For the last few years, October has marked the time for the European direct selling industry’s prominent corporate figures to get together. This year, more than 150 people met in Brussels for the Annual Direct Selling Conference.
During the dinner before the conference, PartyLite was awarded as the Best Company, UK DSA as the Best Association, Stella & Dot as the Best Startup, and Meridian Deutchland as the Best Service Provider.
Following the Awards Dinner and Ceremony, the actual conference started the next day by the welcome address by Oriflame’s CEO Magnus Brannstrom who is also the Chairman of Seldia. However, it was not a pleasant surprise to watch his speech on a pre-recorded video while waiting him to appear on stage as he has done in the last two years.
Mr. Brannstrom’s video was followed by a “live” keynote address by Alessandro Carlucci, The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) Chairman and Natura CEO. Yes, Mr. Carlucci was physically there coming from all the way from Brazil. His speech was well-prepared for, addressing quite significant topics such as “advocacy” and “ethics” in the direct selling industry.
Then, came to the stage four top level executives for a panel moderated by Vanessa de Froberville. Alessandro Carlucci from Natura, Patrice Jacquelin from Guy Demarle, Martin Koehler from PartyLite, and Peter Strydom from Amway discussed various hot issues.
The final session in the morning included the announcement of the launch of a new initiave by Seldia: The European Code Administrator’s web site. The web site is to be utilized by individuals who have gone through their respected DSAs but have not found a solution to their problems.
The program in the afternoon included four concurrent workshops and a speech from Olivier Badot, a Professor at ESCP Europe.
Looking back after coming home, personally I cannot say the meeting have fully met my expectations. This was the third annual Seldia conference that I have attended. To me, this event has to evolve from being merely a networking platform and definitely should be able to attract more than the people we used to see at this conference. Especially, it should be able to attract new faces. Is this achievable? I am sure it is. It will take some marketing efforts through the DSAs, the direct selling companies and, the suppliers, that’s all!