The European Association Summit (EAS) is taking place in Brussels for the fourth time in succession from 31 May to 2 June 2016. The high density of associations based here makes the Belgian capital Europe’s association hub. The annual forum for learning and networking is organised jointly with the European Business Summit (EBS) and three leading partners in the association cosmos: the Brussels-based Union of International Associations (UIA), the European Society of Associations Executives (EAS) and the Federation of European & International Associations established in Belgium (FAIB).
In line with its theme for 2016, “Common purpose, common challenges: time to share solutions”, the summit is focusing on the whole range of challenges currently faced by associations. The event’s unique peer-to-peer structure ensures that the theme really hits home for those who attend. It is organised by associations for associations. The content is obtained as a result of a call for presentations. The agenda includes issues revolving around communication, member relationships, new technologies, finance, risk management, human resources and meeting formats. The success stories of different associations presented at the EAS serve as benchmark and provide ideas and a basis for discussion. In 2016 there will be a total of 60 sessions, including eight workshops with association case studies. The venue is the SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre in the historic heart of the city. The event organiser is visit.brussels. The keynote of the final session in 2016 is to be delivered by Susan West, a professor of leadership who teaches an executive master programme in international association management.
The presentations of Isabel Bardinet of ESCardiology and Loic Armand of Cosmetics Europe at L’Oréal made a big impression at the EAS in 2015. “I would say that in general terms what I’ve learned was to think out of the box, being creative and imaginative. And I was particularly struck by the presentation on diversification of funding by Adrian Harris of Orgalime, which was an eye-opener. There are certainly ideas that we could use in our organisation in the year to come,” said Frederic Destrebecq, executive director of the European Brain Council, summing up his experience of EAS 2015.
For the first time in 2016 there will be a special workshop with EAS sponsors, in which the participants will be able to discuss future projects directly with Brussels-based service providers. The organiser, visit.brussels, is providing an additional incentive by providing 15 free travel and hotel packages to associations from outside Belgium.
EAS delegates also have the opportunity to attend the European Business Summit (EBS) in Brussels on 1 and 2 June. 2,000 high-ranking business and political figures from 60 countries are expected at the EBS, the slogan of which this year is “Business and Politics: Together for a Better Future”. The speakers include top politicians such as European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament president Martin Schulz. Katharina Brauer