Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has recently announced to restart Exhibition Business with the launch of Maiden edition of “Healthcare & Hygiene Expo 2020”. The show is scheduled for 22-26 June 2020. A Five-day comprehensive virtual exhibition on a subject, which is quite relevant to present conditions, is being considered as a welcome step by the industry experts. Key focus sectors shall include Ayush & Wellness, Medical Devices, Medical Textiles, Pharmaceuticals, and Sanitization.  

While most Industry mates are still discussing and deliberating on Lockdown, tentative measures, Situation Post-COVID and Bounce Back strategies, such announcement by FICCI is definitely being considered as the start of new era. THEASSOCIATIONNEWS Media Group speaks to Mr. Balvinder Singh Sawhney, Assistant Secretary-General, FICCI to get inside the story of the initiative, thought process, and future plans.


TAN: When everyone is still deliberating and discussing what next for Exhibitions. At the same time, FICCI is moving ahead with a virtual event. What’s the thought process behind this project?


BS: As you are aware that COVID 19 is one of the biggest disasters mankind has ever faced in recent times, bringing disruption to human life worldwide. With no vaccine or treatment currently in place, social distancing, containment and restrictions are the only way forward in the time being until the curve flattens and normalcy prevails. In the scenario, when no large gatherings and physical events taking place, going virtual is the new normal or interim solution. The idea is to transport the user into a life-like simulation of an actual brick and mortar space with all the elements which are physically there at any expo and providing a vantage platform for networking, building linkages, and capitalizing the business opportunities.


TAN: Please share some key insights about Expo? 


BS: The Virtual Healthcare & Hygiene Expo 2020 – India’s first International Virtual Exhibition & Conference on Healthcare and Hygiene will be organized by FICCI between June 22-26,2020.  This will be first of its kind of Event which will be organized on a virtual platform and digitally accessed by Buyers from across the globe. The first edition of VH&H Expo 2020 will comprise of a five-day comprehensive virtual exhibition on sectors like AYUSH & Wellness, Medical Devices, Medical Textiles & Consumables, Pharmaceuticals, and Sanitisation. This virtual event will also feature various Webinars discussing various issues and opportunities in focus sectors post-COVID. 


We will invite Buyers from over 120 countries to participate from the comfort of their home-countries to interact live with the exhibiting companies. The participants will have an immersive experience and the virtual platform will be close to a conventional exhibition that can’t be organized in the current scenario. it will be a unique experience for the participants to interact with each other at the ease of their office/home in these difficult times and get business generated. This expo will comprise of a Dedicated Virtual Exhibition showcasing products and services of more than 100 manufacturers. Various Webinars will also be hosted during the expo. Digitally enabled B2B meetings will also be organized between Exhibitors and Buyers. During this virtual exhibition, the Buyers can visit the Expo, check exhibitors’ profile, products and then can fix meetings and meet them in the Live hours which will be 12 noon - 9 pm IST enabling the entire world to join.


TAN: This would be the strategy for time being or there is more to it. Please share the key insights of roadmap starting with this first virtual expo?


BS: The world grapples with the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19, we at FICCI are committed to support and help the Indian industry navigate the crisis, plan for the future, and generate business including exports. Crisis shall spur the adoption of new technologies, business models, and move towards further digitization. The attempt is to add spring in the steps of the business community wherein they would be able to network with their peers, meet prospective buyers and generate business opportunities to support their units and keeping jobs intact. Eventually, normalcy shall prevail and we can contemplate virtual being an added element in the armory until travel restrictions are imposed.  Also, it counters the cost challenges, travel embargos and fear psychosis for the community to travel freely. It can be a hybrid model complimenting Physical events. We hope to be back next year, we at FICCI have shifted most of our calendar events between Jan - Mar 2021 and I am given to understand that's the strategic shift being considered by all major organizers. 


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