silver jubilee or a wedding, these events are once in a lifetime moments and people would still want to celebrate these with their near and dear ones by their side. There are always unique moments that people like to experience live. It’s like being on a Roller coaster ride against watching the experience on your TV. A person would always prefer to be on the ride rather than just watch it digitally. The moment we have a vaccine, people would start getting together as they used to earlier albeit with certain precautions.” The luxury hotel has come up with ‘IHG Clean Promise’ developed in partnership with Ecolab and Diversey – both world leaders in hygiene and cleaning technologies and services. This program is now being expanded with additional COVID-19 protocols and best practices – many of which are already in place – to reflect the advice of regional and global health authorities, including the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and local public health authorities in markets around the world.
Image Credit : Tablo Designs
The event industry in their post-lockdown avatar is onset for full-scale revival amid strict protocols. However, tough situations always pave the way for newer ideas and notions. They shall all lead to new adaptation theories but never to cancel culture. Tablo is a homegrown aesthetically pleasing table décor house. They curate themed DIY boxes which come ready with instructions and a picture to make setting up a table super easy to anyone, creating a completely different yet connected root of designing and styling. Already being ahead of their times by curating small intimate events, they have been a one-stop box for all your décor needs at home. Nikita Agarwal and Suprriya Jain of Tablo design tells, “The world is going through a tough time and we’re all in it together. Our focus has always been more in curated and punctilious events much like sit-downs and small gatherings and looking at the scenario that’s the future of events, something which negates calling too many decorators over or stepping out to buy necessary decor equipment. Our DIY table décor boxes help people to not only continue organizing a party at the safety of their homes but also a well-decorated and smart one at that. The aim would be to not let anyone miss any special occasions and celebrate it with grandeur even if they are at home.” In view of the situation, the products are also sanitised, extra wrapping over the box, packaging and delivering it without any contact.
Image Credits: Panodrama Events
Through The Screen & Additions:
The screens of our gadgets have been the only source of bonding and connection. Hence, digital and technological advancements for all brands and industries has become a necessity. The more innovation an organisation can bring through screen time, the more it shall be able to sustain itself in this race. In terms of digitalisation, the recent developments in virtual celebrations can be seen as a major tool in bringing together people in times of adversity. Mr Lavraj Matnani tells, “Technology has always played a huge role in laying down a pathway for growth in any industry and will continue to do so, even stronger in current times. Crowne Plaza Greater Noida also adapted to change and adopted a new way of virtually showcasing our hotel over digital platforms. Covering all areas from rooms to the dining outlets, to all the banqueting facilities, that allows users to indulge in an immersive 8K three-dimensional, computer-generated virtual environment that can be explored and interacted with as per the client’s requirement. We are the first hotel in the world to set-up a VR Experience centre at the property.” Well, these are some interesting episodes to witness – people making all the efforts to do online sangeets, opting for a small ceremony via a pandit on the phone, sending across heartfelt messages. Somewhere down the line, our only alternative of connection has been able to replicate the emotional quotient, there is no dearth of emotions!
Mallika further adds, “In fact, with smaller events, there will be more attention to detail, allowing us to be able to incorporate some of the concepts that were earlier impossible in large gatherings, like personalized sit-down dinners, beautiful weddings in unique, lesser heard of destinations. Love always finds a way – and I think all of us around the world have witnessed that in ways we could have never imagined over the last couple of months.” These extended periods of seclusion will make festivities more special to people. The revival of industries will be slow but will eventually happen. Small personalised celebrations, sit-down events are taking up the pace and would be a notch higher than ‘larger than life’ occasions. It’s a beautiful facet that we can borrow from the west and bring to the country. Intimate and private affairs at home would be the next ‘it’ factor in the events and decor homegrown brands like Tablo with an effort to make and source products from all over India has started to pave the way already. Reexamination and relearning from most of our past protocols have remained as the source of newer innovations and changes.
With the increased screen time, the much-needed importance of sustainability and eco-friendly dialogues in matters of celebrations, events have gained its right momentum too. Nikita and Suprriya of Tablo add, “Tablo has always focused on minimum waste and hence we try incorporating the products that can be used in multiple ways to style and accessorise your home. Our decor boxes not only adorn the table but the products can be used individually to accessorize your home and furniture like side tables and centre tables which uplifts the background for your online meetings and celebrations.” Consumers today have started to question the ethical practices, more conscious about the environment and prefer using an environment-friendly and minimum waste product. Sustainability is going to be a driving force in arrangements, decor and execution of events in a major manner. Mallika tells, “We, at Panodrama Events, are extremely conscious of our carbon footprint, but unfortunately, this has always been a challenge in this industry, especially with the kind of weddings we have seen so far. Sustainable fabrics are more expensive than the synthetic ones so people generally opt for the latter, and so on. But with this new wave of consciousness, we really do hope we can make our weddings as sustainable, eco-friendly as possible. We have planned a few weddings where the couples & families were extremely conscious of this, and it was great.”
Image Credits: Tablo Designs
Pandemic has changed how we function, almost – changing the graphs of both big to smaller industries. We are constantly finding ways to keep ourselves ‘out of stress’ and alternate methods to be connected and sane. Mallika tells us a very important point, “ If this pandemic has done one good thing, it is to make us all value the things we took for granted more. It has taught us to cherish the smaller things in life, to really count our blessings. I hope it has a lasting impact to the extent where it helps us remain connected with our loved ones no matter what, where it pushes us to and enables us to reach out to people who aren’t geographically close to us.”
Image credits: Tablo Designs
Banner Image Credits: Panodrama Events