EEMA Presenters Dialogue 2018 is the Beginning of the Change the Indian Events Industry Needs

Industry Watch | August 30, 2018 | News

EEMA Gitikka Ganju Dhar

In my career of twenty years, I have not seen so many presenters in one room. Actually, have I ever attended an event that was specially curated for presenters and emcees alone! Will I be wrong to say that this was the introductory one with no antecedent?

A room full of hosts. Don’t jump to conclusions. No battle of Waterloo ensued between the smooth talkers. In fact, it was a grand scene of bonhomie, gaity, learning and dialogue. At least, on the cover page. The contents were cooked up like this -

Vipul Pandhi’s eureka moment resulted in a day that made industry headlines. EEMA put the best and first foot forward and was born the concept of the EEMA presenters Dialogies. Vipul Pandhi, VP EEMA North drove the initiative, supported by the leadership team at EEMA. Sanjeev Pasricha, Humayoon Zaidi, Atul Chabra, KJS Gurna, Sachin Talwar, Sharad Mathur, Prerana Saxena, all members of EEMA, conceptualized and managed the day’s proceedings. Atul Chabra also played emcee for the day, admitting at the end of the day that he had even more respect for the job that a host does on a live event. The resultant buzz on social media was beehive-worthy, thanks to Sachin Talwar, also member EEMA who lead the blitzkrieg from EEMA’s social media handles!

Sanjoy K Roy, President EEMA was present on the occasion and addressed the presenters assuring them of inclusivity and also added that a genuine effort would be made to address their concerns, one step at a time. Several senior members of EEMA were in attendance in support of the initiative. Khurshid Ahmed from Patna, Rajeev Jain, Vishal Sethi and Rajesh Varma were among members who attended. The members who took stage to either introduce speakers or to participate in panel discussions that ensued were Harjinder Singh, Ankur Kalra, Lalit Gattani, Karan Singh Chettri and Aditya Joshi.

Was this initiative a success? In most measurable ways, yes. The momentum was built up, the numbers turned out, the flow of the day was well designed, the on-ground execution was satisfactory. Though, the presenters could have done with a higher number present, from the event fraternity.

Was a takeaway ensured?

Yes. The seed has been sown.

The seed -  

For the last two years the sounds of concern regarding the oscillating quality of work rolled out by emcees across stages, had acquired deafening volume. Managers had grave concerns. Hosts had genuine issues. A dialogue was needed to begin the process of reconciliation of the books. If there was an initiative whose time had come, this was it, this was it. The people, as they say, were hungry for a change. The nation wanted to know!  EEMA Presenters Dialogue had to be staged.

The plant –

The day began with a welcome address by the EVP EEMA, Sanjeev Pasricha following which the Treasurer of EEMA addressed the gathering. Then unfolded the Presenter Case Studies by veteran, celebrated anchors, Shivani Wazir Pasrich, Nitin Arora, Joe Baath and yours truly. Shivani, who has always been an epitome of grace, narrated many an endearing moment from her career. She also shared how dance has helped her create moments on stage. Nitin Arora said to an audience filled with fan boys and girls, “There is huge scope of work for emcees in our country. In the times to come the industry will expand by leaps and bound, so there should be no insecurities among you all, the chemistry on stage between male and female emcees should look good, no cat fights please, you are all stars because from among a billion Indians you are ones talking the stage.” he said. Joe Baath shared honestly, his journey of heady fame, strife and return to the spotlight and kept the audience gagging through his twenty minutes of nostalgia.

I, Gitikka Ganju Dhar, painted a picture of my passion to help put the Indian experiential zone on the world map. I shared with the new talent in the room, a black magic recipe of different quotients that I mix up to customize and create the live quotient of the day. I also shed light on the intricacies my comeback and how I had ploughed to begin to free Indian female hosts from the bondage of age and looks and the handcuffs of the male gaze. All four of us then took questions from the audience. Sachin Talwar then took the young hosts in the hall through a presentation of the dos and don’ts of social media. Two panel discussions, Sutradhaar – Expectations from the Emcee and Tana Bana – Expectations from Event Managers, then brought the hall alive with discourse between the event and artist fraternity. The emcees who were a part of the Tana Bana panel were Pooja Yadav, Sanchalli Arora, Sahil Bajaj, Anuj Gurwara and Sonam Chhabra. The anchors who were a part of the Sutradhaar panel were Shobha Rana, Ghazal Vats and yours truly.

The Bean Stalk -

Today EEMA has a database of more than two hundred emcees from across North India and may other regions too. GM, JW Marriott Aerocity, Nitesh Gandhi, much to the delight of the emcees in the hall, promised a complimentary wash and change room to emcees of all events hosted at the JW Marriott Aerocity. Once you have dialogue starting, you know you can break down prejudice. Probably for the first time, event managers laid their cards on the table and urged emcees to be a part of the solution, not the problem. They were emphatic about how they’d rather have the emcees “Dress their minds” before an event, than just, themselves. They stressed on the need for better content, the need to understand the brief in detail and adhere to it, improved discipline on location, business interaction with clients before an event, understanding dress code and an innovative approach.

They also apprised the emcees about the serious repercussions of posting content of the event without prior clearance with the end client. After much deliberation on the grey area of event scripting, the event managers said that emcees who could write a better script from the pointers provided to them had the competitive edge over those who could not. As a result, the ones who could, would command a better market fee. The emcees in turn drummed up the ground realities of the lack of proper backstage green rooms, food and beverage.  Travel and stay were topics of discussion too. Female emcees put the spotlight on safety challenges they faced at events. Majority of hosts present spoke about long and dreary payment cycles. All in all, a dialogue began, some demons were laid to rest, some will need more dragon slaying. Members of EEMA also urged the presenters to think about joining the EEMA bandwagon and becoming a part of the movement.

The evening flowed into the Speed Vending session where the hosts interacted with experiential heads present. And then the music began the party that went on for long, untalkable hours.

A wise woman once said - Choose the path of dialogue rather than the path of unilateral decisions. This dialogue was long coming. Thank you EEMA.

I believe that presenters are one among the three most important pillars on an event. If they walk the talk, your event is talked about. If they gawk, God help you! Every function on an event needs to deliver excellence for us to be able to collectively put India on the global experiential map. Emceeing included. It is time that the emcees of India gave the fraternity something new to talk about!

About the author
Gitikka Ganju Dhar is a Live Host, TV Anchor & Event Content Writer based in Mumbai.

Connect with Gitikka on Twitter

India's leading hostess Gitikka Ganju Dhar shares her observations about the debut edition of EEMA Presenters Dialogue.

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