Maninder S Sethi, Founder - Wedding Asia Wedding Asia is a premium wedding exhibition platform in Asia. Catering to every need of the bride and groom including designer outfits, jewellery, wedding planning, photography, venue selection, decorations and more. Q1. Wedding Asia has been a brand to reckon with for brides, grooms and wedding planners in India and abroad. In the 15 years of its amazing existence, how has the journey been? Maninder: It feels as if we began our journey only yesterday. In these 15 years, we have witnessed the emergence of weddings from ‘Big fat Punjabi Wedding’ to Big fat North-Indian Weddings' to ‘Big fat Indian Weddings’. Today, weddings are truly the biggest festivity in India. We don’t celebrate the festivals with the as much fervour as we plan and celebrate weddings in India. Q2. The wedding industry was badly hit during the Covid-19 phase, how did Wedding Asia re-invent its avatar and make it solution-oriented for designers, jewellers, brides and their families? Maninder: The Year 2020 was a complete setback for the wedding trade. The Spring/Summer wedding season was badly affected with large-scale cancellations. Some weddings that were scheduled for the peak season (Oct-Nov-Dec) time, were also deferred to next year (early 2021). We, at Wedding Asia were receiving so many distress calls from our patrons and families. Trade partners, designers, jewellers and other exhibitor categories were highly concerned and worried about the future of their businesses. We were quick to sense the urgent need to do quick strategic planning to re-establish the platform in order to cater to the needs of affected parties. Just as soon as the Government relaxed the lockdown regulations with unlock guidelines, we started a series titled 'Wedding Asia - Private'. This series was especially crafted with utmost precision to cater to the urgent requirements of brides and grooms-to-be. We ensured that all guidelines of safety and hygiene were promptly adhered to in a safe environment, keeping a check on the maximum number of visitors in a single gathering. Wedding Asia – Private ensures a safe environment for patrons to make bridal purchases Q3. An exhibition format attracts big crowds; how did Wedding Asia ensure adherence to best precautionary measures? In which destinations did the exhibitions in new format take place. How was the response? Maninder: We were very particular to adhere to the Covid-19 safety guidelines. We initiated 'pre-registrations' for the visitors and allotted them hourly slots. We allowed only 25-30 visitors per hour only, whilst maintaining proper distancing as well. Overall, our patrons and visitors felt cared for and the response was amazing. We received accolades and much encouragement. Such well-planned events with pre-registrations eventually aided the weddings trade by building confidence levels with the brides and grooms' families. Confidence in Wedding Asia team led to revival of the wedding business too. From third week of August till the third week of December 2020, we planned properly and travelled with the specially-crafted exhibition format to Mumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ludhiana, Pune, Raipur and Kolhapur.