Big events attract huge crowds: Auto Expo organisers

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Organisers of the 11th Auto Expo Saturday tried to ward off criticism of poor crowd management at the event saying that big events attract huge crowds.

‘Just as the Kumbh Mela is the king of all melas in the country, the Auto Expo is the king of all trade shows in India. Being the king of all shows it is quite natural to have huge crowds,’ said Rajive Kaul, former Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president and chairman of the current Expo steering committee.

‘The challenge is to manage the high visitor levels keeping in mind the infrastructural constraints the trade fair ground has. In this direction, based on our previous year’s experiences, we have already taken substantial actions,’ he added.

The Expo is jointly organised by Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and CII.

Industrialist Anand Mahindra Friday had slammed the organisers for the chaotic state of affairs at the Expo, likening the trade show to the Kumbh Mela.

‘The crowd management is dismal. Wall-to-wall people on a media day? Either management is lax or media is the most popular profession in India,’ Mahindra had tweeted.

Mahindra’s comments came after the first two days of the event, which were meant for official business and media interaction. But Friday saw media persons and exhibitors being physically harassed by thousands of freeloaders.

Others, however, saw the huge crowd at the event as an encouraging sign.

‘Wow! What a response. Even though visitors may be inconvenienced, in a slowing economy such keen interest and enthusiasm by visitors augurs well for the economy. I do hope that this will reflect in industry sales and growth of the Indian Automotive industry,’ said Sunil Kant Munjal, joint managing director, Hero MotoCorp.

Defending the organisers, CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said: ‘The visitors level have been restricted to only 70,000 per day as 30,000 people are already manning the exhibitors halls and facilities at the show. The number of exhibitors, have also been reduced from 2,100 in 2010, down to 1,500 this year.’