The Electronic Retailing Association

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

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.

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