The Electronic Retailing Association

Welcome Message from Maja Umek, the new Chairwoman of ERA Europe

Maja Umek was voted in as new Chairwoman of ERA Europe, during the Board Meeting in Venice.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the newest edition of the ERA Europe newsletter – the only newsletter that represents the Home Shopping industry in Europe and an opportunity for all member companies to actively participate in creating its present and future.

I hope you had a fantastic conference in beautiful Venice, both professionally and personally. The summer conference is the most important event organised by ERA Europe and a unique opportunity for anyone to learn about the business and trends, as well as a perfect opportunity for networking and meeting with your industry peers. I was glad to be able to meet so many of you and it was enlightening to meet some new faces and learn about your businesses. Overall, I’ve heard so many positive reactions, that I have to admit, we have set the bar high for next year’s conference in Seville, Spain, but fear not, we have ideas and a great team…

Only your participation, ideas, comments and actions can bring us a step closer to becoming a true representative of the industry, from which everyone can benefit.

Julian Oberdörfer, CEO ERA Europe, thanks the outgoing chairwoman, Isabelle Fournier and introduces the new Chairwoman, Maja Umek, at the start of the 2017 EMMA Awards in Venice

The past conference was also important for me personally, as I was elected new Chairwoman of the ERA Europe’s Board of Directors and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my peers for this vote of confidence as well as to thank the outgoing Chairwoman Isabelle Fournier for her excellent work and dedication. I am honoured to take on my new responsibility and see it as an additional opportunity to help the organisation to make further steps forward. ERA Europe is an organisation of member companies and it is therefore our responsibility to help make it thrive. An organisation alone cannot sustain itself. Its success does not depend only on the enthusiasm and willingness of its board members to support and take action, but needs the involvement of everyone that works within its member companies. Only your participation, ideas, comments and actions can bring us a step closer to becoming a true representative of the industry, from which everyone can benefit. I look at the future with great positivity as so many companies have successfully incorporated changed market situations into their business strategies, making them stronger than ever while becoming true omni-channel companies. Use the services ERA Europe is offering you to further leverage your business.

The last few years have been incredibly important for ERA Europe as a lot of incremental changes have been incorporated to make sure the organisation can support its members in this fast paced world we live in. Its Board of Directors represent the plurality and diversity of the European market to make sure you are served in the best possible way. Being a member brings great advantages to its members; not only are the members eligible for discounted rates for the sessions and conferences, but can also benefit from a series of activities. More than 35% of our members are already actively using the “Shop with confidence” seal based on our self-regulation programme – start using it, as it gives your customers additional reassurance that you abide by a high level of quality for your products and services.

Interested in the public affairs being discussed by EU bodies in Brussels? ERA’s staff is monitoring the development of the new legislation that can have an influence on our future daily operations.

I have witnessed a leap forward in the way European conferences are organised – locations are easily accessible, hotel venues are carefully selected and meeting rooms and business tables are always organised to allow us to conduct our meetings in the most effective way.

MCMS educational sessions take place on one day during the conference, making it easier for you to plan. Very carefully selected high-level speakers bring market reviews and discuss trends in the industry. Feedback from members who attended the sessions this year was again very positive. The MCMS congress will be held again next year so do make sure to include the sessions into your plan. You never know what you might learn…

Use the networking possibilities ERA’s events bring! Not only the summer conference, but also the membership meeting in January are great opportunities to meet potential new partners. I’m glad to see that European meetings are becoming more and more popular also for companies from other parts of the world.

Thinking about the conference brings me way back to when I first started in this industry. The Madeira conference was my first one, where I met some incredibly smart, talented and hardworking people that I’m glad to be able to call friends now. And throughout the years I have met so many, that I can now say with confidence, that wherever I go, I have someone I can call. What has always fascinated me is how incredibly open people in the industry are and the ability to be the biggest competitors on the market, but still be able to have great personal relationships.

Finally, I wish you a fantastic summer. Relax, explore, learn, have fun, recharge those batteries and most of all, stay safe!

Best wishes,

Maja Umek


Electronic Retailing Association Europe