The Electronic Retailing Association

Chairwoman's Message to the ERA Europe Members

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Maja Umek, Chairwoman, ERA Europe

Dear ERA Europe Members and Supporters,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the ERA Europe conference in Seville, Spain, in June. After the frenzy when ERA U.S. abruptly ceased its operations just days before, it was a turbulent time for everyone involved in organising it. Thank you for showing your support by attending.

For this, most of our conversations were of course revolving around the future of the association, how to continue providing benefits to our members and how to close the gap in international conferences that happened when ERA U.S. closed its doors. Many of you have reached out with your thoughts, ideas and wishes and we appreciate every single one of you that spoke out. The panel 'Future of T-com', that was organised to lay the groundwork for the association to shape its future, was very well attended, despite being organised at short notice. We have heard a lot of questions and suggestions, but we were also listening and your message was clear – you like what the association is doing and we need to stay focused.

Although we are all in the same industry, our goals and visions are different and hence so are our needs. ERA Europe is a non profit, member association that can only thrive when members are actively involved and will reject to meet those that are simply taking advantage of the conference venue without feeling the need to pay their dues.

The membership benefits are continuously increasing and with every conference, the organising team gets better and better feedback. Of course, there will always be those who will complain about the weather…

This year, a “Speed Business Dating” event for newcomers was organised for the first time and I’m pleased to say that all the new attendees decided to meet with the largest members.

The 4th MCMS event, this year organised in partnership with Medientage München was very well attended and received very good reviews not only for the selection of topics, but also for the expert speakers. While we understand that majority of the members come to the conferences to conduct meetings with partners, it is also important to provide educational sessions for newcomers, as well as teaching “old wolves” some new tricks. After all, we should all be on the forefront of the possibilities offered by the digital world, which was the main topic this year.

The EMMA awards, established to give credit to those companies and individuals who have stepped out of the box and given our industry additional credibility, are just our way of spreading the information over the boundaries of their respective markets. A big congratulation to all the winners.

I know you are all waiting for me to address the “elephant in the room”…. I wish I had a crystal ball to predict the future. Unfortunately I don’t – not yet! The opportunity is undeniable, and appetites are big, but so are legal restraints. ERA Europe is sending regular updates and will strive to provide benefits for its members. We have also decided to treat all former U.S. members as our members until the end of the year. The meeting in Vegas will happen in a smaller set up than you were used to. All major European members confirmed their presence. So, please spread the news – check our website https://era-europe.eu for latest news or subscribe here to receive our communication updates and newsletters.

Have a fantastic summer, recharge your batteries and then - do get involved, be active – this is your association after all (don’t be the one that complains about the weather…)

There is a saying in Slovenia, that applied to the situation could read – only by getting involved, will we get the organisation we deserve.

Best regards,

Maja Umek

Chairwoman

Electronic Retailing Association Europe