While I am back to work after the Tech Summit in Doha recently, I am drafting this recalling how an idea of conducting a routine event in a different way became a reality.
It all started after I got elected as the Chairman of the TechSummit 2019. Tech Summit is an annual event which is conducted by ISODA (Infotech Software Dealers Association) outside India. Soon after assuming the position, a survey with questions amongst the ISODA fraternity gave me clarity on how to take this event ahead. While there were thoughts on where to do this event, most of the members suggested the event should happen outside India. Another insight I got from most of them was the content segment. I somehow got feedback from majority members that they want a mix of technology and business oriented sessions. Based on the feedback received from them, we finalized the topics and sessions. Thus I got a fair view on what the participants expect from the event.
Then we decided to reach out to the sponsors. Some of the current trends I notice while approaching sponsors are, they wanted to know how they can benefit maximum by participation apart from speaking slot. Hence we have structured the offering with the display area and 1:1 meeting between sponsor and sponsor chosen partners. These offerings made them look at the event differently.
Their expectations are changing and some of the questions they asked before sponsoring the event were around, what will be the profile of attendees, how many delegates will be attending the event, what else we get apart from speaking slot and more. I spoke to most of the sponsor directly and explained the benefits, documented and delivered our commitments.
With respect to the event venue, we had one option in South-East Asia ‘Bintan island’ on which we got some negative reviews with respect to uncertainties. Thus we decided to do in some Middle-East or Asian country. Initially, we looked at Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Hong Kong. After shortlisting, we wrote to everyone and Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Hong Kong tourism responded. After the initial discussion, we further shortlisted Qatar, Hong Kong, and Oman. Qatar tourism board took additional efforts and came all the way to support us. As I mentioned in my keynote address, the Qatar tourism board and the Indian Embassy in Qatar whom they connected us worked as a corporate organization be it responding for emails, gathering knowledge on us etc. Thus we had shortlisted in Qatar. We had sent emails to three hotels. The hotel where we had conducted the event was finalized based on the merit. We also met the Indian ambassador to Qatar during a visit which me and my team made before the event. After much interaction, we had I wanted to do this event different and that is how I wanted to make it a business edition. Having more than 80 Indian technology business owners, I pitched it as a business delegation. The Indian embassy had supported us in all possible ways.
I cannot forget the support from Qatar tourism which rendered their best possible support. They helped us the with the venue, airlines, event organizing company and more. Indian embassy connected us with the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) which works under the guidance of Indian Embassy Qatar. Thus we made networking dinner on 31st Jan possible between both the business communities. I am sure trade exchanges will start between both sides.
Within ISODA organizing team, we had sub-committees. The event management and delegate management committee headed by Rakesh Chawla, Media management committee by Manasi and Vimesh Avlani, while the sponsor management was taken of care by Gunagharan and Pradeep Daga . Those four leaders, in turn, formed their own team and started working. And Devesh Agarwal was responsible for ‘Business excellence awards’.
I am sure that next year TS10 next year is going to be much better than this year. Looking forward!
(The author was the chairman of the recently-concluded ISODA Tech Summit 9. Views are own. )