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Ecommerce Disruption – Events Industry


Social Co-creation: A New Space for Events with Ecommerce

The Indian event industry is a sunrise sector for the economy and is on the cusp of a strong phase of growth. The industry has been largely driven by increasing digitization and higher internet usage over the last decade. Also, the technology advancements are helping the industry in aspects of production, multi-location, exhibitions and marketing.

Facts and Figures

  • Organized events industry to grow to INR 5, 779 crores by 2016 – 17 (EY Report)
  • A secured solution which is scalable and flexible to meet your evolving business requirements
  • A compounded annual growth of 14% over 2015 (ET Article)
  • According to industry experts, annual wedding and events is pegged at around INR 1,500-1,800 crore
  • Rise of fitness culture and sports events in India
  • Non-metro markets are expected to increase in importance as marketers look to tier II and tier III cities for incremental growth (EY Report)
  • Digital events and activation is also expected to grow significantly on the back of smart phone penetration, internet availability and the cost efficiency of such campaigns for marketers.(EY Report)

Challenges Faced by the Industry

  • Staff strength has increased from an average of 55 employees in 2011-12 to 84 employees in 2014-15 resulting in an increase in payroll costs from 13% to 18% of total costs
  • Margins are expected to decline from an average of 16% to 13% over the next two years mainly due to a growth in overall costs by 12%
  • Increasing fragmented market and hurdles to monetize digital platforms
  • Managing the community of followers and participants

Events the Ecommerce way

The Ecommerce way of doing business is more often than not associated with buying products online by end consumers. This model can be extended to service providers as well.

Events industry presents a very fragmented market with some of the major challenges revolving around reducing margins and increasing costs of hiring resources. These challenges are an opportunity to scale and consolidate the industry. How about a model which brings the service providers and the event organizers together on a single platform?

The critical pillars on which event industry works are

  • Collaboration with large number of vendors, suppliers and partners
  • Enabling payment options
  • Collecting customer data and running analytics on it to get actionable insights
  • Running special promos/coupons etc for customers
  • Enabling bulk booking options
  • Promoting complimentary services and events
  • Interacting with and enabling the registrations for the end customers
  • Building community of people with similar interests
  • Engaging the community and enabling them with tools to promote the events in their circles

These pillars can be best addressed with an Ecommerce platform which has the ability to extend the system from B2C to B2B to Marketplaces.

Case – Study: Hyderabad Runners

Hyderabad Runners is a not-for-profit organisation started in 2007 by a team of dedicated people with an endeavour to inculcate community running culture in Hyderabad

Hyderabad Runners organize multiple runs throughout the year. They also partner with their affiliates to promote runs through the country. They were looking for a solution to

  • Manage runs, registrations, runners groups and runners data
  • Promote the affiliate runs throughout the country
  • Enable affiliate activities such as training programs and charity runs
  • Collaborate with hotels and travel agencies to offer stay and travel facilities for the runners
  • Setting up an e-store to sell merchandise

Hyderabad Runner’s requirement is complex and requires a sophisticated solution. It required multiple customization and configurations on daily and even hourly basis during 15 days window of registration. The site was expected to have few lakhs of hits and 1000s of registrations and payments.

With an Enterprise solution they could achieve

  • Go-live in 9 days with the first phase
  • Design requirements were managed
  • Easy management of the store
  • Dashboards to analyze business performance
  • Generating coupon codes
  • Processing bulk registrations
  • Creating refund process outside payment gateway
  • Time-based booking
  • Ability to manage cut-off of maximum registration per race category
  • Managing peak load of 15000 hits and 600+ transactions within a window of 7hrs
  • Supporting payment for foreign nationals

Opportunities for the future

Ecommerce can be extended to the events industry with Marketplace or B2C or B2B setup. The space can be co-created with the collaboration from service providers, event organizers, event planners and the customers. This model can be extended to different verticals such as Wedding Planners, Expo Organizers etc.

Ecommerce way of conducting events will help businesses to focus on the right aspects, get feedback from the collaborators, optimize and build efficiency in the eco-system.