In a quick Q&A chat, Maninder S Sethi, Founder, Wedding Asia reveals future-ready plans for the new normal in the year 2021. Wedding Asia is a premium wedding exhibition platform in Asia. Catering to every need of the bride and groom including designer outfits, jewellery, wedding planning, photography, venue selection, decorations and more.
Q1. Wedding Asia has been a brand to reckon with for brides, grooms and wedding planners in India and abroad. In the 15 years of its amazing existence, how has the journey been? Maninder: It feels as if we began our journey only yesterday. In these 15 years, we have witnessed the emergence of weddings from ‘Big fat Punjabi Wedding’ to Big fat North-Indian Weddings' to ‘Big fat Indian Weddings’. Today, weddings are truly the biggest festivity in India. We don’t celebrate the festivals with the as much fervour as we plan and celebrate weddings in India.
Q2. The wedding industry was badly hit during the Covid-19 phase, how did Wedding Asia re-invent its avatar and make it solution-oriented for designers, jewellers, brides and their families? Maninder: The Year 2020 was a complete setback for the wedding trade. The Spring/Summer wedding season was badly affected with large-scale cancellations. Some weddings that were scheduled for the peak season (Oct-Nov-Dec) time, were also deferred to next year (early 2021). We, at Wedding Asia were receiving so many distress calls from our patrons and families. Trade partners, designers, jewellers and other exhibitor categories were highly concerned and worried about the future of their businesses. We were quick to sense the urgent need to do quick strategic planning to re-establish the platform in order to cater to the needs of affected parties.
Just as soon as the Government relaxed the lockdown regulations with unlock guidelines, we started a series titled 'Wedding Asia - Private'. This series was especially crafted with utmost precision to cater to the urgent requirements of brides and grooms-to-be. We ensured that all guidelines of safety and hygiene were promptly adhered to in a safe environment, keeping a check on the maximum number of visitors in a single gathering.
Q3. An exhibition format attracts big crowds; how did Wedding Asia ensure adherence to best precautionary measures? In which destinations did the exhibitions in new format take place. How was the response? Maninder: We were very particular to adhere to the Covid-19 safety guidelines. We initiated 'pre-registrations' for the visitors and allotted them hourly slots. We allowed only 25-30 visitors per hour only, whilst maintaining proper distancing as well. Overall, our patrons and visitors felt cared for and the response was amazing. We received accolades and much encouragement.
Such well-planned events with pre-registrations eventually aided the weddings trade by building confidence levels with the brides and grooms' families. Confidence in Wedding Asia team led to revival of the wedding business too. From third week of August till the third week of December 2020, we planned properly and travelled with the specially-crafted exhibition format to Mumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ludhiana, Pune, Raipur and Kolhapur.
Q4. What are the plans for Wedding Asia in 2021? How will you ensure that in future, your brand will be a trend-setter in providing the safest and most creative ideal solution in the weddings sector? Maninder: We are always there for our patrons and guests. We are fully committed to travel the extra mile to facilitate the needs of brides and grooms to make their D-day turn out the way they have been dreaming about it. Our ‘Wedding Asia – Private’ series shall continue in 2021 with much gusto and we will soon be showcasing in smaller cities as well. This initiative is planned to assist our guests to be able to make their wedding purchases with their peace of mind, in case any member of the family feels uncomfortable or reluctant to travel to major cities for their bridal shopping requirements. We are fully committed to provide them with solutions, right at their doorstep.
Q5. In 2020, almost every sector has gone widely digital. Has Wedding Asia invested time in its online reach along with retail store presence? Maninder: We are ready with weddingasiaonlineshop.com - we would do every possible effort to assist our patrons to help them in their wedding shopping in every possible format. Multi-designer retail presence on-ground is also on the cards. The city of Ludhiana is special to us as we started our journey from there over 15 years ago. The on-ground multi-designer retail store is also planned to kickstart from the city of Ludhiana. We are truly excited about being future-ready with our consumer-friendly wedding solutions in Year 2021 and ahead.
To know more about the amazing consumer-friendly initiatives by Wedding Asia team, simply log on to weddingasia.in PWR PWR