No Fair Game, Is It?
The India-ITME 2008, which made its Bangalore debut in the middle of November, turned into a stage for a few ugly scenes with some exhibitors belligerently protesting against the organisers on the eve as well as towards the close of the event. Some serious issues have surfaced, the foremost among them being the suitability of the new venue. Some exhibitors rightfully argued against the alleged stepmotherly treatment meted out to them in Hall 4, which was a temporary set-up to accommodate the last-minute applicants. The Bangalore venue might have been viewed as a better venue initially compared to the Mumbai Exhibition Center in Goregaon, but the distance between the centre of city and BIEC is abominably longer, that reaching the venue every day was an uphill task for many. Besides, there were Middle Levels and Upper Levels in some Halls, posing problems of visibility for visitors, which triggered off anger in those who were located there. But there were also many, particularly the overseas exhibitors, who did not pick any holes with the BIEC since they had in the past gone through nightmares in the Mumbai venue with its deplorable infrastructure.
The India-ITME 2008 was eventful. Despite the chaos of a few occasions, guarded replies of some exhibitors, enthusiasm of a few and happy, hopeful sense prevailing in any exhibition, one factor that was strikingly apparent is the waning interest of many in participating in exhibitions crowded within a short span of time. ITMA Munich was over towards the end of 2007, followed by ITMA Asia in the middle of 2008. And now the India-ITME. Most of exhibitors sounded as if they joined the bandwagon merely to safeguard their company's interest against fast-emerging global competition. Moreover, most of the exhibitors as well as visitors opined that they did not see much revival of the textile industry in the short run. Everyone agreed that days ahead in 2009 are going to be tough, and there is a clear sign that production of the textile industry will be on decline. But they also struck a hopeful note that the textile industry will weather the storm, as it has repeatedly done in the past.