To play the ideal host for conferences and exhibitions
The city has been playing host to a plethora of meetings, conferences and exhibitions, thanks to the presence of specific industrial sectors, hospitals, and educational institutions. Soon it will find a pride of place in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) map of the country.
With the economy turning around after the global recession, the number of such events is going up. Booking of space at the CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex here has gone up by 15 per cent during the last one year, says M. Kandhaswami, President of the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association.
In 2008-2009 the recession led to a lot of budget cutting. However, there is a revival now and hence, an improvement in the number of conferences, meetings and exhibitions, adds B. Gopinath, General Manager- Operations, The Residency.
At present, Coimbatore has facilities to hold events that will accommodate 250 to 400 people. It needs more multi-purpose halls.
The events are planned at least one year ahead and the organisers look at specific factors when they decide the venue. The city should have places of interest to tourists nearby, a peaceful life, direct connectivity, accommodation facilities at competitive price ranges, and good infrastructure. Several sectors now have regional and national level meetings and the organisers prefer to have these in different venues every year. Coimbatore has to its advantage some of these factors and needs to improve on others such as connectivity.
“With a little more effort on some fronts, Coimbatore can do much better,” says Mr. Gopinath. Awareness about Coimbatore's facilities has gone up in other parts of the country, adds Mr. Kandhaswami.
Such events also require and support allied service providers such as event management, audio-visual facilities, Wi-Fi connectivity, cultural performers and even translators. Retail outlets get a larger number of visitors when more people come to the city for short stays.
The objective should be to enable visitors to come, attend the event and return with fond memories.
Some of these allied services are now arranged from other places such as Chennai or Bangalore. “We need to offer a total package,” says Mr. Gopinath. Another area of concern now is power availability. This should also improve, he adds.