It’s hard to believe that EuRA’s journey now spans two decades. Back in 1998 at the very first conference, the idea of a pan European organisation for mobility seemed like a great idea, but with huge challenges ahead. At those first meetings there is no doubt that the entente cordial spreading across the continent as a result of closer integration of the EU, had not yet reached our industry. Those early founder members saw the prospect of co-existence with their direct competitors extremely challenging, preferring instead to maintain a more protectionist attitude. This made bringing those early EuRA Council meetings never dull, characterised by lively debates about the nature of international associations and the necessary conflicts they bring. On the one hand, EuRA’s primary mandate to support all providers meant real integration of the industry. On the other, it meant a scary new world, knowing your competitors would soon know more about your own business models and commercial advantages.
I remember clearly a conversation I had with founder member, past President and first recipient of the EuRA Award for Exceptional Services for Relocation, Helmut Berg. His view was our industry could only grow and thrive in an environment where protectionism had no place. He brought this ethos to his Presidency and was one of the true unifying figures in mobility, pushing for higher standards in service delivery, cooperation within the supply chain and understanding of the challenges facing DSP’s, RMC’s and clients.
This ethos remains central to the core values of EuRA to this day. As a not for profit association run by and for the benefit of its members, EuRA has a clear and defined remit, to promote projects and ideas that have a clear benefit to the members.
I am immensely grateful to successive Executive Group Presidents and Members for keeping this focus at the forefront of the work of EuRA for the last 20 years.
Today EuRA has a truly global remit, representing our industry in 107 countries. We are now reaching out to our members outside Europe with regular events in the US, being present and presenting the benefits of working with EuRA members at events all over the world and 2018 sees our third annual EuRA Global Conference take place in India. This rotating event, to support our members around the globe, will move on a 5 year rotation between Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia and South America. The EuRA International Relocation Congress held each year in a different European city, has gone from 100 attendees in 1998 to 680 in Warsaw last year. In Dubrovnik we have to limit the numbers to 650 (originally it was 600 but we had to extend) but we could easily be 750. By using tech, we hope to make the delegate experience easier and better in terms of both networking and content. Our latest App has a really simple interface and it’s so easy to identify and contact other delegates you want to meet with. And though it’s a small thing, the ability to
enlarge a guests photo really helps when you’re trying to identify your 10:15 meeting across a crowded conference room! I would strongly urge you to download and sign in!
This year sees a big milestone in EuRA training and professional development with the first level of the MIM training online and free to access to all EuRA member companies and their teams. This excellent programme with industry leaders from across the world giving their expertise and time, has taken years to build and hone and a significant investment in the technology we have to deliver it. The MIM+ programme will be expanded into the online system over the coming year and of course all conference sessions are now accredited. So there really is no excuse for not keeping your professional development at the cutting edge of our industry!
My brilliant team and I are looking forward to welcoming you to our 20th Anniversary conference in Dubrovnik, where we will look forward to the next 20 years of the fantastic EuRA Family.