Feedback of the Mega Event of ComFest 10 & the 50th Annual Awards by Dr. Mamta Ojha

Dr. Mamta Ojha,
Department of Communications,
Indore University,
State - Madhya Pradesh,

Dear Mr. Yogesh Joshi
President - ABCI,

I am happy and grateful to you for giving me an opportunity to be a part of such a marvelous event. I was feeling ashamed and was in two minds as to how I could adjust myself in such a great event? Your convincing could make up my mind. Actually the dilemma was because I would be missing my classes and therefore had to incur financial loss but the event was thousand times worth it. I feel totally honored for being part of this great event. I was also all the time wondering why you selected me for this lifetime opportunity, when I don't even represent any big platform and find myself just and just nobody to be given such honor and respect. Now that I was a part of the event I truly want to thank you for inviting me to Bombay.

There was a normalcy even with star speakers, even when they mingled freely with the audience. It was like seeing 'Tare Zameen Par'. The best part of the event was that it was a sincere effort when every single paisa spent for the event, by the organizers was utilized and justified its spending. There was sincerity on the part of organizers, sponsorers as they got apsorbed, involved and were totally a part of the event. The members sent by the sponsorers also played an important role in the success of the event, when they participated wholeheartedly and were not just there to enjoy the comforts of a Five Star Hotel like Taj. In fact, nobody in the event was there to enjoy the comforts of Hotel Taj wherein the American President had stayed a few days back. The ABCI event was bigger than biggest of the hotels. It became bigger because it was substantial and thought provoking. It was bigger because it was perfect. If we analyze the individual elements of the event, it will be as follows:

The Topics-
The Topic was Creating Industry Leadership through Communications Fraternity. An interaction between Academicians and Industry Professionals. The sub-topics here were (How can communication professionals create outstanding leadership in Industry-A Global as well as Indian perspective.).This topic is so much appropriated and is relevant to the banner of Association of Business Communicators when such kinds of associations are meant and that their objective must be to organize such kind of events. This topic involved the academic community like me, Dr Narasimha Reddy and the college students who assisted in managing the event.

Second Session
Topic - Is India emerging an Economic Superpower? Can reforms in budgets communicate better fiscal yields'? The topic has a global touch and is relevant. It also generated interest in the sponsorers as the sponsorers included people from financial community like Reserve Bank, Union Bank, Life Insurance Corporations. The topic involved the people from financial community into the event and once the involvement of audience is achieved the success is guaranteed.

Third Session
The topic after the lunch on the first day was' Interaction in between Media and Industry for Change' and the subtopics here were -'Corporate expectations from Business Media and Media Expectations from Corporate Houses.' This topic again is so much relevant, contemporary and current, and needs such platforms of ABCI to be discussed. This mutual relationship between business and media can take business to great heights and also help establish the power of media in this sector. The topic is very much relevant for business as well as media professionals.

Fourth Session
The topic in the fourth session was 'Manifold Dimensions of Business Communications' with the subtopic - Designing as a way to Communicate and Strategic & Tactical Communication. Designing is a part of communication and has its own language to communicate, hence was justified. We are well aware of the role of strategy and tactics in communication when they play an important role even in family, interpersonal relations, defence, marketing, and international relations and also in a socialist country like India. This topic is very much interesting, relevant, current and very much related to policy of Chanakya and Bhagvadgita. The topic chosen, stimulated the thought process which has to be elaborated and worked upon. These elaborations, which germinated at the time of discussions, can be printed in the journal of ABCI, which will give further meaning to the event and take down the event to the place of application and also among the masses.

Fifth Session
The topic Communications Fundamentals for Turnaround on the second day is again relevant and establishes the power of communication. The advertising clippings of Piyush Pandey the advertising man were entertaining and made us analyse the elements and factors responsible for creating the Buzz in communication.When this Buzz can be created with respect to advertising and have everyone talking about it then why not in the other most important sectors too.

Sixth Session
The topic 'Creating and Leveraging Communication Infrastructure for Global Leadership' again was relevant and established the power of technology to become a global leader.

Summary of Topics:
The centralized theme and topics chosen and revolving around the theme for speakers and discussion were contemporary, interesting, thought provoking, current and very much related to the event. Each topic had two sub topics, which further specified the topic clearly and made audience understand divergent views on the topic.

Speakers stayed focused on the topic and made a sincere effort to give their best on the topic. None of the speakers' speech was just an elaboration but it was specific, prepared in advance, substantial, relevant and productive. The speech of Dr Uday Salunke of Wellingkar Institute, Dr Narendra Jadhav, Member of Planning Commission, Mr Kumar Ketkar, Editor-in-Charge, Loksatta, Mumbai, and Mr Sam Pitroda was excellent.

The speech of Dr Uday Salunke was absolutely confined to the subject and relevant, whereas the speech of Dr Narendra Jadav was an outstanding piece of great knowledge coupled with exceptionally good presentation skills. It was wonderful when he could have so many facts with figures at his fingertips. All the audience was happy, satisfied and felt energetic after such an attractive display. The speech of Kumar Ketkar was too good and was thoughts provoking.

The speech of Mr. Sam Pitroda was mind blowing when it activated the mind, generated thoughts and created an urge in the audience for activation. The speech was able to change the mindset and was spoken directly from the heart and mind. It generated not only immediate response but it also generated lots of response in the audience. It was a speech of activation. It made me feel that I very seriously should work on the content side of communication when people are coming out with new innovations in communication infrastructure. I felt a serious lacuna on the content side of the media because if we give the best of the content to media, it can no doubt establish its power and bring about the necessary change in all sectors.

Chair Person for Sessions
The people chosen to be in chair did a good job of being the intermediatories, added strength, made their presence felt and controlled the direction of the event. Mr Sanjay Choudhary, Mr Jitendra Bhargava and Mr Roger Preira did the best of the job here. They were just perfect and played their role appropriately. They were able to maintain the very important time factor in sessions.

The duration of each event was exact, as it did not allow boredom to get built up in audience. The question answers session after the speech made the event participatory and involving everybody. It satisfied the audience as they too could have a say in the matter under discussion. Every moment of the event was important and productive and every single word spoken either by speaker or audience or the chairperson contributed to the substance and strength of the event. The people who were present at the event would want to see the recorded version in case if they would have missed anything, which means that, the event has a recall value. I am feeling at a loss because I feel that I missed out on a number of things and would feel happy if I get the recorded version. This shows that the sessions were valuable and important from audience point of view, which further justifies the importance of the event.

Timing of Sessions
Sessions started at exact timings and closed at correct time. Timing was maintained throughout the event. This was something very difficult to maintain as usually the speakers don't come on time or the audience does not gather soon after the tea and lunch breaks or the question answer sessions take too long a time.

About the President ABCI -
In the event I could see the organizing and controlling power of Mr Yogesh Joshi. I could see his Leadership skills, the determination, the passion in attitude and a perfect balance of emotions by having a very cool and professional and the most practical approach during the event. He appeared to be totally balanced and neither underplayed or overplayed his role of the President ABCI. The President never tried to become bigger than the event and speakers. He is a person of enthusiasm, zeal, passion, dedication, sincerity, honesty, responsibility and vision. Such virtuous qualities in the President will no doubt be beneficial to the banner of ABCI, as institutions can do wonders in the light of right leadership.

I never knew that events also as a form of Communication can take one to the stage of ecstacy. Well, this one did....when it made me sentimental at the end of the event, when the President Mr. Yogesh Joshi bowed down in front of the audience beneath the banner of ABCI. All the audience stood up one by one and clapped endlessly for the banner and for the man who justified being the President of this banner and tears rolled down from my eyes as I stood there clapping with the audience. I fail to understand what made me so sentimental...Probably it was the overwhelming response of the audience....or the sincere, responsible and honest part of the communicators...Or I was happy that my trip to Bombay was successful...or because I had not seen business awards to be so much glamorous, perfection...or that the audience truly understands a sincere and honest effort and even wants to express themselves. The event truly was a mega event and my salutations to the organizers, the banner, Hotel Taj of whose, I have always been a great fan for the values, virtues and integrity they have shown in Business. I have been talking about the event in all my social, professional, academic associations and of course the student community with whom I interact every day. This is the tribute I can pay to an event by diffusing it into all my associations and contacts. This propaganda is not for professional reasons but I truly want to pay respect to a genuine effort.

Association of Business Communicators of India (ABCI)
In the whole of the event it was the Association of Business Communicators of India, (ABCI), which was, projected the most. This projection was also not very much flashy but silent with a sincere, qualitative and honest approach. The event just tried to fulfill the objectives laid down by the ABCI, which truly all the associations must do. Though the event had other big names associated with it, like the Taj, Tatas, the star speakers, the awardees which of course were silently getting their due recognition, credit, and were being silently communicated, but value was being added mostly to the banner of ABCI. Hence values, credits, recognitions also were correctly managed. Don't know, but I feel changed after this event. I have understood the power and potential of communication. I realized communications could take business to great heights and help business attain the desired goals. If all business organizations give the deserved recognition to communication our country will be the best in business and will liberate itself from the bondages of poverty. India truly can become an economic superpower.

The Award Function
The 32 categories in awards represent all the Business communication media and the categories in prestige awards are absolute. The Award function carried with speed and motion. The music which followed when the participants came to receive awards made the business award function look likes Film Fare Award; however, it still maintained the sanctity of the Corporate Event. The enthusiasm and happiness of the participants could be seen in the awardees as they went to receive the award, which added to the success of the programme. By the number of entries received it was assumed that the pogramme will continue for a long time, but the programme got over in three hours and that too, when each awardee was adequately spent time on the stage with all adequate details through a technical representation. There were proper technical clippings, which highlighted the work of the each of the awardee in the prestige awards and in the corporate internal as well as external categories. The front cover of the magazines, brochures, wallpapers, and newsletters was all highlighted on the screen, so that the audience could have a glimpse of the work being awarded. The best part of the event was that timing was perfectly maintained at all times like the start of event, the conclusion. The duration of each day, each session was just perfect.

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