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Ranked as Asia’s third-largest trade fair market, India’s exhibition sector has undergone a significant transformation. Globalization, tech, and Government initiatives have made it a major commercial platform. The sector has strong potential and is expected to reach US$ 5.23 billion in 2024 and rise 8.31 percent to US$ 7.80 billion by 2029.

Drawing insights from UFI’s 31st Global Barometer research, it is evident that the exhibition industry is witnessing dramatic changes. The report finds that 68 percent of people worldwide agree that ‘Changing customer expectations’ will have a big influence over the next five years. To understand how to keep customers and exhibitors coming back, as well as how to build resilience and growth in this industry, we turn to Srikanth TG, Business Head, HITEX, for his views.

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The HITEX Approach
According to Srikanth, the primary requirements of the exhibitors can be classified into two key categories. First is the ease of setting up the exhibiting space at the venue. This includes a lot of coordination regarding goods transport, extra furniture, accommodation, stall branding, and so on. In this regard, HITEX takes the utmost care in meeting the requirements of the exhibitors in the best possible manner. The organization’s operations team ensures a seamless setup experience through personalized communication. 
Secondly, the exhibitor aims for strong networking and visitor footfalls at the expo. Sharing his views on the increasing importance of reaching out to target audiences and business networking, Srikanth says that HITEX is very focused on visitor mobilization. He emphasizes, “The fact that HITEX’s own shows are growing in size as well as quality is a testimony to our successful, constant efforts in getting the right audience at the shows.” 

Cementing Long-Term Bonds
HITEX has been a well-recognized venue for hosting events and exhibitions of domestic and international stature for more than a decade. Srikant says, “Hence, for HITEX, retention is not just about inviting back exhibitors. It is all about establishing long-term partnerships.” Speaking of the venue’s USP, he states that HITEX’s well-equipped infrastructure and proactive service make it the ‘Most Occupied Venue’ in the country.
The operations team at HITEX facilitates the show organizers in all possible ways, ranging from obtaining necessary approvals to logistics, so that they can focus on their events. He reiterates, “HITEX is equipped with all modern amenities and facilities, and its infrastructure is one of the best in the country. We ensure that our customers have a fulfilling experience from pre-show until the end of the show.” 

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Setting the Stage
As a venue owner, HITEX leverages the most from its superb infrastructure and offers benefits like competitive pricing and easy setup timing to its customers. To this end, Srikanth points out, “Without compelling the organizer to choose exclusive or empaneled vendors, HITEX gives the organizers a choice to select their preferred vendors. The team also helps the show organizers identify proper vendors, if 
necessary. With regard to pricing and booking, the HITEX team is easily approachable, and good practices are in place to protect the interests of the organizer.”

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It is well acknowledged that exhibitor retention requires strategic approaches such as using technology (like Artificial Intelligence) to match data in a more effective manner and make sales lead generation easier. Pre- and post-event email marketing and webinars are essential tools to hold the engagement of the stakeholders. Providing customized buyer programs, in-person workshops, and networking opportunities are gaining importance in the Indian events and exhibitions industry too.
Studies reveal 80 percent of exhibitors prioritize measurable data and therefore track ROI thoroughly. Last but not least, using surveys like the ‘Voice of the Exhibitor’, to gather tangible inputs helps improve trade show experiences.

Building Bridges Beyond Borders
HITEX addresses international and outbound exhibitor challenges through personal communication and cooperation. In this backdrop, he shares, “The team at HITEX understands that the organizer, being from outside Hyderabad, requires local assistance for approvals, logistics, exhibition support services like stand construction, F&B, sound and light, security team, housekeeping, etc., and is always available for support.”

2024 Vision

A brightly colored tapestry of opportunity threads lies in the future for HITEX. The event calendar for the year 2024 boasts a diverse range of events that promise a one-of-a-kind platform and a unique performance of engrossment, reflecting its unconditional commitment and passion for the art of retention.

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Speaking of the 2024 calendar, Srikanth shares an impressive list of HITEX’s own shows, such as Eco Sustain Expo, Business Woman Expo, Hyderabad International Machine Tool & Engineering Expo (HIMTEX), India Process Expo & Conference (IPEC), Livestock, Dairy and Fisheries Exposition (LDF India), All in Print, HITEX SportExpo India, Hyderabad HITEX Kids’ Fair, and PETEX India, scheduled to take place this year. 
The Experience Continuum
In the dynamic Indian exhibition industry, retention is an ongoing process. HITEX’s innovative approaches and focus on customer and exhibitor satisfaction reflect this evolving landscape. The HITEX approach reveals a future direction where every show is a sage success, echoing the voices of satisfied exhibitors and captivated visitors.