It was a different feeling when I saw notification on Facebook regarding Stayzilla having an event in Lucknow. Like seriously?? My first reaction was that I hope that it is not a joke. Just five days back I had attended an event by Nvidia so I knew anything was possible. Just to be double sure I pulled up Stayzilla on twitter and asked whether it was an invite only event as the site asked for property type (for those who wanted to be associated with Stayzilla), I wanted to go as a blogger only, cover the event and see what they had to offer. Unlike delhi, the venue was just 20 minutes from my home. The guards were clueless as to how to guide people coming (maybe they were not used to seeing their hotel having events / conferences). A friendly darbaan guided us to the way, the Stayzilla board was also put in a place not easily visible to the human eye. Just outside the so-called hall, there were people from Stayzilla handing registration forms to be filled.
The event was about to start although very few people turned up on time. A girl Pooja came to me to ask whether I was having any difficulty in filling the form (I had left it blank). Just waited five minutes before filled in the basic info. We were shown some 5-6 ad movies about Stayzilla and its whole concept. The gentry in this event was in the age group of 60 and above, middle aged ones too (disaster later on). The man Anchit addressed us and began the presentation. For the first time ever I was not bored at a presentation. He said that he was from Bangalore but seeing his flawless Hindi I had doubts (turned out he was from the North). He gave the history of Stayzilla, the concept of homestay and how one can earn income by turning your home into an accommodation. A listing of 30,000 properties across 4500 towns and growing was impressive. Now you can have a place to stay according to your requirement in any city. The house owners had a wide choice of how they wanted their guests to be and with what references. Hosting of property could be done either through web, app or call Stayzilla support. Cancellation policy according to house owners, it was all there. It also gave me an insight as to how these portals work in this domain. Stayzilla is also planning to provide insurance cover to people to protect them from damage, bodily harm from guests. Some genuine queries and concerns were raised by the people present there. Security against damage, harassment by government departments were all discussed…. And then it all started…..
|Choose guests according to your preference|
Every event has its own etiquettes …. and it all went to rubble the moment Anchit started answering queries. The main mistake Stayzilla did was to have the refreshment table in the same hall at the back. Two things happened simultaneously –
1. The so called eager people gheroed Anchit just like people surround politicians when they visit the locality. That’s one mistake he did, he should have stayed near the stage and answered queries.
2. Taking advantage of the busy situation the rest attacked food (90% of them senior citizens) like भूखे , नदीदे unmindful of the fact that the presentation was still going on and the presenter was honestly trying to answer the various concerns. All the etiquettes went into the dustbin when it comes to food and I saw it with my very own eyes the so-called “Nawabi” people making a beeline for food as if it was a last meal they would have today. In less than a minute I could see school children type line being formed for food and mind you that it was not just light snacks, was proper refreshment. Event जाए भाड़ में, पेट पूजा ज्यादा ज़रूरी है.
It is disgusting when you go to an event and the crowd behaves in a very disorderly manner. Bombard a person answering queries while surrounding him in such a way that it would seem to any person that he is ready to be beaten up while the rest of the crowd unmindful of what useful information they could get out of the session are much more busy in food because its फ्री का खाना. Just behind me there there was a family of two sisters and her mother and they were also equally disgusted by what we saw. The way people were eager for food reminded me of what we call in a my community as गिद्धभोज (vulture dinner ). These are the same sort of people who come into events with a baraat mentality- अरे इतने का लिफाफा दिया है, पैसे तो वसूलने हैं ही..
इतनी दूर से आये हैं अब कौन वापस जा कर खाना बनाएगा, यहीं निबट लो.
I am pretty sure that had Stayzilla kept only tea/coffee the people would have reacted , “ सिर्फ चाय ही थी , खाने के लिए तो कुछ भी नहीं दिया उन लोगों ने, बेकार event था".
The future learning for Stayzilla and all such companies who are looking forward to having open events in Lucknow should take note of a few things primarily of which is to answer the queries of the persons from a designated place on the stage only which would enable others also to have a solution to their problems. Get close to persons to answer and you would be surrounded. The refreshments should not be in the same hall as the event because then it would be bye bye event , hello food. Bloggers should also be requested to come and cover the event ( I was lucky to have somehow got to know about the event).
All in all it was a good event but the happenings meant that I did not even like to have a cup of tea in the cold night. I was probably the only person who had left majority of fields blank of the form and written “ Attended as a blogger”. Lucknow is just not ready yet for open events like these, there is a lot to learn.
Stayzilla homestay in Lucknow and the गिद्धभोज Reviewed by Shwetabh Mathur on 1:33:00 PM Rating: