The Electronic Retailing Association

Report from the Annual Membership Meeting 24th - 26th January 2018 in Budapest

Corinthia_hotel_exterior

Divided by the Danube River, on the Buda side there is the Castle Hill, on the Pest side is the parliament and most of the famous hotels situated directly on the river’s edge. Leaving the river and heading towards the vibrant city, we come across its famous Corinthia Hotel, the location for our membership meeting. And it is everything one could hope for: a modern hotel mirroring the imperial splendour of the Austro-Hungarian glamour - the perfect surroundings for intensive meetings.

Government Affairs Meeting

After the early morning executive committee meeting, the open meetings began. During the government affairs meeting the committee recapped the 2017 achievements such as the tremendous success of the European market study as well as the relationship with EMOTA as both a new source of information and a channel to voice our ideas and needs in Brussels. The latest initiatives of the European Union as well as the ERA Europe activities in Brussels were presented, focussing on the e-privacy initiative and the revision of the consumer protection rules.

Self-Regulation Committee

ERA Europe’s SRO, Sabine Christmann, lead the self-regulation session. The committee was given a brief update on the 2017 self-regulation cases. Sabine also reported on the new Polish self-regulation website. ERA Europe now has consumer websites guaranteeing the industry standards that all members have committed to in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Polish. It was decided that another language should follow in 2018.

Sabine further reported on the activities to facilitate and streamline the self-regulation processes in order to save on ERA resources. The questionnaires for the self-regulation procedures as well as the individual contracts for using the self-regulation seal have been replaced by general terms and conditions of ERA Europe membership.

Membership & Conference Committee

Conference

The main topic of the Membership and Conference Committee was the upcoming conference in Seville. Sandra Weiser, ERA Europe’s Conference Director, gave an overview of the location, the pricing and especially the packages that can be booked for the conference. The registration process is well under way with some options selling out, or already sold out. Attendees should contact our team as soon as possible to make sure that they they secure their preferred package.

EMMA Awards

The EMMA 2018 event will again be the main social event of the conference. A positive change that we have made is that interested parties can book a branded table and invite their own guests to the ceremony to celebrate an unforgettable evening with their colleagues and friends while honouring our European industry champions.

Another important point of discussion were the EMMA awards themselves. The received proposals were reviewed. An intensive discussion was lead on how to identify new potential awardees. It was decided to broaden certain categories and to give access to all employees of ERA Europe member companies to sign up electronically in order to propose candidates.

MCMS 2018

The MCMS panel session programme, which is planned for the second day of the conference on Wednesday 20th June, was also presented. The 2018 MCMS will be a special highlight. It will focus on strategies on how to catch consumer eyeballs and convert these into transactions. There will also be a unique chance to learn from Asia, as Jason Kong from GHS will give us some insights on the One Belt, One Road initiative.

Co-operation with Medientage München for the MCMS panel

There was an intensive discussion on the planned co-operation with Medientage München regarding the MCMS panel. The committee concluded that having a highly renowned institution such as the Medientage München consider this form of co-operation, is proof that ERA Europe has become a well-established and considered institution itself.

General Assembly

Approving the 2017 financial statement and the 2018 budget as well as admitting new companies as ERA Europe members, was dealt with at the general assembly at the end of the day.

After dinner highlight: molecular sphere cuisine 'Cubanitos'

Networking with 'cubanitos'

Budapest was a great place to network, wine and dine. The welcome dinner took place in the caviar and bull restaurant at the Corinthia Hotel itself. Marvellous fish and meat dishes came accompanied by Kékfrankos, a local red wine – what a year of cultivation! However, the actual highlight was the art of 'molecular sphere cuisine' expressed in the so called 'cubanitos' which we were served. The second meeting day adjourned, we met in in the Restaurant Aszú which served a variety of high quality local specialities while the band played jazz and local music. Budapest is definitely a location to be considered for further business and private trips.