Sustainable take on exhibitions

At a time when exhibitions are getting bigger and grander, Très 2019 held at Andaz Delhi came as a breath of fresh air, bringing together around 50 hotels and 150 tour operators in settings that reflect sustainability at every step, right from décor to concept. Perhaps a wise model to follow for many shows!

Nisha Verma

Moving beyond RARE, Très 2019 has certainly created a niche for itself in terms of offerings as well as ethos. A different entity altogether, Très 2019 brought together a total of 50 hotels under one roof, all following the same philosophy and principal. Sowmya Vijaymohan, Founder-Partner, Très, shared the idea behind the event, saying, “When I joined RARE India, I felt the need to have a large format for not only the RARE hotel partners but also those who were categorised under the concept of small individually-owned properties specialising in sustainability. With Très 2019, we are trying to facilitate this one set of people who put out these beautiful experiences, and we have another set of people who are perhaps interested in these experiences but don’t know where to find them. Since these small properties and individual stand-alone properties don’t have the wherewithal to be part of all the shows, we have managed to get these people to meet each other. Très is the celebration of that.”

Tracing the origin of the idea, Shoba Mohan, Partner, Très, revealed that it was Vijaymohan’s larger idea that has been in conceptualisation for the last three years. “The agenda was to organise an event that’s not restricted to RARE and its partners only but also other properties and people who love to work with RARE. It’s been ideated for a long time but Sowmya really powered it. Last year was the first step in that direction which has now evolved to become a much larger perspective,” she shared.

Vijaymohan added, “All the 50 properties showcasing at Très was by invite only. The two-day exhibition had around 50 per cent RARE properties while the non-RARE hotels were again from the field of intimate boutique, concept and experience-led properties in the Indian subcontinent. So there were many people coming from Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka too.”

The event this year was much bigger not only in terms of exhibitors but also in participation, shared Vijaymohan. “Besides pre-scheduled appointments, we also had around six FTOs from different countries. One of the biggest manifestations of our success lies in having FTOs who fly all the way by paying their own fare without being hosted by anyone. We did host their stay but coming all the way from the UK, Singapore, Germany, France or Sydney, is in fact a great expression of interest. In the evening, we opened the exhibition to larger number of people, whilst having Très Discover sessions meant to discover trends, discuss ideas and get insights into a destination with an expert.”

Even in terms of décor, the event followed sustainability to the core—a lesson for many other exhibitions with grand stalls using flex and plastic in abundance. “Unlike last year, this year was held indoors and we liked the flow of the studios whilst getting constant light in the space. We used glass bottles and recycled cardboards, and tried to do away with plastic as much as possible. Even for the lanyards, we used paper and a traditional ‘mauli’ instead of plastic ribbons. Through our years together, Soumya and I have learnt a lot and we know what’s working. Of course, the tour operator fraternity has been a big support, and there is no doubt about it,” stressed Mohan.

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