The European Direct Selling Association, Seldia recently held its 5th annual European Direct Selling Conference in Brussels. The theme of the conference was “Direct Selling, an OMNI channel of distribution”.
The conference was attended by a record 200 participants from Europe, USA, Russia, Kazakhstan, South America, as well as an important official Chinese delegation interested to learn more about the direct selling regulations in Europe.
In parallel, over 20 Service Provider companies exhibited their products and services to the participants, adding a professional dimension to the conference. The one day program featured two panels and four workshops.
In his opening speech Seldia Chairman and CEO of Oriflame Magnus Brännström highlighted the constant growth of the industry and noted that according to an independent external survey, Seldia was perceived as a reputed and credible organization in Brussels.
Guest speaker Despina Spanou, Director for Consumers' Directorate at DG JUST, praised Seldia in her opening remarks, Seldia has a strong voice in Brussels and we (the European Commission) will continue to count on Seldia’s support as our partner to protect consumers from unfair practices and enjoy their rights thus creating an environment of trust.” “You are a business based on personal relations with the customers. Respecting their rights will only make your business grow further and thus contribute to jobs and growth in the EU,- added Ms Spanou.
WFDSA Chairman and President of Amway Doug DeVos stressed the importance of unity in the direct selling industry worldwide and underlined the strength of direct selling as a channel of distribution in a changing world.
In the CEO panel, Magnus Brännström (Oriflame), Kathleen Mitchell (Stella & Dot), Patrick Sostmann (LR Health & Beauty) and Samir Behl (Amway) debated digital innovation and the increased role of social media in the direct selling industry. They stressed the importance of young and innovative generation for the growth and success of direct selling business, and highlighted the importance of education and training of the distributors, whom are the industry’s biggest strength. Patrick Sostmann also noted that branding was an important element and largely contributed to the success of direct selling companies.
The four parallel workshops which took place in the afternoon gathered many participants interested to listen to speakers sharing their expertise and knowledge on subjects such as EU consumer rights legislation, social media strategies, direct selling in CEE countries and external media strategies.
The conference ended with a one hour panel discussion between Pola Karolczyck (Sidley Austin), Rosario Rende-Granata (EU Commission, DG Comp), Michael Cervell (Oriflame) and Stefan Krawczyk (eBay)on the added value of being an omni channel of distribution in the digital era.
The next annual conference will take place in Brussels on October 6, 2016.
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