“ENGAGE. CONNECT. DIGITIZE. “A NEW DESIGN FOR THE ECD
True to the motto “All things seem possible in May”, the ECD shines in new splendor just in time for the fifth anniversary. Tradebyte has given the ECD a fresh look. But that’s not all.In the interview, Matthias Schulte, CEO at Tradebyte and Alexander Otto, Head of Communications, tell us what plans they have for the ECD, remember the beginnings of the e-commerce event and reveal their personal highlights from five years of ECD.
Matthias Schulte and Alexander Otto
Tradebyte: How did you come up with the idea for the ECD?
Matthias Schulte: We have always wanted to convert our business model into a congress model in order to bring providers together not only on a technical level with marketplaces and platforms, but also personally. And since there has not yet been a relevant congress in the platform business, we decided without further ado to organize an event ourselves. It was important to us from the start that the ECD was independent of Tradebyte and given its own branding, since we as Tradebyte are very cautious about the ECD and leave the stage to the big players in the marketplace and platform business.
Alexander Otto: The original idea for the ECD naturally came from Matthias. But I still remember exactly the moment when I started working for Tradebyte and heard about the ECD for the first time. I didn’t really understand why it was relevant for such an event. In the course of the collaboration, I realized how great the interest actually is in an event like the ECD, or E-Channels Day at that time.
That is the perfect transition to the next question. How do you imagine the very first ECD, or E-Channels Day, and what has changed since then?
Matthias Schulte: We are still sticking to the basic idea of the first ECD. You can tell that, for example, by the fact that the location is still the same in the fifth year, the Wappenhalle in Munich. Munich as a location was important to us because most of the e-commerce events take place in Berlin and we want to emphasize our Bavarian origins. Then as now, we have a few principles that we are trying to enforce. It starts with the fact that the ECD is not supposed to be a trade fair in the true sense of the word with any kind of booth. We focus on content with added value for visitors. With the first ECD, we asked ourselves how we could enable brands and retailers as well as platforms to exchange ideas with one another. That’s when we came up with the idea of speed dating. The one-to-one meetings in the Meeting Lounge are still the heart of the ECD today. Since the first ECD we have of course steadily professionalized and grown, but the DNA has stayed the same. We attach great importance to the fact that our event is ad-free and that it is in an exclusive setting with a maximum of 500 visitors in order to guarantee a qualitative meet & match between dealers and marketplaces.
Alexander Otto: When asked what has changed in recent years, I recently answered in a conversation: “Actually nothing!” Of course we have become bigger and more international and have improved from year to year. The ECD has increased in relevance in the e-commerce industry in recent years, which is why we are fortunate to be able to attract top-class speakers and sponsors today. But basically nothing has changed, because the idea was well thought out from the start. Matthias thought carefully about what he wanted and what he didn’t and that worked. That is why the ECD still gives the same feeling today as in the first year – only with more color and tam-tam.
And where should the ECD develop?
Matthias Schulte: We will grow, that much can be revealed. Due to the high presence and relevance in the industry, we consider a size of 700 to 800 visitors to be realistic. We are also expanding the ECD website ourselves into a platform on which platform business and trends can be discussed independently of the event. In addition, we are pushing sub-formats such as the ECD Lunch so that we can be even closer to customers and needs.
Alexander Otto: The entire ECD brand should be further strengthened. Among other things through the new slogan “Engage. Connect. Digitize. ” The ECD becomes even more a symbol for, let’s call it: targeted networking with a making business option. So it was recently at the ECD Lunch Benelux in Amsterdam, the sub-format mentioned earlier. At these events, too, we don’t want to do without the classic ECD features: speed dating, exclusive lectures and very good food.
There is a new ECD design for the anniversary! Why did you choose it?
Alexander Otto: For the anniversary we just wanted to do something new and thus make preparations for the next few years. The redesign adapts to where the ECD has grown at all levels. The old logo had its place, but to do justice to ourselves, we wanted to completely change the design. This new, wonderful look and feel was created together with Tradebyte designer Ella.
Matthias Schulte: A few years ago the perspective of the ECD was simply even more limited. Because the format has grown and has now become incredibly diverse, we decided to further develop the design. A few years ago, with the claim “Play Digital!” In other words, we no longer concentrate purely on marketplaces and platforms, but also have many service providers such as Spryker or MS Direct on board and are fundamentally open-ended. We are thus offering visitors the all-round package in e-commerce. With the new meaning “Engage. Connect. Digitize. ” and a much clearer logo language, we are now starting this new phase of the ECD.
What are your personal highlights from five years of ECD?
Matthias Schulte:My personal highlight is, and that affects every year, that the event arose out of the company and is completely organized by the Tradebyte team. The entire management of the ECD is homemade. It starts with addressing the visitors, goes through the acquisition of sponsors and the management of the meetings, and ends on site. We didn’t employ a single hostess, no event agency. The ECD is a Tradebyte family affair and I am very proud of it. Another highlight is of course the further development of the session slot. Thanks to our trusting connections in the industry, we have managed to get executives from large companies in the digital trade sitting there who chat comfortably with one another. This creates high-quality dialogues that you can’t hear anywhere else. The overall mood at the ECD is just incredibly open and positive. Everyone exudes joy and willingness to start a conversation. That inspires me every year.
Alexander Otto: I am really impressed that we as the Tradebyte team organize the ECD, in addition to our everyday job, put so many ideas into it and implement them. After a successful ECD day, we dance to music as a team with the customers in the evening, it is highly emotional and I am always grateful for this moment. The atmosphere at the ECD is simply overwhelming. Of course, one wants to do business on such a day and I haven’t felt the warm, exuberant atmosphere provided at the ECD at any other event. This is the DNA of the ECD and it’s only possible with us.
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