The 22nd ECC-Forum in Cologne


Some time ago (September 20th, to be precise) I attended the ECC-Forum. Frankly, you really can’t say in advance what to expect from such an event, apart from the free drinks and snacks. At this point, my wife usually reminds me, that the drinks aren’t exactly free, but  being payed for in advance – and she’s right – as we know, there’s no such thing as free lunch. The question remains, however, if the day-trip to Cologne was worth it – and I answer with a definite ‚yes‘. Here’s my account of the visit:

The first thing to strike me was the professional manner in which the event was organized. Let me illustrate: it’s often taken for granted, that multiple wireless microphones do a flawless job and yet, how often have we heard the „oh-sorry-we-have-to-call-Tom-from-tech-support-as-the-PA-just-stopped-working“ apologies? This time: no such thing. In addition to that, Aline Eckstein of ECC-Handel (an IFH subdivision) emceed us through the day more eloquently than if Jay Leno had sent his own daughter. Besides, I don’t know if Jay Leno even has a daughter, to begin with.

Oh, and yes, the drinks & food were excellent with nothing left to desire.

As we’ve settled the important bits it’s time to talk business for a while. The apparent reasons to attend an event like this are to learn, to meet, to see and be seen. So let’s check the score:

  • Learning: check! Most of the seminars were well-researched and as such met the expectations. Some were even entertaining. In very few cases the speakers gave in to the temptation and abused their slot for some sweet advertising. No one is to blame except the speakers themselves; Aline, who was hugely involved in the entire organisation, assured me, said speakers would be spoken to. It is the expressed wish of the ECC Handel, that those who attend the seminars would get value for money (advertising is for free gigs like watching the latest installment of ‚Mad Men‘ for free on Youtube).
  • Meeting: check! Judging by the business cards I found in my pockets upon returning home I must have met almost as many people as on a typical trade show day, plus I noticed a nice surge in the number of Xing contacts. Some of those new contacts – almost all of them – had some business value, two of them I would label downright lucrative business leads. And a charming young lady was amongst them, too.
  • Seeing: to expect a who-is-who of eCommerce to attend a Forum like this might be a bit far-fetched, and yet, one or two of the real movers and shakers would have done nicely. There being none at all left a somewhat stale taste on my palates.
  • Being seen: this is a tad tricky to judge. Unless you’re on the speakers‘ list it is left up to yourself to make sure, someone notices you. Consequently, I got myself enlistet, so next time the topic B2B is up again, I’ll be asked to fill one of those slots (hopefully).

All in all, I came back amused, enriched, enlightened and a bit wiser. So, provided the topic matches my business, the ECC-Forum will see me again in the future.

For future reference, here is a list of the seminars held:

  • B2B and B2C – two totally different entities?
    Dr. Kai Hudetz, IFH Cologne
  • How is communication with the customer different when talking B2C vs. B2B? Example given: Easy Auto Service
    Philipp Hess,  Easy Auto Service GmbH
  • Is B2B e-Commerce to be feared? Transparency and comparability
    Stefan Grimm,
  • Legal aspects of B2B – things to be careful about
    Counceller Rolf Becker, Kanzlei Wienke & Becker
  • No time to play! Social Media and B2B
    André Brockschmidt,
  • About the efficient use of mobile business apps – a real-life success story as an example
    Roland Leiße, Nionex GmbH (a Bertelsmann AG enterprise)
  • Online-shop with a connector for speciality retailers – opportunities and challenges in the example of MHK Group
    Frank Bermbach, MHK Group
  • How to sell online in business areas requiring extensive customer counselling
    Martin Schulte, Experteaz
  • Tools to aid in the implementation of complex B2B business projects: Desired Outcomes, Problem Solving, RACI, Visual Management and others.
    Timm Kaminski, Hach Lange GmbH

This is Volker Boelsch, working and writing for
OXID eSales AG, Freiburg / Breisgau, Germany

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