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ETT Club bids farewell after almost four years

The Exhibition Think Tank Club has bid a fond farewell to events industry colleagues after almost four years of collaboration.

A special session was held with members from around the world who wanted to give their feedback on how the project had impacted them and their approach to business.

ETT Club, as it is known, was borne out of crisis in 2020 when the global coronavirus pandemic put a hold to our industry being able to meet.

It went on to become a community with more than 200 online sessions, 1,300 members from 72 countries including a diverse mix of industry professionals from different sectors and regions. 

Matthias Tesi Baur, CEO of MBB Consulting Group, said: “ETT Club as a project will end, but I think it will continue with many initiatives in the associations and other groups as well.

“Associations do a great job bringing people together as well through many different formats – through the congresses, through their online webinars.

“These are actually the two things where I hope they will continue and I hope will come out of the ETT Club.

“One of the things we have done for the first time in our industry was creating this atmosphere of being really hierarchy free.

“It really didn’t matter if you are C-level or a student, it only mattered if you had a good idea, a good question, or if you were challenging something we’ve done for hundreds and hundreds of years.

“You had your place and you had the right to speak and everybody listened to you.

“I hope this element of hierarchy-free collaboration, somehow finds its way into other formats.”

He added further work could blossom from the ETT Club in the form of an “alumni group”.

Tesi had started a think tank during the first lockdown in Europe, which invited industry friends to come together to discuss new challenges and how to move business forward under the tough circumstances.

This created a strong interest in meeting and collaborating again – meaning the ETT Club was born.

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It soon became a worldwide e-platform for eventprofs to network, debate and continue helping the industry to move forward.

An important part of the community is that it operates with the ethos of “no hierarchy, only good ideas”.

This has allowed it to bring together senior professionals, young talents, students and mid-management in the same sessions.

The openness of the club led to insightful debates, workshops and panels.

Sandrine Pittaway, senior community manager at MBB Consulting Group, presented some survey research about the impact of the ETT Club.

It found 47% believe the project had been effective in fostering collaboration and innovation, while another question revealed 45% believed there was still need for a similar digital platform for eventprofs to work together on.

ett club final session

The project was available for industry professionals around the world to take part in, thanks to sponsorship from supporters such as ExpoPlatform.

Mark Parsons, director at Events Intelligence, was one of the group leaders and explained how the club had helped him.

He said: “I built my confidence using the ETT Club – and my interest in teaching.

“I’ve now taught a couple of universities, quite a lot of teaching with organisers about how to use data, how to think about data and also more recently generative AI.

“I don’t think I’d been able to do that without ETT Club – it helped me find my voice, it inspired me to write about this stuff and teach as my way of giving back.

“Thank you so much for this opportunity.”

The digital transformation our industry witnessed during lockdown meant the club was crucial in getting eventprofs up to speed with this new landscape.

Berislav Čižmek, founder of CBBS, gave his appreciation to the project for helping so many make the most of this new opportunity.

He said: “The industry has shown that it’s very much open to share with each other – everybody was able to share their knowledge, ideas and experience.

“It was amazing to share all this and to learn from the others, the industry can thank you with this.

“We were able to learn about event tech – when the crisis started, people in our industry had very low level knowledge about event tech.

“We learned a lot about what is possible, how we can use it, how we can improve it.

“Event tech is here to stay, we believe that in the future so event tech will also play a part of this industry – because the new generation will expect it from the industry as well.

“It’s nice to be a part of this amazing industry. Thank you everybody.”

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