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Wednesday, 20 February, 2019, 12 : 43 PM [IST]

GPS Nagpur 2019 - Changing Gears

Disha Shah Ghosh

With a view that change is the only constant, the flagship Nagpur edition of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) from January 20 to 22 saw a slight revision in its format. The event kicked off with a networking dinner followed by a full-day of B2B meetings spilling over interactive knowledge sessions on the third day. Moreover, besides a Thursday to Saturday format, the trade marketplace shifted to a Monday to Wednesday schedule. The first day of networking saw buyers converging from different cities to engage with their exhibitor counterparts over a casual format. First-time participants at any of the GPS shows like Atout France and German National Tourist Office were seen testing the waters in the Tier-II cities at the Nagpur edition.

While the change in schedule of the show to the first working day of the week led a slow start to the show, the momentum was seen picking up as the day progressed. An interesting highlight of GPS Nagpur was the acceptance of technology for effective communication among agents from the Tier-II and III cities. An initiative launched over two years ago seems to have now gained acceptance across markets.

Harmandeep Singh Anand, MD, GPS, said, “GPS has evolved over the years, and we have set benchmarks in terms of our core concept, adoption of technology, buyer-exhibitor programme, as well as curating smaller concepts like EDWIN. We have had 600 agents over 5 EDWINs, and over 1,000 registered members for the TenX exclusive club for our exhibitors.” For 2019, healthcare and medical tourism are the focus areas. “We have introduced Health on the Go Partner, OXY and Reliance Health Insurance as our partners. Health Insurance will be a recurring income for travel agents and that is what we want to highlight.”

According to Ankush Nijhawan, Executive Director, GPS, as the Nagpur edition is the first Tier-II show of the year they have got a very good response. “I am happy that a good mix of exhibitors is here from Nagpur and nearby areas. We have tried the change in schedule for the first time, and it seems to be working well. Knowledge sessions definitely generate a great response and therefore the shift was effected to ensure that we deliver an effective event.”

Madhu Saliankar, Executive Director, GPS, “The change in format is only for the Nagpur edition for us to test waters. In the coming editions later this year, we will have the Knowledge Sessions on day one in the was followed by half day of B2B meetings. The second day will be entirely dedicated to the B2B programme. The evening before the event, we will have buyers and speakers coming in for a networking evening. The plan is to offer a crisp and effective set-up.”

According to Saliankar, the influx of a host of trade shows calls for innovative approach on the part of organisers to stay relevant. “The next level of engagement for GPS will be tie-ups with associations. Talks are underway and we should have a concrete plan in place soon.”

For Raju Akolkar, CEO, GPS, since this was the 7th edition in Nagpur and their experience of three years in taking the programme to various markets across India, has enabled them overcome barriers. “GPS is a niche concept, and engagement is effective because the show is small in

size. Moreover, we have varied and new exhibitors participating every year to ensure we are relevant and serve the basic purpose.” Starting this year, GPS is set to launch Eco Connect, which is a day-long programme, divided between Knowledge Session and B2B meetings for Jaipur, Guwahati and Vizag.
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