Ease of event activity: nod to one-stop shopping, expect global acts | Bombay News
Acknowledging the “draconian” number of licenses and permissions involved in organizing MICE events – meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions – and other live in-person shows that send organizers rushing like… eh well…upstream mice, the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), the apex body of the events industry in India, is working on a website to offer one-stop permissions.
Announced at the recent Dubai Expo and informed by the Ministry of I&B, the online application project is implemented by EEMA in collaboration with the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) of the National Film Development Corporation, which has granted one-stop clearances to Indians and internationals. filmmakers have been associated for some time with a private investment promotion agency set up by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. To be rolled out in six states including Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, the pilot project involves the appointment of a nodal officer for each state. Once this framework is ready, the FFO – which studies the nuances of conducting events in India with EEMA – will present it to state governments.
“Ease of doing business has been a fairly neglected area in event management,” says Siddhartha Chaturvedi, EEMA’s secretary general, referring to the “permission bottlenecks” that organizers of “concerts and format events” have been facing for decades. In Bangalore, a key city for live entertainment shows, he says organizers must seek clearances from various channels and offices 45 days in advance. “There’s a loop and you don’t get permission until about two days before the event,” Chaturvedi explains. While Maharashtra and Delhi launched one-stop official permits for events some time ago, Chaturvedi stresses the need for a “national model”.
It was during a round table organized by the Ministry of I&B not too long ago that members of EEMA – a body which had long considered the question of which ministry was responsible its business – had said the business should be considered media and entertainment. “We are a vehicle for delivering messages,” says EEMA’s Roshan Abbas, highlighting the industry’s range from sporting ceremonies and summits such as Indo-Africa to nationally branded events and festivals such as the Kumbh Mela.
This diversity of scale and nature makes the consolidation of authorizations tricky. “Different events require different formats and permissions,” Chaturvedi explains, pointing out that most permissions come from state and district governments. “And each state has a different process. Sometimes 40 clearances from departments ranging from traffic to fire are needed,” Abbas says, referring to the labyrinthine process that won the sympathy of I&B ministry secretary Apurva Chandra during a meet. with EEMA.
Riddled with Covid-induced issues such as downsizing, the industry has limped along over the past two years. Many agencies, which used to organize corporate events, have turned to weddings, says Abbas, who calls India’s wedding industry “the nascent business” of events.
“Seventy per cent of industry revenue came from weddings during the pandemic,” says Chaturvedi, explaining why EEMA also announced the formation of a Marriage Council – a separate body for the 50 million industry. dollars – which will focus on building better relationships with hotel owners, including licensing copyrights, providing industry training and ensuring the safety of guests and staff.
“Hotels, for example, tend to treat a MICE operator differently than a wedding planner, even if the latter brings you the same number of nights,” says Abbas, explaining why there needs to be a separate team for the industry. of marriage whose potential tourism makes the I&B ministry hopeful. “India must be an event-friendly state,” says Abbas, citing that 5% of the UAE’s GDP comes from events.
Meanwhile, the prospect of iterating through fewer windows before events vents Dhawal Oza, an event manager whose pre-event permissions Excel sheet contains a slew of acronyms such as PPL (public performance limited) and IPRS (Indian Performing Right Society Limited). “Getting all the departments in line will be a task for EEMA,” says Oza, “but the assurance of the I&B ministry is certainly a respite.”