The new normal in a world where Covid-19 unfortunately is becoming a part of our life will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly the way we live our life. Businesses and brands are now are making their way back into the business; planning their communication plans for a new world post the covid-19 lockdown, keeping a note of some of the new buzz words such as ‘social distancing’, ‘work from home’ and the latest one; ‘atmanirbhar’’.
The most hit industry due to this pandemic are the Event Companies which organise large live events. Medianews4u spoke to Rajesh Kejriwal, Founder, CEO Kyoorius Group, since 2006, Kyoorius has been at the forefront of connecting the creative community in India through programmes that inform, inspire and stimulate. An initiative of TransAsia Fine Papers, Kyoorius is a not-for-profit organisation that celebrates all aspects of creative communication and marketing. Through events, regular publications and other initiatives, Kyoorius is committed to galvanising creativity in India and inspiring future innovators.
Impact of Covid -19
It is a complex and challenging time for all of us who inhabit this planet. Perhaps it is the largest challenge that we have seen in our lifetimes. Like all challenges, we can either wilt under the weight of the issue or rise up and meet – and even overcome – the challenges.
At Kyoorius wilting has never been an option, overcoming challenges is the only route we have always taken and so also this year. Therefore, constrained by the new world, new norms and new rules that we all now live in, Kyoorius Awards, ZeeMelt and DesignYatra will all be back in an era that takes into account all these constraints. I would certainly like to say that we have used the lockdown period very effectively.
Innovations in the Live Events Industry?
I think innovating on a regular basis should be in your DNA. Any crisis just stimulates your DNA and gears you to do something different.
We follow the philosophy – Do not try too hard to fix what is broken completely, do not follow the norm and try to just tweak it to the new norm. Create a new norm, change the rules of engagement, create a new set of experiences and stay true to your stakeholders. The new norm allowed us to go global with ZeeMelt and by August you will see the new avatar of ZeeMelt – presumably the largest marketing festival in the world. Similarly for Designyatra – it will be a global first new avatar.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, how are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
I do not think the focus should be about opening up in cities that are NOT RED. Focus should be on safety first and then on how to continue to engage in the new norm. Going back to the old normal in this period with social distancing, etc. is a recipe for disaster especially in our event business.
Communication strategy post lockdown?
It is a difficult time for all businesses including advertising, and we hope the Kyoorius Awards and ZeeMelt plays a small role in the upliftment of the mood of the industry and all those who work in advertising and marketing, especially the younger professionals. Our communication will also be driven in this direction. And we are working differently, we are exploring how to add customers because the new norm allows us to do so.
Positivity during the crisis?
On the personal end, I took this situation as a time to introspect and start thinking of what will drive our business for next two years and beyond that what will be the new norm. Even after normalcy resumes, many aspects of our daily professional lives will not be the same. I anticipate that the next two years will be a period of new normal before we settle down to the normal. And keeping our team members geared to think differently and keeping them safe, sane and in high spirits has been my motto during this period.
And on the personal front, this has been the best time one could get to make the best use of family time and health in general. This has, literally, been the best family holiday that we could have even though it was confined to four walls.
Business on track strategies?
As I mentioned above, I am not trying too hard to think and strategise for a period which is uncertain. I am working on how to strategise for this period and for the worst possible scenario, so that if the situation improves, it can only get better.
Is Virtual to be the next way for IP companies for events?
Nothing can take away the experience of meeting people and networking, that is a given and that will remain. But during this uncertain period when that is not possible, Virtual events may be the new norm. Going forward I think Virtual events will become a reality but as a new segment and physical will come back to normal. I also think the future will see more Hybrid versions rather than just physical or just virtual.
How difficult it is to get sponsors on board for virtual events?
I think getting sponsors is not a criteria of virtual or physical. The criteria always remains what value are you able to add, how do they profit from being a part of your event – physical or virtual is just the platform. And that will remain the same going forward.