European Association Summit 2019

European Association Summit 2019

Share & Co-create!

EAS2019 took place last week and it was a resounding success. With no less than twenty engaging sessions, and more than 170 participants, this year’s edition was special and full of useful content!

During this #share and #cocreate edition, association representatives got to their feet and enjoyed a higher degree of interaction. Nik Claesen, chairman of EAS 2019, said: “Thanks to co-creation, our associations are becoming important and relevant. We have lots to share with the world. The EAS is a fantastic forum in which to exchange ideas and make new contacts.”

EAS is about meeting new people but also catching up with friends. The association community in Europe, and particularly in Brussels, is growing and become stronger thanks to the programme of events offered by and its partners.

Speakers made extra efforts to attract the biggest audience possible to their respective sessions and discuss pressing subjects such as “global growth”, “the membership lifecycle”, “the complexity of digital transformation in the associations industry” and “the relevance and importance of change management”. There were also intense exchanges on subjects like “growth strategy” and “the reinvention of value to bring to association members”.
Roundtable discussions around legal and association management issues were also available to attendees.


Here a short presentation of the focus on sustainability and a session summary that reflects the interesting and engaging programme that was offered this year at EAS

  • Focus on sustainability

    For this year’s edition, EASBrussels committed itself to becoming more sustainable. It was no mean feat, but these efforts were recognised by participants. Remember, sustainability is an opportunity, not a cost. City tours, including a green tour, were organised for delegates to see what Brussels has to offer.

  • Can you still afford to ignore sustainability?

    For this, we relied on the expertise of Mélanie Delaplanche, who accompanied us throughout the logistics of EAS organisation and promotion. For this reason, the first day of the EAS, Melanie, with the support of Kathleen Davisters (Green expert at and Bo Krüger (from Implement Consulting Group), presented a session on the subject. The idea was to understand how sustainability can be integrated into an events strategy and how it can be beneficial for the organisation or association. During this interactive session, the three speakers showed concrete and easily applicable initiatives, in order to improve the sustainability profile of future events and thus inspire future participants and wider stakeholders.

  • Sustainability workshop: zero-waste

    This year we also offered zero-waste workshops. During these workshops, the speaker from Zero Waste Belgium introduced the concept of zero waste and how to get started, followed by a practical workshop. There was a workshop on how to create your own powdered toothpaste on Thursday and beewrap (waxed cotton canvas to contain food) workshop on Friday.

  • Green tour    

    At the end of the first day of the summit, we offered two different guided tours. The first tour took you around the city to discover Brussels’ vibrant eco-life. During the Eco Lifestyle Tour, attendees discovered five to six eco-locations in an hour. They started at Kunstberg, walked through the Sablon and Marolles neighbourhoods and ended at Rue des Tanneurs where dinner was waiting for them. The idea was offer a walk through the city, which allowed you to go from the SQUARE to dinner at Atelier des Tanneurs, while discovering green initiatives and campaigns in Brussels.

  • UIA session: Lifting the elevator pitch

    There’s a situation in which we all find ourselves again and again: having to explain our organisation and its mission to an outsider. This usually results in long explanations that leave our counterparts unclear even 5 minutes later… That's why we needed the "lifting the elevator pitch"!
    The challenge of the UIA session was to prepare a pitch in order to send a clear message about our organisation and our activities to our counterparts. It needed to be short, concise and precise, as if we only had a short elevator ride to explain it! From an initial brainstorming about the keywords that best describe our organisation, to deciding on our limit of three central keywords, we were finally able to build a pitch from only three short, concise sentences. If the pitch did not withstand the rehearsal with our (unknown) neighbours from our table, a sentence was added for each misunderstanding until we could convey a clear, unmistakable message. From now on, outsiders leave the elevator with all their questions answered!

  • We shared and co-created in 2019… we are going to be stronger and even more inspiring in 2020!

    The first day ended at les Ateliers des Tanneurs, a venue known for its sustainable initiatives, where association representatives enjoyed a wine casino game. Some of them had the chance to win great prizes, such as return tickets to Dubai and Singapore and access to events in the respective cities.

    As the second day came to a close, the summit ended with lots of happy participants and the team hopes to see them back next year in March.

    The 2019 European Association Summit was a rewarding, engaging and stimulating edition... we’re already looking forward to next year’s edition