This BODYWEAR EXHIBTION was the mother of all Intimate Apparel Trade Fairs. All waited with bated breath. What will be the outcome of this event. Five years had gone past before the last big event in Delhi at NSIC in 2014. So naturally the pressure was on the organizers to bring back the magic that was so often seen in show after show of Bodywear that made it so iconic.
Many attributed the success that Bodywear had over the years was due to the crowd pulling gimmicks of the fashion show. Well even this theory was put to test here in Ahmedabad.
What makes the Ahmedabad market so unique?
Is it their love for lingerie? Their enthusiasm and their affinity to smell business which is the hallmark of very Guajarati a natural born trait.
It all started actually three months back in December when we actually took the plunge to organise this trade fair in the city of investors- Ahmedabad, we had done our customary surveys over different cities post Diwali and the choice was clearly centred on one city that is Ahmedabad.
Visiting Ahmedabad in early December to take stock of the venues where we can conduct this event, we saw quite a few which were either too small or too big for an event of our size. Then one of our close associate in Ahmedabad suggested that we check the GMDA grounds, and that was the perfect venue what we were looking for, I did the recce and did the necessary formalities to book the venue for our event.
Planning for the show:
By 20th December we were through with all the prior requirements of venue booking and getting the vendor in place for this event. We hit the road for the sales and marketing of 20th Edition of Bodywear, by putting out the video which has become very famous “We are back with a bang…”
From then on till the 6th of March our team of Sales and other support staff in marketing, promotion, VFX, Editing, Graphics, Tele-calling, Data mining, Event Operations, Planners and others put their heart and soul in making this show happen.
Week after week we were turning in with bigger and bigger brands who wanted to be part of our show. But rather than make each brand vary of the other we didn’t use the technique of black mail marketing which is a cheap tool used by marketers to drum up fear in the minds and coerce them into participation. We contacted each brand on their merit and why they should be a part of the show like Bodywear and what benefits it can get them.
Singing of Major Brands:
All major brands came around and they started signing up for this show. By 15th February a good 25 days before the event we were almost 80% sold. And the rest wasn’t a cause to worry because we had good inquiries which required time for conversion.
As the D Day neared we camped in Ahmedabad a good 10 days before the event, setting up our war room, getting the vendors in place for all the task, fine tuning each and every task over and over again to check if we hadn’t missed out any. Dealing with the vendors in a new city is always a challenge and we have to learn ways to get over that.
Finally, a Day before the event and the parties started to arrive, or rather their paraphernalia and booth material started to arrive. And slowly the whole place turned into a big construction site. All around you could see laborers ferreting in material, ply sheets, cut-outs, mock ups, electrical fittings etc. too and from the venue. As hour went by the venue took shape and the stall were put up. The energy was eclectic, and each one busy going about their chores with a deadline in mind. Slowly the day went past and now the shadows were lengthening further and the lights were on in full glow, some stalls were running behind schedule and we were trying to prop them up to complete their work so the show could start on schedule.
As the night rolled by so the weary workers too were resting besides their booths to catch a wink of sleep as other tolled and some other too rest.
Little by Little every booth started to take shape and the final finishing was on in many booths, especially the ones at the start of the show. By 4.00 am in the morning most of the booths were up and we were on our way for finial finishing and carpet laying. With the house keeping on their toes for final clearing of all debris and construction material out of the way, each booth was spruced up with lights and in the registration area too, the canopy in the house colour of Pink was especially put up to give it a nice feel of ambience.
As we neared the inauguration time, all the booth owners as well as their staff had arrived in full strength to take position at their booth. The staff at the registration counter were also ready behind their desk to receive the first flow of visitors, which started to arrive as the clock chimed 10.00 a.m.
Slowly the trickle that started turned in to many and the many into a bigger crowd, as some nitty gritties on the registration were being ironed out, our chief guest too arrived. Mr. Ratan Jaishingania of MY MY did the honours in lamp lighting followed by Mr. Sanjay Manocha The MD of Niksan and followed by Hemant Jaiswal of Bodycare, Mr. Ganguly of Bonjour, Mr. Rajeev Padwal of Little Lacy, Mr. Gautam Makhija of Sherry Lingerie and others did the honours in lamp lighting and invoking the blessings of the almighty in making this show a huge success.
The Turn out:
The visitors turn out which was quite steady for an hour suddenly turned into a deluge around noon and the visitors flow continued unabated till 4.00 p.m. on day one. The visitors were largely a mix from Ahmedabad city and the neighbouring cities and they were seen keenly visiting all the major booths. Some of the cities we received the visitors were from Rajkot, Surat, Anand, Himatnagar, Dhrangadhra, Amravati, Abu Road, Nadiad, Indore, Mansa, Upleta, Mundra, Ulhasnagar, Bhavnagar, Nagpur, Mehsana, Jaipur, Kochi, Mumbai, Vadodara, Morbi, Sikar, Jallandar, Jodhpur, Amreli, Surendranagar, Ujjain, Yavatmal, Akola, Vasai, Dahod, Palanpur, Jhunjhunu, Valsad, Bhuj, Chennai, Vapi, Veraval, Bharuch, Vijaywada, Batod, Palanpur, Udaipur, Valsad, Dindigul, Jaipur, Patan, Chikhli, Ankleshwar, Mandsaur, Dhule, Navsari, Sarkhej, Raipur, Kalol, Mansa etc. besides Ahmedabad.
We had some feedback and reactions from the participants and the visitors
Sherry traditionally has a good market in Gujarat, so it was natural to see buyers thronging their booths throughout the first and the second day. In fact, they didn’t get a moments rest, though they didn’t participate in the Book 2 Win scheme as they ran their own scheme. “We had our own scheme; we did not participate in the Lucky Draw. We had kept a small booking figure of 300 pieces and they could take away a trolley bag, which we would deliver to their store. Because of this also we got a good response.
This was veering away from the regular offering of 5 or 10 per cent. This scheme really clicked, which we did for the first time. Mentioned Mr Gautam Makhija MD Sherry Lingerie and to that he added “We received great support from the organisers. Overall we had a good experience.”
Mr. Hemant Jaiswal – GM Sales & Marketing from Bodycare Creations “It was a great experience and everything was organised quite well. We received a lot of good and genuine retailers, we developed a good relation as we’ve a lot of presence in Gujarat. Also the display at our stall was top class and we displayed a wide range along with the information about our brand. We launched men’s innerwear and sportswear and received a good response for the same and the same can be said about the new range of panties that we launched here.
The best part is we won a maximum no. of lucky draws as well. We are very happy with the arrangements and overall experience. I would like to thanks Mr & Mrs Manocha and Mr. Nikhil Manocha for making such lovely arrangements and taking care of us”
Mr Ratan Jaisingania from My My who did the honours of lamp lighting and opening the show on behalf of our participants was quite ecstatic at the brands we rolled out at this event. He conveyed his thanks on putting Ahmedabad on the map of India in a forceful fashion and he opined that people will not forget this show for a long long time. He spent close to 3 hours hob knobing with the participants and visitors who turned up to greet him and he was there on the second day as well conducting his business with the brands as well. Among the legion of distributors we had the Modi’s of KD Enterprise in full armoury at the Bodycare booth, and we had distributors from other participants viz : Mr. Amit Vora from Arihant Agency, Dilip Shah from Mahavir Sales Agency, Hardik Joshi from Khushi Enterprise, Kagdi Mohammed from M. S. Enterprise. Mr. Chandrakant Modi from K Dhayalal & Co. Mr. Nirat and Mr Kamlesh bhai of Arihant Enterprise, Mr. Sanjay of Mamta Sales, Mittal Vora of Chokshi Marketing etc.
And Mr. Puneet Grover of Floret Lingerie who saw the proceedings quite keenly had this to add “it was good event, it took place after a long time and the response was excellent. Visitors were good, the first day the crowd was less but the next day the footfalls covered it up. The exposure was good as well; it always is at such events and people who were not connected to us also, we could connect with them. Also, the Ahmedabad has one best lingerie markets in the country and they are good spenders as well. Though times are tough, since there’s a lot of competition in the market but overall it’s good. Our experience was good overall as far as the fair is concerned.
“The response was great and all what we expected in terms of visitors was Mother Value and Skin Line, the new products we launched at the exhibition, which received an excellent response. We received the great response for the same” opined Mr. Naresh Mewada of Skin Value.
US Polo was presently surprised at the response their booth was attracting for this show, considering that they had just done a road show some time back in Gujarat Mr. Sujoy Biswas averred “ Overall, it was a good experience. We got involved in everything with a large amount of retailers and distributors who we got associated with and in future also we would participate in such events. Also, the arrangements were good and everything was well organised”.
Mr. Mahesh Narvekar a first time participant with Bodywear was quite candid about his expectation and experience here at the show and this is what he had to say “The experience was very good; we received a very positive feedback from the buyers. This was the first time that brand C9 participated in any exhibition and the response was very good. We met a wide spectrum of people across the western market and product reviews were also good and encouraging. It was also properly managed and we also got very good exposure. We met influential market participants through the exhibition. Overall, it was a very encouraging and positive experience for our brand.”
The brand Jockey elicited the maximum no of inquiries and footfall, naturally so, because never ever have Page Industries participated in any Exhibition whether consumer or B2B. So it is to the credit of the organisers to having got Jockey to participate in this show. Actually it was a win win situation for both Jockey and the organisers, simply because Jockey got a platform to gauge the response from the dealers and distributors first hand, whom many in the seniors don’t get a chance to interact. And being an industry platform it is always good to interact with the peers of your industry and voice common concerns. Mr. Vimal Patel ASM Western Jockey who stood ground at the booth, sounded quite
enthusiastic and told us that the feed-back from this event would be a precursor to future event that Jockey would participate. They would review this very closely. As they always do with every project.
Mr. Ghanshyam Patel of Hemali who is a local brand from Ahmedabad was sceptical if they would get a good response through our event, after reassuring him he decided to participate and this what his reactions were “ It was a great experience as far as the brand is concerned. We were very happy overall and as far footfalls are concerned, they can always be more but whatever we expected, we received. We had a lot of visitors here compared to all the other events we participated in.”
Mr. Girish Phadke and Mr, Venkat Rajamani of Bitz were quite gung-ho about the company performance in this show. They had laid a perfect road map with a lot of preparation that led up to having a great showing Infact Girish mentioned “ It was very good, because being a new brand and all the distributors from Gujarat had come, along with the retailers. Everyone liked the concept of organic market, especially in the Gujarat market. We are happy with the overall experience. Since we also have the certification, people believe in the authenticity as well.
With the second day, the participants were quite expectant that the response will get them better dividends and as they were discussing the outcome of the day’s response and how the trade fair has been for them. The Press attended the trade fair on day one at the inauguration and they were entertained at the VIP Lounge counter. Many were seen coming back again to interact with the participants getting their bytes for their stories.
The second day started in true earnest and little by little the build-up started as the buyers started trickling in and by 11.30 a.m. there was a deluge and the registration counters had to be fortified with extra man power to cope up with the rush. Visitor after Visitor was in awe of the show and the way the brands had decked themselves. Some were completely floored by their presentation and took home a great imagery of the brands they work for, having met with the professional behind these brands perhaps for the first time.
The show reached its crescendo by 6.00 p.m. there was quite a lot of crowd still waiting to meet and continue the business which we could stretch till 7.00 p.m. on day two which was the closing time. Slowly the crowd started ebbing as it was time to say the final goodbye to the Bodywear Show in Ahmedabad, Dasvidanyia -Till we meet again.