Editorial – April 2022
Apart from organising our own branded events in the metallurgical domain, ‘Metalworld’ (and ‘Steelworld’) gets numerous invitations to associate with other events as ‘Media Partner’. We promote the event through editorials as well as advertisements and also carry pre and post events reports in our publications. Now post covid, the organising and promotion strategy of such B2B trade shows has already undergone a huge change and I feel in the next few years, these events will decisively shift to digital platform. I do not mean the ground shows will completely stop but the online part of these trade shows will gradually grow. For the next few years, I see a hybrid model (comprising of both ground as well as digital mode) will remain popular but then gradually the ground component will taper. This is obvious as we can’t just ignore the enormous benefits of digital platform such as cost effectiveness, global reach, can be visited 24 X 7, simplicity of operations, etc. Further, as the youngsters are taking the guard and the seniors are returning to the pavilion, the use of digital platform in the promotion, visibility and advertising strategy is bound to increase.
There were two events recently held, one in Mumbai (Global Stainless Steel Expo) and one in Gandhinagar (IFEX & 70th IFC). I saw a fresh enthusiasm in exhibitors as well as visitors. The past two years were really dull for the corporates and even on the individual level, the interactions were mostly on digital platforms. I do agree that meeting friends, acquaintances, associates and customers in person has its own charm and the participants were really enjoying the first mask free industry gathering after the deadly pandemic. Smiles & handshakes all the way !
On the industry front, the demand seems to be ok and growing. Most of the disruptions were corrected after the covid and now the industry was really looking forward to a great upward leap but for this Russia – Ukraine war. This has drastically affected the prices and the availability of most of the raw materials and this seems to have neutralised all the positive effect of growing demand. The war now does not seem to be nearing the end and after sinking of the Russian warship Moskva in the Black Sea, there is a likelihood that this will not remain merely a war between two countries and can escalate to any level. It is also very sad to learn that Azovstal Iron & Steel Works, situated in the city of Mariupol, producing more than 4 Mt of crude steel annually and providing livelihood to more than a lac families, has now turned into a key battleground in this bloody war.
Let’s hope both sides’ leaders understand the plight of the world economy and discuss ending violence and establishing peace !