The Electronic Retailing Association

Report from the Annual Membership Meeting in Prague

Dsc_0941
The Charles Bridge, Prague in the afternoon light

January 18th - 20th, 2017

Prague: a Bohemian Rhapsody

If you have ever had the chance to walk over the Charles Bridge at –10 degrees in the bright January afternoon light, you will have a different understanding of these famous words, a Bohemian Rhapsody …at the 2017 Membership Meeting we did indeed have the chance to have this experience.

Dsc_0932
The lobby of The Four Seasons Hotel, Prague

The Membership Meeting took place at the Four Season´s Hotel, situated directly by the Moldau River, opposite the ancient city centre and within walking distance of the afore-mentioned Charles Bridge. We enjoyed excellent accommodation at reasonable rates, as Prague at this time of year is not overrun by tourists.

The activities started with the committee meetings so that all attending members had the chance to join in and to get a glimpse of the work and results produced in those meetings.

Dsc_0939
Swans on the river in Prague

Public Affairs Committee

During the Public Affairs committee meeting the main issue discussed was whether to once again conduct a European market survey - the last one was done in 2012. As an Association, it is crucial to present stakeholders and regulators/industry authorities reliable numbers about its members and the industry which it represents. Due to the very good financial shape of our association, the board (and later the general assembly) decided to make this major investment in a new survey. Whilst, in 2012, the study only focused on France, Germany, Italy and the UK, the 2017 study will feature market analysis and revenue forecasts for 10 countries and evaluate customer media usage patterns in five core markets.

The committee further discussed a budget for potential partnerships with organisations or service providers that would provide a better source of information on relevant activities in Brussels and provide direct access to the Brussels stakeholders.

Dsc_0936
The tower gateway onto the Charles Bridge, Prague

Self-regulation Committee

Sabine Christmann, who recently took over the SRO position, gave the committee an overview of the status quo and the next steps planned for 2017. We are planning to offer a further language version of our consumer website www.shopwithconfidence.eu to promote our activities in this field with regards to consumers, which will increase the credibility of our industry and especially our member companies. We will also see Sabine on the mcms panel discussing the stretch between knock off and self-regulation: Product Pirates and Self Regulation – can Industry Standards also Protect Intellectual Property.

Dsc_0953
Beautiful old Prague buildings

Membership & Conference Committee

The Membership & Conference Committee focussed on the upcoming Venice conference. Sandra Weiser presented challenges such as transportation in an island situation (there might not be a 24/7 service). Other challenges such as the cost structure to organise the conference and the attendees pricing were discussed. Being a non-profit body which organizes the event mainly for its members, the board decided not to mirror the cost structure by increasing the conference prices but to keep the same price level as in the past.

Dsc_0956
Prague at dusk

Board Session

In the follow-on board session, the main issues were the financial statement and the 2017 budget. The general assembly reviewed all the board proposals regarding finances.

The membership applications of all new 2016 member companies were approved. So please welcome the new member companies.

Dsc_0971
The Charles Bridge on a cold january night in Prague

New member companies:

Allesanderx S.p.a. (Italy), Dialog Media GmbH & Co KG (Germany), DRTV Lab, (France), Expert Media Partners Ltd (United Kingdom), Food & Fun (Netherlands), Glow Innovations GmbH (Germany), Habana Matata (Spain), Hochanda Ltd. (United Kingdom), I-One (United Kingdom), Jocca (Spain), Klipnet d.o.o. TV Shopping (Slovenia), Zao TV Torg, (Russia).

New Board elected

Last but not least, a new board was directly elected by the General Assembly. See the separate article in this newsletter Introducing the New ERA Europe Members of the Board of Directors.

Dsc_0970
Member Dinner in the Kampa Park Restaurant, Prague

When day turned to night

The day adjourned in the great Kampa Park Restaurant located directly on the other side of the Moldau river. A chilly and almost romantic winter promenade across the Charles Bridge led to this excellent restaurant.

And we won’t mention the group of members who later enjoyed the clubbing scene of the Czech capital … rumour has it that they only returned early in the morning.....