Travel and Events Will Resume, But With Change Due to Safety Protocols: Navneeth Mohan, Laqshya Live
by Mugdha Gaonkar Industry Watch | November 23, 2020 | Interview
Laqshya Live Experiences Navneeth Mohan
Laqshya Live Experiences (LLE), a part of the Laqshya Media Group, offers innovative advertising and communication solutions in experiential marketing and creates unique intellectual properties in the events space.
In an exclusive interview with EVENTFAQS Media, Navneeth Mohan, Director and CEO, Laqshya Live Experiences, shares insights on the balance between live, virtual and hybrid events in the MICE industry, future plans and more.
According to you, how can the MICE industry master the balancing act during the digital transformation of events now, with live streams, virtual and hybrid events?
MICE has been an integral part of world travel and worked wonders as a catalyst for many industries as a growth enhancer. Now, with COVID-19 concerns, many MICE organizers are wondering how their communication strategies should evolve at a time when the appetite for travel and live events has decreased. This also brings in an opportunity for the MICE industry to look within and adapt themselves to the requirements of the digital transformation - getting more tech-oriented in the approach to group movements, to ensure clients don't miss out on those unique experiences and try and engage them with new innovative ideas. As MICE resumes, the new digital transformation can be used during events, where non-qualifiers or people unable to travel will also be able to see the live- streaming of the event from their devices.
What is your view of the future of incentive travel and the events industry beyond the pandemic?
Hospitality and tourism have seen the most significant impact of COVID-19, with an almost complete shutdown in all activity across the world. The pandemic has given us a real sense of how important people connections, travel and events are for businesses. As there has been a long gap, the post-pandemic incentive travel and events industry will see an immense surge as people reconnect. Globe-trotting, well-travelled Indians will now explore their country. Travel and events will be restored, but there will be a need to see change in the industry in terms of safety and hygiene protocols. All this will happen when COVID is completely eliminated; until then, small and exclusive group travels will be the norm. Training-based travel incentives will reduce as the virtual format will be adopted even in the long run.
How challenging it is to provide services for events during the current situation? How did you cope with it?
We were all new to the sudden COVID-19 virus, and of course initially it was extremely challenging due to implementation of complete lockdown and limitations set by the Government authorities. Everything was closed. The best thing we did in that situation was to continue being experts at event organizing and planning rather than being the virology expert or pandemic expert. We stayed in our lane as event professionals. To clients, we suggested that they call off on-ground events citing safety for all. We had to find an alternative solution for on-ground events. Being a tech-enabled company, we were already using technology in many of our events, and we made a shift of platform from on-ground to online (virtual event) connectivity. We delivered an equivalent experience of connectivity for clients.
Logistics was a big challenge, however, to ensure the format of even essentials at events. We worked as an enhanced logistics partner and helped bridge the gap to deliver F&B, give-aways, coupons, etc., which otherwise are an important factor at live events.
Share some insights on the milestone events that Laqshya Live has executed in the past few months, especially taking Rambo Circus online. What are your future plans?
During the pandemic, we grabbed the opportunity to do a lot of first-of-their-kind online events for many of our clients, which made them de facto milestones. We launched our virtual events solutions LLE Virtually Integrated (V.I) in early May, under which we have executed more than 60 virtual engagements for multiple clients. Our content division, Laqshya Live Studios (LLS), has been delivering some innovative content solutions across various formats - green screen shoots, brand & digital films, animations, etc. We just lit up Mumbai for Diwali with a lights show from Mumbai’s tallest and most iconic building, the World Towers, which has created a lot of buzz and visibility for the brand. But the project we are most proud of during the lockdown is ‘Life is a Circus’- getting the Indian circus into people’s homes. One of the communities most affected by the pandemic was the circus community and the organisers of Rambo Circus were stranded on the outskirts of Mumbai with almost no money to even manage their daily needs. We decided to step in by producing and packaging an hour-long digital circus show. We tied up with bookmyshow.com and launched India’s first digital circus called ‘Life is a Circus’. We have completed 20 virtual shows and it has become India’s biggest online show till date. According to BMS, it could be amongst the world’s top ticketed virtual shows. Most importantly, through all of this, we are glad we could collect funds for the circus artistes to survive for another 6-8 months.
In an exclusive interview with EVENTFAQS Media, Navneeth Mohan, Director and CEO, Laqshya Live Experiences, talks of the balance between live, virtual and hybrid events, future plans and more.