530 participants, 30 presentations and 400 one-to-one meetings. Inspiring conversations and intensive exchanges. Radiant faces and exquisite catering. Sparklers and a spectacular disco set-up. On its fifth birthday, the ECD exceeded expectations once again.
»We truly believe that the mission of the ECD is to contribute to the platform performance of European players. And that is the reason you are here.« Matthias Schulte opened the fifth ECD with his keynote speech on digital (r)evolution. To him, platform business is an essential part of the current digital development, if not a revolution of the previous thinking and business models of retail in general. Why? »Retailers turn their B2C business models from buying and selling into B2B service offers for connected brands and vendors. On the other side, brands now do it the other way around, turning their B2B business into DTC and soon covering everything around the last mile to the consumer.«
Consistent customer orientation, development of new services for digital trade, future strategies – the ECD’s central topics were part of the discussions on the main stage in the Wappenhalle and the lectures in the Channels, Best Practice and Deep Dive Slots. Top-class speakers from Amazon, Zalando, Otto, Adidas, Wayfair or Mustang and industry experts such as Jochen Krisch and Alexander Graf provided input and inspiration for countless discussions between visitors. Networking at its best – the ECD stays true to its unique mixture of congress and business meeting.
The ECD platform – more than just an event
The ECD itself is also in the midst of its evolution. Matthias Schulte gave an outlook on the ECD’s future: The ECD, originally started as a networking event, will become the platform of the platforms. In the future, the main event in May will be accompanied by smaller events throughout the year. The brand new website will be the hub for current e-commerce topics and interviews with industry leaders. An enlargement of the event is planned for 2020 – the ECD will become more interactive and thus even more present. Speaking of innovation and evolution: this year, the ECD did not only shine in a new, fresh design, but also with a new motto: “Engage, Connect, Digitize”. A call for activity, for collaboration and for courage and will for consistent digitization.
Enraptured by the day’s intensive exchange of words and information, the ECD’s anniversary ended with an exquisite dinner by Feinkost Käfer and a glittering party. The visitors danced to the beats of DJ Markus Winter under a sparkling mirror ball sky until the morning hours, before saying goodbye to the Wappenhalle for a year. See you all in 2020 – and don’t forget: Play Digital!