Varanasi: In the preview of COVID-19 situation Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) is in the process of finalizing the Virtual Fairs as an alternative to the physical fairs for ensuring business continuity during COVID-19.
It organised various presentation meetings through video conferencing with prominent members of the industry. In this context on 5th May, 2020 the Council convened an interactive meeting through video conferencing especially for the buying representatives and buying houses to ascertain their view for organising Virtual Fair in coming months.
Shri Siddh Nath Singh, Chairman, CEPC welcomed Shri Arun Yadav, Director, O/o. the DCH for sparing his valuable time to attend and support the initiative of the Council for organizing Virtual Exhibition. Chairman also welcomed Ms. Christina Rai, Chairperson, BAA (Buying Agents Association), Lokesh Prashar, Chairman, FBA (Federation of Buyers Association), office bearers of Regional Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Associations, prominent member exporters for sparing their valuable time for the meeting.
Chairman in his opening remarks mentioned that in the present scenario of COVID-19 the biggest challenge is that overseas buyer will not be able to visit their suppliers and likewise we may not be in position to visit abroad to meet the buyers, therefore it is important to look for alternatives to the physical fairs and exhibitions which were being held till now. He mentioned that the only thing missing in Virtual Exhibition is the touch and feel of the product which is very important for ascertaining the fineness and quality of the product but can be resolved by sending the sample before finalizing the final order.
Chairman further mentioned that in the physical fairs we are able to bring 400 buyers but is hopeful that in the Virtual Fair we will be able to bring more buyers. He requested all the members present in the meeting to see the presentation on Virtual Fairs to understand the concept and share their suggestions which will help CEPC in taking care of the requirement of the industry while finalizing the arrangements for Virtual Exhibition.
Chairman invited Sooraj Dhawan from M/s Falcon Pvt. Ltd to give the presentation. The presentation covered a brief overview of the virtual fair platform:
- The first step is to prepare the floor plan, separate halls – product wise, region wise or as per the requirement of the organizers i.e. CEPC.
- When the buyer will click on any booth, he will get all the profile information of the exhibitor – product brochure, product photographs, video etc.
- Based on the profile information as per the requirement buyer can shortlist the exhibitor, product and can also send request to schedule meetings with exhibitors.
- Buyers also require to register themselves by furnishing the required details as finalized by the organizers i.e. CEPC before entering in the virtual exhibition.
- If any buyer visits booth of any Exhibitor, the exhibitor will get the notification and details of the visiting buyers to enable him to contact the buyer for scheduling the business meeting.
- Platform will provide the information on number of meetings scheduled to the organizers but no one is able to view the business negotiations between the Exhibitors and Buyers as GDPR norms be followed for data maintenance.
- Exhibitors are required to put their best profile, brochures and product photographs and to keep themselves ready to answer the query of the buyers and for business meetings.
- The agency assures all possible assistance to the Exhibitors in creating and uploading the Company Brochures, profile and product photographs.
Ms. Christina Rai, Chairperson, BAA congratulated Siddh Nath Singh and appreciated the initiative taken by the Council which is the need of the hour and assured full support and assistance for the success of the Virtual Exhibition. She also requested the participation of CEPC Members in the webinar by BAA on 8th May, 2020 on How to use Technology in our Business.
Mr. Lokesh Prashar, President, FBA mentioned that the industry is moving in the right direction and also appreciated and the Council for the initiative and advised the need for use of best connectivity preferably Fibre lines by the Members and how fast industry adopts the changes.
Shri Arun Yadav, Director, O/o. the DCH expressed his concern for viewing and copying the design and products of one Exhibitor by other Exhibitors as companies spent huge amount on the R&D and product development.
Some of the concerns expressed by the participants are as under:
- To ensure the geniuses of the buyers – Council will check the credential of the buyers and approve before giving them access to visit the Exhibition.
- Whether Exhibitors can also select Buyers looking for their products – yes.
- Frequency of profile, brochure and product updating – no bar, can update as per requirement.
- To restrict the visit of one exhibitor to other exhibitors – to be decided by the Council.
- To restrict the details of requirement and visit of buyers to all Exhibitors except to whom he visited and scheduled meetings.
- To arrange webinar to educate Members on technique for creation of profile, preparation of brochure and preparing product photographs.
- To arrange webinar/ video to educate the Buyers on the Virtual Exhibitions, 8. To address the different time zone issue of buyer’s country.
- To prepare specific demo as per the discussions to educate the Members.
- Setting up of booth in virtual exhibition is one-time requirement or required to set up booth every time – to be decided by the Council.
- To allow regional based product listing/ search – to be decided by the Council.
Chairman mentioned that Council organized 4-5 presentation and as per his assessment 90% of the Members/ participants appreciated the ideal of Virtual Exhibition and mentioned that Council will provide opportunity of business to both Members and Buyers and things depends on the presentation of their profile, brochure and product phot in their booths and requested Members to concentrate and make their best efforts in preparing their profile and brochure to attract maximum buyers.
Chairman also request the Buying Representatives for their support by bringing more buyers in the show to ensure the success of the Virtual Exhibition.
Chairman mentioned that Council has dedicated for the growth & development of Indian Handmade Carpet Industry and will make all possible efforts for the same. Chairman assured that in the next meeting Council will come up with more specific presentation and request Members to send their suggestions and concern to the Council in writing to enable us to take care of the same in finalization.
During the meeting more than 100 members exporters, Buying Representatives and office bearer of association of buying houses attended the meeting and shared their view point. All of them unanimously appreciated the idea and effort of Carpet Export Promotion Council for their timely initiatives.