POP Asia 2005 kicked off in Mumbai on Thursday with all the enthusiasm that marks an ambitious first-time venture.
A mix of retailers, brand strategists, marketing and advertising professionals, producers and end users of POP turned up to keep their date with the first-ever point-of-purchase advertising show in the country.
Harish Bijoor, chairman, steering committee, was visibly impressed by the turnout at the Nehru Centre auditorium. "I'd thought not more than 50 would attend the forum, but I was wrong," he remarked. About 430 delegates and visitors from India and abroad had registered at the venue.
The two-day show has two parts. The first is the forum, graced by some of the leading speakers from corporate India and abroad who share their views on POP advertising and present case studies. The prime attraction here is a workshop to be conducted by Martin Pegler, the globally acknowledged Guru of visual merchandising.
The second aspect of the show is an exposition, spanning two floors of the Nehru centre. It hosts stalls and display kiosks of companies that deal with in-store and point-of purchase merchandising, display systems and packaging concepts.
Commenting on the importance of POP advertising, Bijoor, in his opening address made a few key observations that would define the theme for the forum. "Advertising is working less and less," he said. "That coupled with a marketing meltdown and clutter on mass media channels makes POP all the more important as a complementary alternative to print and TV advertising."
Currently, POP advertising which is part of out-of-home consumption accounts for only 7 per cent of the total Rs 11,500-crore advertising pie. But it is slated to grow fast because it is action oriented, immediacy-led, measurable and dynamic.
All the way from UK, Martin Kingdon, director general, POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International), UK and Ireland, kept the audience enthralled with his mix of serious talk and funny asides. Talking on brand and retail approaches to POP in the UK, Kingdon said that since 75 per cent of purchase decisions are made in stores, POP plays a crucial role in the "last three feet" that determines consumer decision.
He pointed out that the role of POP advertising is to "stop the shopper". "No matter how good the POP communication is, the consumer will not buy the product if it does not meet her requirements," he remarked. The POP advertising industry is worth 1.1 billion pounds in the UK.
Breaking off for lunch, the forum resumed with Nehal Medh, director-client servicing, A C Nielson, who enlightened the audience about the relationship between the average consumer and POP, from a researcher's perspective.
That was followed by a presentation by K Radhakrisnan, VP, merchandising and marketing, Foodworld supermarkets. He provided important insights on the how the boom in organised retail in the country has impacted POP and the later's role in the large-retail format store. And last but not the least, Ravi Pooviah, professor, IIT, Mumbai, took the audience through a tour of the world of design and technology in the context of POP advertising.
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