It was a slick and satisfying show: Nakul Chopra

13 Apr,2015

As Goafest 2015 concluded after the last of the Creative Abby Awards were presented, Nakul Chopra, chairman of the Organising Committee, tells Pradyuman Maheshwari that he is content to have helmed a successful edition of the three-day fest. And that he certainly achieved what he set out to do


As Chairman of Goafest 2015, your views on how the event was this year…

I feel all the boxes I wanted to tick have been ticked. I wanted this to be a grander, bigger, wider, deeper Goafest than it has ever been before. I wanted it to be a slickly-produced show. I wanted it to have all the elements, and I think I have done what I set out to do. Now it is for people to give us feedback about what they liked or didn’t like.


Is there something that you would like to include next year or in the years to come?

For me, a single-screen Goafest, 10 years after it was established, is the biggest shortcoming. We need to have a multi-screen, multiple-track event. Not everyone is interested in the same thing at one time. I need to give people a choice.. There are limitations, no doubt. But if I had to say what would be the target for next year, I would like add one more screen to the event.


But can’t you do something about the time of the event? April is too hot and humid…

What is the problem with the season? There are 2,000 people here. Does it seem like it an issue? I don’t think it is.


But the 2,000 could increase if the weather was better. In the past, Goafest has seen a larger number of people particpating

The maximum we’ve had is about 2,600. At this venue (Grand Hyatt), 2,000 is the upper limit. But 2,000 people do not all eat at the same time. And it’s a three-day festival, and almost half or more of the people attend on a two-day pass. They come either for the first two days or the second and third day. So I never have 2,000 people here all at once. Next time I don’t mind willing to take the risk of registering 2,300 delegates provided I am not selling them a three-day pass.


So will you continue with this venue?

I am not sure. Last year, we got feedback that the delegates missed the outdoors.  And this year, all the feedback I’ve got points to this being a better venue. So I don’t know. We had logistical issues with this venue last year. But I must say the hotel has done a great job. So there is a very high chance we will be back here next year.


What do you have to say about some sessions having poor attendance and half-empty halls?

I don’t think we need to have 800 people in the room for a session to be a success. For me, even if 200 interested people attend and go back saying they’ve got something from the session, it’s been a great one.


How do you ensure that the biggies from your fraternity turn up for Goafest?

I think the two things need to be separated. There is an awards event and there is a festival. The awards are a question of trust and credibility. According to me, that wasn’t an issue, and that’s why I am here. But we have to win back that trust and the credibility. Second is the question of the festival itself and how useful or meaningful it is, and what value can agencies extract from it. I may participate in the awards, but do I send 20 to 70 people to attend the festival as well? We are working very hard to make it people-oriented. So that they can plan more and focus on the young guys. The job the festival had to do, is demonstrate these values. I think we demonstrated that value this year. It took us a little time to build it up in a particular way. We had to reinvent things last year. So give us a little time, and we’ll get back. One day you and I will stand here and discussing the 4,000 delegates who attended the fest.


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