Better together: European Association Summit marks 10th anniversary

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The European Association Summit (EAS) convened in Brussels for its first face-to-face meeting since 2020, bringing together Brussels-based associations under the theme ‘Better Together’ for its 10th edition.

More than 80 association professionals gathered in person at The Egg venue in the south of Brussels and online for three days of education, networking and reconnecting at EAS2022.

Living up to the theme, the first session of the summit saw Sirk Serendipity founder, Martin Sirk take to the stage and task the audience with engaging in solution-based networking. Using the ‘Two Free Consultants’ method, Sirk grouped the audience into teams of three and asked each person to share a problem that their association is facing, while the other two people came up with practical solutions that could be implemented in the coming days and months.

The innovative, interactive workshop, energised the audience and set the tone for the rest of the summit which boasted more than 30 hours of education, including ample networking sessions. 

The topical and time-sensitive programme included a session on association communications in a time of war and crisis. The session was delivered by Maria Linkova-Nijs, communications director at The European Chemical Industry Council, who explained that not having a crisis-communications model in place already means you’re too late to respond to any emergency. 

Linkova-Nijs urged the audience to, at the very least, compile a crisis-communications checklist to follow if a crisis arises. Sharing practical tips, Linkova-Nijs said associations first need to make an honest statement on where they stand on an issue, explain to their members why they’re taking that stance, ensure that stance aligns with the association’s values and ensure business ceases if what the association is delivering negatively impacts the crisis. 

Marjorie Anderson Marjorie Anderson.

The hybrid event format allowed for plenty of remote audience interaction and made the summit accessible to speakers who wanted to present their sessions remotely, such as Marjorie Anderson’s session on creating solid association communication strategies.

Delivering her session from her home in the US, Anderson, founder of Community by Association L.L.C, guided the audience through practical steps to building a community strategy and learning how to think about holistic community strategies that support member and organisation growth. 

On the final day of the summit, Kai Troll, ASSOCIATIONWORLD president, delivered a session on how associations can build new revenue models to finance activities. The audience was encouraged to share experiences of how they approach funders and what new models they’ve implemented. 

The programme content ensured delegates came away with with practical takeaways that could be implemented into their association strategies. However, it was the networking opportunities that proved most valuable and fulfilled the 'Better Together' brief.

Find more information on the European Association Summit 2022 here

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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