In 2008, Murali Krishna, began Evhub as an online avenue of his passion for green technologies and web design. While running this online journal for green technologies, he was also working as an engineer in the field of electric motor and vehicle design. In 2014, when he went to Shenzhen, China, and visited a few trade shows there, he realised that the Indian ‘Events’ market was still lagging behind. It was from this insight that, early this year, Murali started Goevnts to make business events around the world more accessible. It also helps event managers and exhibitors reach their target audience with more effective advertising solutions.
Problems Goevnts addresses
In the course of his research Murali realised that though events are one of the best platforms for business and trade, they are considered to be poor Return on Investments (ROI). According to him the reasons are the following:
- Event attendees are neither able to choose the right events to suit their business interests, nor spot the right exhibitors to help grow their business.
- Event exhibitors find it difficult choose the right event to display their products and services.
- The Event Managers do not have value adding services for event exhibitors and attendees. This makes the events less accessible, and they fail to get advertising and/or exhibition revenue.
“It was to combat these issues that I thought of creating Goevnts as a web-based and mobile-based platform for event managers, exhibitors and event enthusiasts. I wanted to provide them a better reach to global business events, effective advertising options, opportunity to interact with each other, choose the right event to work with, and improve their ROI,” adds Murali.
Challenges in different markets
In order to help the events ecosystem Murali decided to choose India and China as the target markets. He chose China because it is the hub of global trade; and it certainly organizes the world’s biggest trade-shows.
I also believe that this association will help the Indian event industry flourish, and also help improve trade relations with other countries as well,” adds Murali.
Currently, Goevnts offers more than 600 events that are spread across 50 industries and geographies, and is growing exponentially. Goevnts is an online company and is officially operating through Evhub, which is registered in India. A team is being put together for operations in China, but currently they operating under a representative office in Shenzhen.
It has taken close to a month to incorporate Evhub as a ‘Partnership’ firm in India with online advertising and content based portal operations. This, says Murali, would have taken only a week to incorporate in China. “This shows the difference in regulations, and the startup friendly atmosphere available to early stage startups like us. Hope the Indian Government’s campaigns improve this situation, and helps the Indian startup ecosystem grow,” adds Murali.
Also Read: Vibha.M.Narshana, Founder, Solitaire Events
The Indian Tiger vs. the Chinese Dragon
After working closely with Chinese event managers, Murali believes that they are more systematic, professional, proactive, technology savvy, and entrepreneurial than their Indian counterparts. He adds that the Chinese government has created global event hubs in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen and many more Chinese cities, where large scale events are organized round the year. This attracts millions of business tourists from around the world to visit China, which in turn enhances trade and tourism. Events like the Canton Fair, Shanghai Auto Expo, and Guangzhou Auto Expo are the biggest events - at the global level.
“We just have the Delhi Auto Expo - which is conducted once in two years as the biggest event that we can talk about. China has the Canton Fair, which is biennial, and still has a global reach every session,” adds Murali. He believes that if the Indian Government promotes some cities as global event hubs, it will enhance global trade and tourism. This will also fuel initiatives like Brand India and Make in India.
“Our USP is to provide exclusive live and post event coverage on our web and mobile app, which will motivate both exhibitors and attendees to be loyal to a particular event, and even revisit the event,” says Murali. In addition, the live and post event coverage gives useful and appropriate information on the exhibiting companies and products.
At present, Goevnts is a content and advertising portal. They are planning to start with paid press releases - specifically for global events; and paid content - for event enthusiasts who might have missed any of the events and would still like to have access to detailed exhibitor and product information. They are looking to build a custom feature on their mobile app for event managers to keep in touch with their exhibitors and attendees, even after the event. They are also looking to grow their team size. Besides, they are on the lookout for investments to grow the company rapidly.
The event industry
The events and trade show market has close to five million meetings and events on a yearly basis. Reports suggest that close to USD 500 billion is being spent on the same. Emobitise, in its recent study, found that 79 per cent of its 931 respondents saw events as important to their business. It is therefore easy to understand why there are several big global names in this space - Eventbrite, DoubleDutch and Cvent.