It was all about lights, camera and technology (think drones, robot bartenders and printable 3-D cake toppers!) at the recent WeddingSutra Engage which was held in association with partners Panasonic Lumix and Blue Sea Catering & Banquets in Worli, Mumbai, on November 1, 2018. The panel discussion was centered around the impact of technology on Indian weddings.
The evening saw experts from the wedding industry such as leading wedding planners and photographers put on their tech hats and participate in a stimulating panel discussion that was moderated by Anand Rathi, director of Reels and Frames.
The panelists included Aditya Mahagaonkar – co-founder of WhatKnot, Akash Agarwal – co-founder of WeddingNama, Divya Chadha – founder of A Klass Apart, Trishant Sidhwani – co-founder of DreamzKraft, Siddharth Sah – founder & CEO at MakeWhale, Vikram Mehta – founder of Mpire weddings, and lastly, Vishal Shah – director of Glow Show Entertainment.
Yogesh Kunte, ASM- Mumbai & Goa for Panasonic Lumix range of products represented Panasonic at the event, and he held one-on-one conversations with wedding photographers about the advanced features of the brand’s latest offering – the Panasonic LUMIX GH5s. The brand has always been a pioneer in the mirrorless camera market and recently, with its G and GH-series being used extensively by professional photographers across industries, it just proves that the bigger is not necessarily better anymore in this field.
There were rich insights and counter views presented at the panel discussion that graphed the transition from ‘wedding videos to wedding films.’ Aditya Mahagaonkar of WhatKnot shared, “With improved products and new software coming up, things have become much easier. For example, GoPros have made pool party shoots a cakewalk! However, I believe, it’s still all about the eye and the perspective.”
Shedding light on the transition of wedding videos to wedding films, Akash Agarwal of WeddingNama said, “Nowadays, no one calls themselves a videographer, everyone holding the camera is a cinematographer, and this isn’t just because of technology but also because the industry today includes people who have studied their craft well. As for the role of technology, it has paved the way to creativity. The following year, I won’t be surprised if they come up with a camera that can be taken underwater without a cover!”
The role of technology in the wedding planning process was recognized by Vikram Mehta of Mpire Weddings who shared, “I’ve always positioned wedding planning as a very personalized craft. When asked about technology, it mainly comes in at the backend with excel sheets, drives and all. The latest and most effective impact I believe is the ease of holding video calls especially for destination weddings.”
With wedding apps doing the rounds these days, wedding planner Divya Chadha observed that “Wedding apps are usually customized keeping in mind guest interactions, and no doubt, they are great for it! However, when viewed from the planner’s point of view, the question that arises is, how many of your guests will download the app? But technology has much more to play with; recently we planned a wedding with robot bartenders!”
Adding to her point, Vikram added, “Also, wedding apps may be useful before the revelries begin, however, on the day of the execution, it’s superfluous.” According to him, it was all about Instagram and SnapChat these days. Innovations in this field could include personalized filters for a wedding on popular platforms such as SnapChat.
“Unless one truly understands the concept of wedding planning and the problems of wedding apps, this concept becomes redundant. Technology provides a wide scope, but this is only beneficial when used the correct way,” affirmed Trishant Sidhwani of DreamzKraft.
Vishal Shah noted that “In the case of weddings, there is always going to be a personal touch involved. In the future, I see bots taking up RSVPs, but as for apps, I believe too many of them are already fighting for space on our phones!”
Didn’t the 3D printing on Sonam’s wedding cake leave us all awed? The face of the brand behind it, Siddharth Sah of MakeWhale shares, “The concept of 3D printing on cakes was not popular before; many still don’t even know about its existence! After Sonam’s wedding, however, we have many people looking at unique customization elements!”
The panelists moved on to share the importance of social media and digital marketing for making a wedding trend online as well as helping planners to target its target audience at the lowest cost.
The hour-long panel discussion revolved around interesting questions such as – Would virtual reality weddings become a norm in the future? Will robotic bartenders replace human servers at the drink counter? Could an app or website enable people to click and pick what they needed in a transparent DIY wedding planning process? Would guests relish edible 3D printed burgers at weddings? The consensus among most of the panelists was that in a fragmented wedding market like in India, human interaction would still be a mainstay when it came to services and products. “Indians love negotiating!” remarked Vishal Shah – and that’s something clients cannot do with machines! Siddharth Sah added that he did not think people would want to wait an hour for a burger to be ‘printed’ at a busy wedding – so regular catering would be around for a lot longer.
The production decor at the event was executed by VPLAN Unlimited and one of the highlights included the lush green and white floral and foliage arrangements around the event’s backdrop signage on stage.
An invigorating session of networking followed the panel discussion as guests and panelists exchange notes over a sumptuous high tea prepared by the Blue Sea Catering & Banquets team.
Event Partner: Panasonic Lumix
Venue Partner: Blue Sea Catering & Banquets, Worli
Production & Decor Partner: VPLAN Unlimited
Catering: Blue Sea Catering & Banquets, Worli
Emcee: Bhavana Bhatia (ANS Entertainment)