#PowerWomen: Now is the Time for Women to Take a Leap into the World of Events, Says Priyanka Arora
by Mugdha Gaonkar Industry Watch | March 4, 2021 | Interview
Priyanka Arora INvision Entertainment EVENTFAQS Media PowerWomen
Continuing the EVENTFAQS #PowerWomen series in the run-up to a virtual forum on International Women’s Day on March 8, we talk to Priyanka Arora, Director of INvision Entertainment, about her journey.
A software engineer by qualification and a commercial pilot by passion, Arora has made her mark in the event and experiential industry. With stage management and show-running topping the list of her experiences, she has managed not just to thrive, but also flourish in the industry.
Here, she shares insights on her entry into the event industry, challenges she faced, position of women in the industry, priorities and some advice for young women entering the events space.
HOW I CAME TO BE IN THE EVENT INDUSTRY
I came into the event industry by sheer stroke of good luck. I was an adrenaline junkie looking for her next fix. After being in the aviation industry as a charter plane pilot for a while, the event and experiential industry seemed as exciting. A friend of mine, Gagan Takyar, who has been in the industry now for over two decades, was looking for a partner to diversify. I jumped on that opportunity and right into the magical rabbit hole of events and entertainment.
It's been a journey full of challenges and successes. The biggest challenge yet has been the year 2020. My biggest success has been co-creating ‘The Sufi Route’, India's largest Sufi music festival.
ON POSITION OF WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY
The event industry is a largely inclusive space. Biases exist, sure, but they are not as prominent as the rest of the working world. Any person with calibre, knowledge and gumption is appreciated and celebrated in this industry. It remains gender agnostic for the most part. What can change or be made better is more representation of women in decision-making arenas, not as a token of gendered presence, but in equal numbers.
ADVICE FOR YOUNG WOMEN ENTERING THE EVENT INDUSTRY
My advice to young women joining the event and experiential industry is, be eager to learn. Any event of any size and genre is an experience which will enrich your knowledge. There is no substitute to experiencing things first hand. Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty and your feet wet. Be honest to your trade, realise opportunities while acknowledging shortcomings. For someone who is still looking at this industry from the outside, waiting to enter, there won't be a better time to take that leap into the enchanting world of events.
TALKING POINTS AT INVISION ENTERTAINMENT
The year 2020 changed the way we looked at the world and how the world looked at us. The talking points went from growth to survival and sustenance. But what came out of the year was, it gave us time to re-assess and realign with why we did what we did. The trend I see now is a sharp rise in the number of celebrations, thus events, but what will be interesting to see is how we adapt to the new ways of working.
WHAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO
As we are working extensively with the youth of Jammu & Kashmir on empowerment and upskilling, the priority is to bring about change on the ground. The youth outreach programme is also a personal project because of its pure value. What I am holding my breath for is the music concerts making a come-back. Another edition of The Sufi Route and many, many such amazing festivals is what I am really looking forward to.
A HISTORICAL EVENT I WOULD LIKE TO WITNESS LIVE
One of the most historical events for the Indian event industry was Michael Jackson performing live. I would love to go back and be a part of that. To see MJ perform live would be the main reason, but also to witness everything that went into putting that event together at that time.
Continuing the EVENTFAQS #PowerWomen series in the run-up to a virtual forum on International Women’s Day on March 8, we talk to Priyanka Arora of INvision Entertainment, about her journey.