Blog: Simon WarburtonNetworking, CLEPA style

Simon Warburton | 24 November 2011

Over to Brussels on the Eurostar - isn't it time they made wi-fi available - even for a fee? - for this year's CLEPA aftermarket conference in the Belgian capital.

Brussels clearly plays host to myriad pan-European organisations - it even has an EU parliamentary museum - the 'Parliamentarium' although as much as I enjoy politics I think you'd have to be seriously nerdy to like that one. However, the location allows CLEPA as the automotive supplier body to take full advantage of its geography to push its case.

I talked to CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist last night and one surprising fact to emerge was that his European members total a staggering five million.

That would explain why the EC sits up and takes notice of CLEPA, with the Commission's director DG Trade Garcia Bercero turning up to explain his position with regard to the vital free trade agreements currently happening around the globe and which are crucial to supplier members.

There are around 200 delegates here - a significant amount of them German - but instead of CLEPA organising a huge, formal, sit-down dinner, it provided a buffet set around stand-up tables.

It made for a relaxed, informal way to network, with people moving around and chatting and allowed delegates to get some real bang for their buck as well as from the formal format of the conference itself.

Networking is a key word at this conference and CLEPA does it particularly well.


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