I spent the last 3 days at the SCMM Expo and got a very good ground level feel of things. I thought I will share my summary thoughts on this post.
I went there originally to help Amit B Sheth with his stall to sell Tshirts for RUHI but also ended up manning the stall of Rahul S Verghese when he was short staffed.
In both locations and elsewhere, I spent time talking to random runners touching on various topics and the following are my summary thoughts.
1. The expo is possibly the largest running event in the country and can be considered as the on-ground marketplace of the running industry. As a marketplace however it met with many shortcomings.
AS A DESTINATION TO BUY WHAT YOU WANT:
2. I was asked numerous times, in both stalls where one could get a phone holding armband. There was none on sale at the expo. This was not so last year, when Chintu Karia had his stalls. It then struck me that many local retailers who cater to runners were not present. Such as Chintu Karia and Total Sports which is led by a running couple and lead the largest chain of sports goods stores in Mumbai. I had a mandate to pick up a waist pouch with two bottles holding capacity and could not get an appropriate one. Many runners wanted things like resistance bands etc and there was none to be had. As a marketplace it thus was not well represented by sellers so that runners could be sure of getting anything running related there.
AS A VENUE TO TRAIN BETTER:
3. I was enquired so many times about training. Every runner wants to become better by training. Besides Striders there were no stalls for other groups that are equally large. Run India Run, Princeton, Raj Vadgama and Nike Training Club were remarkably absent. Thus if a runner wanted to move from a Dream Run to a Half Marathon next year, by better training, the expo was not the place to find that answer. The number of runners whom I met, who continue to be self trained was astonishingly high.
AS A VENUE FOR BETTER NUTRITION:
4. As a venue for nutritional advice there was none. Yes, there were stalls for Herbalife ( shady at best ), GU gels, Perk ( ? ), MTR and Organic Gardens..but none for sound nutritional advice and OH YES weight loss. Stalls by players in this space such as Rutuja Divekar, Spa Nutrition of BLore, VLCC etc could have seen good foot traffic by the runners.
AS A VENUE TO HEAL BETTER:
5. Statistics indicate that 60% of all runners suffer from some sort of running related injury. If runners hoped to find a solution to their running related injuries, this was not the place to find that answer. Sports Medicine units of Kokilaben Ambani, Asian Heart, Qi Spine Rehab etc who deal with runners injuries were all uniformly absent.
AS A VENUE TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT THE EVENT:
6. The confusion about start point of the HM still prevailed. Most of the HMers still think it is Dadar Catering college start. Every runner has so many questions to ask about the event…even old runners have queries to ask. How nice it would have been if there were stalls that had “SCMM Genuis” answering your questions..similar to Apple stores. Or information kiosks that had FAQS installed.
AS A VENUE TO GIVE FEEDBACK ABOUT THE EVENT:
7. Every organiser needs to get feedback to improve. And what better avenue than to use the expo as an opportunity for feedback. Neither the event nor the goody bag had anything by way of Feedback form / Suggestion box.
However whether Procam sees the SCMM Expo as a industry marketplace or not is another issue altogether.
Some full resolution images of the photos my son Vivek clicked at the Expo.