Event industry is possibly the only industry where the proportion of men and women is equal, says Sabbas Joseph, President, Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA).
While many complain that men dominate most industries, including the thriving Bollywood, the same can’t be said about the event industry, according to Joseph.
“There is equal proportion of women and men. This is possibly the only industry where the proportion of men and women is equal,” Joseph told IANS.
“Direct employees in the industry has been rising, and now is in the range of 26-30 per cent. The event industry works with hostesses, dancers, temporary workers and many other, therefore the number of women in the industry is very large.”
The job often demands people to work at night as well. Considering the rise in crime against women in India, what steps can be taken to make women feel safe?
“We are taking many steps like the embracement of Vishaka Committee completely, then there are redressal forums in each company, plus EEMA runs a helpline which is monitored and the We Care cell that works with the caller and ensures safety for the caller.”
“Further, it is mandatory for EEMA members to provide transportation to anyone working after 8 p.m. to make sure that the employee is dropped home safely,” he added.
EEMA is an autonomous and non-profit, registered body of companies, institutions and professionals operating within the events and experiential marketing industry of India
Among a lot of things, EEMA brought all the various event company owners and companies together to become one “solidified force”.
“With EEMA, the event industry began to be represented at various forums like Ficci, CII in front of the government of India,” he said.
“There are policies in regard to how human resource should be hired from company to company, how agencies should conduct themselves vis-a-vis client, payments… Slowly, this association also became the face of transformation for women empowerment and ensuring that women get equal opportunity in the workplace,” he added.
EEMA is currently hosting the EEMAX Global Conclave and Awards — a three-day event that is concluding here on Sunday.
Some of the highlights of the event’s 10th edition were a power walk for women, launch of postal stamps by the Department of Post, the launch of coffee table book which commemorates the 10-year journey of EEMA and event industry.
There were also workshops for challenges faced by the wedding industry, workshop on safety, discussion on how to curate music festivals, interaction with music maestro A.R. Rahman, and much more.
There are also Indian editions of international festivals. How good is that for Indian business?
“Very few festivals, mostly in the EDM (electronic dance music) space are editions of international festivals,” said Joseph.
“Otherwise, be it Jaipur Lit Fest or IIFA (International Indian Film Academy Awards) or different cultural festivals, they are largely original and are of nature that could be replicated in the West,” he added.
How different is the Indian event industry from the West?
“The West work more with freelancers and project personnel whereas Indian event industry is based on a large number of employment and a workforce that is captive within the agency,” he said.
“There is a lot to learn in the form of systems and different processes. But the Indian event industry is young, we have grown rapidly and in an organized manner.”
While there is a lot that Indians can learn from the West, there is a lot that they can also learn from India.
“There are two different industries, two different cultures, two different economies that we operate in and hence it is very different. The creativity in India is amazing and I like to call it ‘Imagianarian’ because we imagine and engineer it to deliver.”
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at [email protected] ians.in)