The Electronic Retailing Association

Message from Ken Daly, the new Chairman of ERA Global 2019-21

Ken Daly, newly elected Chairman of the Board of Directors, ERA Global, 2019 - 2021

ERA Global represents a highly tenacious group of businesses. That was very clear to me at our recent annual conference, this year in the beautiful city of Budapest. Optimism and positivity abounded, even though the environment in which we all operate, one would have thought, is becoming more challenging every day. There are so many success stories in our industry, happening right now, that the conclusion must be that we have the specialist knowledge, the skills, the experience and the sheer willpower to take advantage of our changing world and to seek out and seize new opportunities.

One key element to success that ERA members have long realised, is that working together, globally, is essential. This is one of the reasons why what used to be ERA Europe is transitioning to become ERA Global. Since the sad demise of the USA ERA organisation last year, we have been talking to our friends and partners in countries beyond Europe about them joining our organisation. It makes perfect sense and I am delighted to say that what started as a small trickle of new members has now become a steady flow. Whilst we had 49 member companies this time last year, we are now up to 63.

Our intention is to grow our membership further. However, we don’t want to become a very broad church. We are specifically the association for the multi-channel home shopping industry. We want to attract like minded businesses that share our DNA, mainly that we use ‘video’/’film’/’the moving image’, call it what you like, to market innovative products to consumers.

Expanding our base of members will have many benefits. We will be stronger together and at the same time we shall all have greater opportunities to build our businesses by trading with one another. And then there is the matter of finance. With more companies contributing to our fixed costs, we should be able to reduce the fees we charge for membership and for attending our conferences. Whilst we are a true not for profit organisation, we must of course cover our expenses. We are about to conduct a review of our pricing structure and at the very least we can commit to simplifying it in the very near future. At the same time we would like to be able to offer additional benefits to members on top of the first class range of services we already provide. For example we intend to establish a meeting room with refreshments for ERA members and their guests at next year’s Chicago Housewares Show, and in Budapest we inaugurated our new APAC chapter to better serve the needs of our growing membership in this region.

I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to the ERA Board for putting their trust in me to be Chairman for the next two years at what is such an exciting time for the association. I’d also like to say another huge thank you to Maja Umek, the outgoing Chairwoman who has done such a great job in sailing our ship so superbly through what could have been very stormy waters. At the same time Maja has been instrumental in growing the membership and strengthening the ERA for the benefit of us all.

Over the coming weeks you will see ERA communications being re-branded as ERA Global with an official name change in due course. We are pleased to announce the location and dates of next year’s European conference. Meanwhile we continue to work on the excellent relationship we have with the PDMI. We are of course only too aware of the concern over dates for the USA conferences that they are organising. Our intention is to get closer to the PDMI management so that they will take into consideration very seriously ERA members’ requirements before setting dates in future.

All that remains for me to say now is a final thank you to all ERA members for your continued support and to wish you a highly successful summer of business.

Ken Daly

Chairman of the Board

ERA Global