It is a cold January morning in Jamshedpur. The mist has not lifted yet, but there’s a palpable tension in the air at XLRI. For XLRI will play host to the biggest event of the year, the 37th MAXI Fair.

The Marketing Fair, or MAXI Fair as it is more popularly known, is an innovative tool for conducting market research and consumer behavior. Games and events are designed to surrogate actual research questions. This helps to elicit unbiased and accurate information about consumer perceptions and preferences. The Fair is organized by MAXI – the Marketing Association of XLRI. The “Jamshedpur Mela”, as it is lovingly referred to here by the citizens of Jamshedpur, commands a footfall of over 7000 people, making it the biggest marketing event in the country organized by a student body. After all, how many student bodies boast of a Guinness World Record for their activities?

MAXI Fair: A History

Born in 1979 of the vision of one of XLRI’s most eminent professors, Dr Sharad Sarin, the novel concept of the Marketing Fair is today an accredited marketing research tool. The MAXI Fair format integrates elements of disguised marketing research and assortments of popular entertainment to keep the crowd engaged. The fair and the promotional aimed at relevant target group draws people from Jamshedpur and the adjoining areas who participate in the disguised research.

Over the years, MAXI Fair has provided research insights to companies like P&G, Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Aditya Birla Group, Cadbury, Citibank, Coca Cola, ITC, Nestle and Pepsi.

Success Stories

The greatest testament to the power of this Market Research tool lies in the fact that companies have based their strategic business decisions on the research results which have emanated from MAXI Fair.

  • Brooke Bond: HLL launched a tea pack using insights from MAXI Fair. This Brooke Bond tea pack has gone on to become a Rs 100 crore brand
  • Nestle: Nestle changed its business strategy to launch NesTea™ based on MAXI Fair results
  • Richardson Hindustan: Richardson Hindustan test marketed their Herbal Vicks product at the Fair before its launch.

The University of Rhode Island has conducted this fair with very successful results. Several Indian Business schools such as IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow and MDI have conducted variants of this idea.

MAXI Fair 2015: A Lookback

The MAXI Fair 2015, its 36th version, was conducted during January 17-18 2015. The highlight of this MAXI Fair was the Guinness World Record for the maximum number of people involved in a handwashing relay. 991 people participated in the handwashing relay, in association with Reckitt-Benckiser, making it the largest such event. The Fair recorded a footfall of over 7000 people. Research insights were provided to various top companies, ranging from FMCG to telecom.

MAXI Fair 2016

2016 will see the MAXI Fair in its 37th edition. Another year older and grander, this year’s marketing extravaganza promises to be the best Fair yet. Make sure you’re there for the treat that will be the Jamshedpur Mela!

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