The Power of Challenge

Dominic Tidey, COO of European Relocation Association (EuRA) Congress

The EuRA Congress will take place from 25 to 28 April in Warsaw. Is there a specific theme for your congress?
Our theme for our 2017 event is The Power of Challenge. The past year has seen a huge geo political shift in Europe and the USA, the two driving regions for international mobility. Our industry is one of the first to see changes in the patterns of MNC’s moving their employees around the world when political shifts occur. The potential growth of protectionism has spooked many companies, but where there is challenge there is also opportunity and we want to examine that from the point of view of our industry.

Is your conference also of social and cultural resonance?
Very much so. As an organisation we subscribe to the philosophy of Conscious Capitalism and our members are moving towards becoming conscious companies themselves. We strongly believe that all companies have a social responsibility that is greater than just ticking the CSR box on your ISO 9001 audit. When our members assist companies to move employees and families around the world, they have a responsibility to promote cultural integration and harmony and the well-being of every member of the family. All stakeholders in our industry supply chains work as partners, rather than purchaser and supplier. Mutual respect means better business for all our members.

For your congress you have chosen Warsaw. Why?
We plan our congress venue at least three years in advance and we have never been to the same city twice. Our members tell us they love going to new places so we always choose places that have a cultural resonance that members will enjoy. Warsaw is an amazing city – the “Phoenix City” rebuilt from the devastation of the Second World War, and it exemplifies the spirit of European cooperation and growth. We always use hotels as our venues and not convention centres as every year our members tell us one of the strengths of the event is its intimate nature. As a result we have to limit our numbers to 600 as very few hotels in Europe accommodate many more delegates than that but Warsaw gave us a choice of two. Also, the larger the numbers, the harder delegates find it to network effectively.

For those delegates who cannot join you in Warsaw, can they participate remotely?
We film all of our plenary sessions and keynote addresses so anyone who couldn’t make it is able to go to our YouTube channel and take advantage of the knowledge sharing part of our event.

What are the main challenges for EuRA?
Our main challenge currently is finding ways to give more to our members without a fee. We currently hold an event annually in the USA which is free to members and have just run our first members' networking dinner in Asia. We are working to provide all of our training as an open source, free to access series of podcasts so we can help members to professionalise without cost and time away from HQ. We have just run our first conference in Africa and one of our challenges in the coming years is to reach out to our increasingly global membership by providing local events around the world.