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EuRA in Warsaw

Aug 14, 2017
A report from the EuRA annual conference in Warsaw, By Dominic Tidey

It’s just not possible to please all of the people all of the time, but this year’s EuRA conference in Warsaw received a 99% rating of excellent or good, which is a record.  There are so many differing factors that enhance or diminish the experience that delegates have at a conference, but at EuRA, as with all our associated partners from mobility and moving, we try extremely hard to build on our successes.    

This year we were guests of the city of Warsaw, a capital that truly earned the name The Phoenix City.  Entirely rebuilt after the Second World War, delegates were expecting the area of town where we were based to be pretty grey and soviet, but on the contrary the Royal Route and Old Town are exact replicas of how they were before the war and our delegates were very pleasantly surprised.  Stepping out of the Sofitel you are surrounded by bars, restaurant, shops, pleasant squares and parks.  Location is a huge factor in the delegate experience, as is cost, and Warsaw is a city that represents great value for money.  

This year we chose to look at rising above adversity with our theme of 'The Power of Challenge'.  Our sessions all focussed on areas of our work lives where new tech, advances and changes in the corporate approach to mobility leave us all in 2017.  From AI to social media, to the cultural challenges of mergers and acquisitions, our programme this year was more comprehensive than ever.  One criticism that we received was that with such great content and the EuRA Conference being an unmissable networking opportunity, delegates were torn as to what to leave out.  

Each year we try and innovate with our programme and this year two superb keynote speakers opened and closed the conference.  MC’d for the 10th year by the fabulous and irrepressible Frances Edmonds, the programme began with an address by Tony Chapman, a global leader in branding and a passionate advocate of the new approach to selling through connection, telling stories as opposed to factual service descriptions.  In an insightful and apposite talk, he brought a new awareness of how we interact with marketing messages in the digital social world.  After a further two days of sessions, networking and learning, Dr Janet Lapp closed the conference with her thought provoking and moving address looking at how we can use change as a transformative power in our lives.  Our plenary and keynote addresses are on our YouTube channel, most in their entirety, some in part and have become a great library of relocation related learning and sharing.  

Over the years delegates have learned to expect a great party or two at EuRA and we hope this year we continued that tradition, with our Gala Dinner in the Royal Castle Arkadia, a stunning venue with a great history.  Our final night party was held in the awesome Polish National Stadium and delegates got the chance to properly kick back after the work was all done.  Always culturally aware, we had an amazing display of traditional Polish athletic dance, delicious authentic Polish fare, and maybe a bit too much excellent Polish vodka, the dance floor was certainly full.  

As ever, as organisers it was a privilege to welcome our 670 delegates to another great city and we look forward to doing the same next year in amazing Dubrovnik.  

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