The European Association features a rich programme over three days addressing various essential aspects of the daily life of associations, as well as future challenges and concerns.
The 2021 edition is built along four tracks: Business and strategy - Communication & Membership - Events - Public affairs.
It shall include among others the following topics:
- Business planning and association models
- Learning strategy among associations
- Membership development and association revenue
- Virtual and hybrid events planning and management
- Digital marketing tools
- Communications and branding done by associations
- Association governance in an online environment
- Sustainable development goals and the role of international associations
More information on the content of the individual sessions here and in the schedule below.
20 April 2021
15:00 -> welcome remarks by our host Marlène de Wouters
-> opening speech by Patrick Bontinck, CEO visit.brussels
-> EAS21 kick off by Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, Director Strategy & International Development of visit.brussels
-> new approach of the virtual programme by Frederic Soudain (Logos)
-> how to navigate the virtual platform
15:35 virtual activity allowing participants to get to know each other 16:35 networking
21 April 2021
09:00 – 09:15 Welcome note by Marlène de Wouters prior to the start of sessions 09:15 – 09:45 Case Study - Business and Strategy
SPEAKER: Alan Hiddleston (D2l, Director of Corporate Learning)
“How to develop from an ad-hoc zoom meeting to an integrated learning strategy” Associations are in the business of offering education. What did we learn from the COVID-crisis for creating an effective and appealing virtual learning strategy? What is the bigger picture, what are the education goals, and how best to achieve them? Think first, and don’t put the
technology before the horse…
09:15 – 09:45 Case study – Communication & membership
SPEAKER: Eveline van de Pluijm (Manager CVB)/Maarten Reijgersberg (Rotterdam Partners, Account Manager)
“Digital marketing tools to reach beyond the converted”
What is the difference between using digital marketing and driving a really integrated digital marketing strategy?
09:15 – 09:45 Case study – Events
SPEAKER: Jerome Buchanan-Kerr (ERTICO, Sponsorship & Exhibition Manager)
“Virtual and Hybrid event Sponsorship strategies, from design to delivery.”
A virtual event is not the copy-paste of a physical conference. Learn about the distinctive design and business modelling steps for having the highest return on sponsor involvement and return.
09:15 – 09:45 Case study - Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Ana Mingo (Logos)
"How to build an “ambassador programme” to boost your association outreach in Brussels and beyond?"
Brussels is the city of 25,000 policy events. Learn how to use these events to profile your Issues and Interests
09:15 – 10:00 Demo session – Business & strategy
“How to design a post-COVID business model that is future proof?”
Revenue models are under pressure. How to remain relevant in the digital age, enhance member and community value and build a future proof strategy?
09:45 -10:30 Demo session - Communication & Membership
SPEAKER: Lysan Drabon (PMI Europe, Head of Business Operations)
“The customer is the new member.”
The traditional membership MODEL is dead. Long live flexible subscription models.
09:45 – 10:30 Demo session – Events
SPEAKER: Mary Beth Micucci (Digital Event Strategist)
“How to design business models around content beyond events and beyond members.” Associations are a trusted and authoritative source of knowledge, information, and education. How to expand the reach and monetise the content beyond the current membership
09:45 – 10:30 Lab session – Events
SPEAKER: Simon Tomei (Dorrier)
“Virtual or hybrid; benefits and disadvantages to consider when designing your event”
The post COVID era will likely have a significant share of hybrid meetings. What are the criteria to consider between physical, virtual or hybrid?
09:45 – 10:30 Demo session - Public Affairs (Partner Session FAIB)
SPEAKER: Adrian Harris (FAIB, President)
“The never-ending story – Belgian association and foundation law (CAC) changes again…”
This will focus on the recent changes to the Belgian association and foundation law.
10:30 – 10:45 Energizing break 10:45 – 11:15 Case study – Business & strategy
SPEAKER: Jose Manuel Teixeira (SCFitness, Head of Customer Experience)
"Associations in the virtual space; why customer centricity is more important than ever."
Member and customer behaviour has changed, expectations have changed. Are you meeting them?
10:45 – 11:15 Case study - Communication & Membership
SPEAKER: Eric Drésin (ECTAA, Secretary General)
“Member retention in digital times; how to stay ahead of the competition”
Associations face competition not only from other associations, but increasingly from the for-profit world too. The virtual space is very crowded and highly competitive. How to stand out from the noise.
10:45 – 11:15 Case study – Events
SPEAKER: Cathy Persidis (DIA Global)
"Hybrid event model 1.0: make the format fit your needs, not the other way around”
Many associations transformed their physical conference into a digital event. This is just the first step towards becoming a pivotal platform organisation where events, services and knowledge are easily accessible and appealing.
10:45 – 11:15 Case Study - Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Steve Sealy (European Respiratory Society, Associate Director)
"Pan-European engagement of industries and professions: the power of pan-EU hybrid events"
The pandemic unveiled new meetings and events practices. See how associations upgrade engagement of their members by mixing virtual with on-site local events
10:45 – 11:15 Lab session - Public Affairs
“Industry initiatives: the new normal for industries to partner with the EU and build solutions for the European Green Deal”
The best way to prepare for the future Green Deal regulations is to be part of initiatives shaping them.
11:15 – 11:30 Mini break 11:30 – 13:00 Plenary session 1
MODERATOR: Amanda Nolen (Niles Nolen, Co-Founder)
"Don't put the technology before the association"
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break & energizing activity 14:00 – 14:45 Demo session - Business & Strategy (Partner Session Associationworld)
SPEAKER: Kai Troll (Associationworld Foundation, Volunteer President)
"Revenue diversification - Looking at potential new resources of revenue streams for associations"
14:00 – 14:45 Demo session – Communication & membership
SPEAKER: Cédric Cauderlier (Mountainview Agency, Co-founder)
"What are the drivers for building an engagement strategy"
How to move a customer to becoming a loyal member and ultimately a positive brand promoter
14:00 – 14:45 Case Study - Business & Strategy (Partner session GAHP Alliance)
SPEAKER: Martin Sirk (Global Association Hubs Partnership/GAHP, International Advisor)
“Perfect partnerships – philosophy & practicalities for association success - GAHP Session” Interactive mix of thought-leadership panel and group discussions that aims to transform associations’ perceptions about the power of partnerships to achieve a wide range of strategic and tactical objectives.
14:00 – 14:45 Demo session - Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Olivier Devaux (European Snack Association, Senior Public Affairs & Communication Manager)
“Reinforcing social media presence with creative audio-visual content”
Since the Covid-19 crisis, organizations seek to be even more transparent, relatable and interactive to effectively reach out to their target audience. In a crowded social media place, creative audio-visual content can make a difference!
14:45 – 15:00 Mini Break 15:00 – 15:45 Demo session - Business & Strategy
SPEAKER: Maxime Staelens (SGI Europe)
"Why do associations need a digital marketing plan in their strategy?"
Though effective digital marketing associations will reach their target audiences, where they are active, and through the channels they use.
15:00 – 15:45 Lab session - Communication & Membership
SPEAKER: Nikki Walker (MCI, VP), Darren Temple (MPI, COO), Triphine Dusabimana (SCDM, MD)
"Digital transformation has no boundaries – How to amplify engagement and grow membership"
Many associations aspire to grow their brand, influence and revenues globally, but don’t always understand the opportunity.
15:00 – 15:45 Lab session – Events
SPEAKER: Mary Beth Micucci (DES)
“How to design business models around content beyond events and beyond members.”
Associations are a trusted and authoritative source of knowledge, information, and education. How to expand the reach and monetise the content beyond the current membership
15:00 – 15:45 Lab Session - Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Ryan Titley (ERRIN, Director of Projects)
“How best to prepare for the European Green Deal call”
The first EGD call for proposals have been closed. If you miss the first train, make sure to prepare for the next one.
22 April 2021
09:00 – 09:15 Welcome note by Marlène de Wouters prior to the start of sessions 09:15 – 10:00 Demo session - Business & Strategy (Partner Session UIA)
SPEAKER: Nancy Carfrae (UIA)
“How many…? A portrait of the international association landscape in Brussels” (UIA)
How many international associations are there in Brussels? Is their number increasing? What kind of associations are they? Has their focus been shifting over the years? How does Brussels compare to the rest of Europe? To the world? Where does your organization fit in the Brussels’ landscape?
09:15 – 09:45 Demo session - Communication & Membership
SPEAKER: Michelle Bloor (Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry/SETAC, Vice President)
“Equality, transparency, and trust – Associations to set the standard by activating the collective power, knowledge and experience of their members, member companies and affiliated organisations”
Be it race, gender, ethnicity or lifestyle preferences, equal opportunities are a fundamental human right. More than ever, organisations and brands will be judged by their practices, communications, and behaviour. Gen Z will not tolerate a world of continued inequality. In today’s digitally connected world of viral communications, reputation is every organisation’s reality.
09:15 – 09:45 Case Study – Events
SPEAKER: Nadia Rubtsova (Business & Events Academy, Event Business Mentor & Trainer)
"The new era of events for associations"
Events are a great source of revenue generation for the associations. Associations are navigating their way through COVID, they often lose sight of what is around the corner.
How do we proceed with our event strategy? Are we going to continue with our live events, choosing for a hybrid solution or eager to go back to live events?
09:15 – 09:45 Case Study – Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Lodewijk Govaerts (Asian Development Bank, Non-Executive Director)
"Sustainable development – Past the point of no return. What is the role of associations?"
At a time when the world is in turmoil and associations are rethinking their relevance and future, sustainability should be a fundamental focus. Associations can empower individuals and organisations around the world to contribute to their long-term sustainability strategy.
09:45 – 10:30 Lab session - Business and Strategy
SPEAKER: Alessandro Cortese (ESTRO)
“Managing an association is like running a business – what are the critical strategic mistakes to avoid in the coming months?"
Following Churchill’s advice; however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
09:45 – 10:30 Case Study - Communication & Membership
SPEAKER: Fred Hoffman (Fitness Resource, Principal Consultant)
“Not one for all and all for one – How to attract, engage and retain multi-generations”
Associations serve an active audience that spans four generations, from Z to Boomers. Segmentation, multiple demographics and corresponding tailored experiences will be fuelled by appropriate technologies.
09:45 – 10:30 Demo session – Events
SPEAKER: Johnny Machiels (Event Masters)
“Bringing Digital and Physical Events Together Through Gamification”
Gamification is a serious business, turning physical and virtual events into experiences. The possibilities are unlimited.
09:45 – 10:30 Demo session – Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Thomas Boué (BSA, Director General, Policy Europe, Middle East & Africa)
" 5 best practices in on-line advocacy"
The successive lockdowns in 2020 forced public affairs practitioners to re-invent themselves and find new ways to dialogue with EU officials
10:30 – 10:45 Energizing break 10:45 – 11:15 Demo session - Business and Strategy
SPEAKER: Rob MacAllister (Filtered, COO) / Mariska van der Veen (ICO, MD)
“The AI-enabled data revolution has come to the association space – Bring member engagement, workplace efficiency and user experience to the next level”
Data powered tools and applications are not limited to for-profit businesses. Associations must harness the potential of these highly efficient and valuable technologies.
10:45 – 11:15 Case study – Communication & membership
"The change mindset – survival kit for communication professionals in charge"
Europeans are not association joiners, but rather product buyers. high value and attractive benefits and services will lead them into your sales funnel. Full membership Is the holy grail.
10:45 – 11:15 Case study – Events
SPEAKER: Laeitia Delzenne (UITP, Head of Event Management, Senior Director of Membership, Marketing & Services)
"Past successes do not guarantee the future. How to be more agile and innovative to reinvent your event strategy"
Many associations are guilty of repeating the same event model and strategy for many years. The recent digitisation wave has woken us up. But what does a long-term event strategy entail, and how to jump the curve in the future?
10:45 – 11:15 Lab session - Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Wouter Lox (European Fruit Association, Secretary General)
“Understanding and access the EU Recovery Fund opportunities”
EU leaders decided in 2020 to inject another 750-billion-euro stimulus “Next Generation EU” What does it mean for European associations.
11:15 – 11:30 Mini break 11:30 – 13:00 Plenary 2 / Panel discussion
“The recovery post-Covid – The role for associations”
Goksen Caliskan (Euractive, EU Advocacy / Head of new Business)
Laszlo Toth (GSMA, Head of Public Policy, Europe)
Florence Bindelle (European Issuers, Secretary General)
Kevin Mayne (Cycling Industries Europe, Chief Executive)
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break & energizing activity 14:00 – 14:45 Case study - Business & Strategy
SPEAKER: Jakov Cavar (Insidery, Managing Director)
“Discovering, aligning and co-developing customer insights to enhance value of association benefits, products and services”
How to best uncover needs and preferences of members as well as customers outside the active inner circle?
14:00 – 14:45 Membership & Communication
“Digital marketing demystified, from creating awareness to building loyalty”
14:00 – 14:45 Demo session – Partner session
SPEAKER: Elina Jutelyte (Endo-Exo, Senior Event Marketing & Operations Executive)
“Digitalization of associations and role of online events and online content in new business models.”
The mission of associations' activities is one of the oldest and most important for the society: bringing people together, exchanging the expertise and/or influencing the current processes for the continued development of almost any aspect of our lives that we can think of.
14:00 – 14:45 Lab session – Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Andrea Voigt (European Partnership for Energy & the Environment /EPEE, Director General)
“Cooperation between trade and industry and NGOs: Moving faster together for Green Deal objectives”
More and more, NGOs and Industrial sectors do not oppose each other on the best EU policy options. They built common agenda to move faster by consensus.
14:45 – 15:00 Mini Break 15:00 – 15:45 Demo session – Business & strategy
SPEAKER: Steije Renes & Elrik Paap (The Next Organization/TNXTO, Founding Partner)
“How to design a post-COVID businessmodel that is future proof?”
Revenue models are under pressure. How to remain relevant in the digital age, enhance member and community value and build a future proof strategy
(content to be confirmed)
15:00 – 15:45 Demo session – Communication & membership
SPEAKER: Colm Clarke (Exempla, Partner/Consultant)
"How to get the most out of your Board and volunteers"
Board members and other volunteer leaders can spend a limited amount of time. What are the secrets for getting the best out of them?
15:00 – 15:45 Demo session or Case Study – Events
SPEAKER: Rik Bollaert (ILCA) & Augusto Villanueva (Icahn School of Medicine, Assistant Professor Liver Cancer program)
" Think like a marketer, enhance industry partner engagement"
Associations must think like a marketeer to help their industry partners reach business goals
15:00 – 15:45 Demo session - Public Affairs
SPEAKER: Céline Carré (Saint-Gobain, Head of European Public Affairs)
" Industry initiatives: the new normal for industries to partner with the EU and build solutions for the European Green Deal"
The best way to prepare for the future Green Deal regulations is to be part of Initiatives shaping them.
15:45 – 17:00 Closing Session