Mangrol Multimedia at New Delhi World Book Fair 2017
Saturday 14 January 2017
If you are an avid reader, if you love books and literature, and if you in Delhi this weekend, you
ought to be at the National Book Trust’s New Delhi World Book Fair 2017. On the second last day of
the fair, an unprecedented response from book lovers kept all participants busy throughout. Add to
that visits by various school’s students in big numbers and also, outstation visitors who had come to
the Capital this weekend especially for the fair. Together, they made Saturday a memorable day.
Here are few observations about the fair and its happenings:
We learnt that the fair was originally organised in the month of February and attracted much bigger crowd than what it is attracting now. Reason is that Delhi becomes much warmer in February so more people come to a fair like this at Pragati Maidan. We don’t know why NBT changed the month of this fair, but we sincerely believe that organising it in February would be a better thing.
Demonetisation has affected sell of books this year to an extent. It was expected and inevitable also. However, many publishers said that they lost a notable chunk of business because of poor Internet connectivity in the halls. Point of Sale (PoS) machine did not work smoothly and so, buyers had to cancel their purchase. We strongly believe that NBT can afford providing free wi-fi connection, at least one, if not more, to every stall in today’s time. Better Internet connectivity would mean a big relief in many sense. And participants who pay handsomely deserve such a facility.
The Pragati Food Court, which has a limited choice of food (things were better in 2016 when we had come to the fair as visitors), should have more stalls and variety. Also, we fail to understand why food is so costly. A fair of this kind entice people from all walks of like and not all can afford eating food at this pricing. There is a need to do something about this. When a humble tea is priced at Rs. 40, and chhole bhature is priced at Rs. 120, it becomes difficult for many to satisfy their hunger. And after all, a book fair by a government agency is not a complete commercial enterprise.
One of the best services NBT provides to visitors is of free shuttle service within the entire Pragati Maidan area. Not only this service is very good, but most drivers are helpful to visitors. Go to any gate or try looking for a shuttle service outside any hall, chances are you won’t have to wait for long. That’s really appreciable.
Most of the halls in the fair are divided according to subjects and interests; like Hindi and regional languages, children, and so on. While most arrangements seem good and appropriate, we felt that foreign participants should be provided an opportunity to grab more eyeballs. A way to that could be earmarking some space in all the halls for foreign participants. That way, they may succeed getting more visitors. Also, when India is becoming a world hub for business as well as other things, having foreign language stalls in all the halls would give many curious visitors a chance to get closer to new writings.
The timing of fair is 11 am to 8 pm on all the days, except the last day when the closing time is curtailed to 5 pm. We feel that the shortening of the last day’s timing may be done for administration purpose by NBT. However, the opening time on all the days can be made 10 am, as Delhi gets going quite early. Many visitors may like to be at the venue earlier than 11 am and so, change of time would help them.
In this age of technology, NBT can also think of putting up digital signage and display providing information on the fair. Such a facility may also be used to earn more revenue by offering time slots for advertising to participants.
It is sad that most regional languages, except the national language Hindi, are represented quite poorly at NBT. We don’t know much about past, when other languages must have had better representation at the fair. A retrospect in this regard is really needed. NBT can think of putting extra efforts to have better involvement of language publishers in the fair.
Finally, we also felt that the fair deserves much better publicity campaign in the entire Delhi region. Poor publicity means poor response and the Asia’s largest book fair should always get response that creates a lasting impact.
With this, we are eagerly waiting for the last day of the New Delhi Book Fair 2017. Hopefully, we
would see the best of footfalls and response on the last day!
Keep reading for better living!
Mangrol Multimedia is a participant in NDWBF 2017. We invite you to visit our stall to explore our services and samples.
Dates: 07 to 15 January 2017
Venue: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi