70th IUCAB Delegates Meeting in Berlin, Germany
This year the Annual Meeting of IUCAB was held from 18th to 20th May in Berlin, Germany. Additionally, a Congress “Unifying cultures. Connecting business!” was organised on occasion of the 70th anniversary of IUCAB. Presidents, secretaries and lawyers of sixteen Member Associations came together and discussed the ongoing issues referring to the profession. During the congress additional stakeholders participated to get to know more about the current developments. The Annual Meeting was hosted and perfectly organised by the German Member Association CDH, in particular by the Secretary Mr. Eckhard Doepfer.
In advance of the Delegates Meeting, the Secretarial Working Group Members met and gave an overview of the actual activities in their national associations. Furthermore, the Legal Working Group exchanged information on the recent case law according to the commercial agents law in the Member States.
In the afternoon, the IUCAB President, Mr. Olivier Mazoyer, opened the Delegates Meeting and welcomed around 40 Delegates and guests. The Secretary General, Mr. Christian Rebernig, presented the main actions from the last 12 months. He held the annual report and informed about successful meetings and the exchanges with Member Associations. A new president was elected in the Italian association, Mr. Giovanni di Pietro. Elections were also held in Greece. Mr. Alkis Iliadis has taken over the presidency.
Mr. Rebernig presented the 12 key messages used on the social media channels and on the website regarding the “Study of Commercial Agents”, conducted by Prof. Trond Bergestuen. Furthermore, he invited the Delegates to support the social media activities (like, share and comment the posts) and thus to increase the IUCAB community.
The Adriatic Region Agents Association (ARAA) was welcomed as the successor of the Slovenian member association. The aim of ARAA is to enlarge the network to the Southeast-European countries under an umbrella association. The foundation took place in spring, where IUCAB was invited to present itself. Ms. Damjana Sever, the President and Ms. Vida Kozar were congratulated for their efforts in developing the profession.
Mr. Olivier Mazoyer´s term as President expired in May 2023. He was elected for a next three-years-term as IUCAB President. Ms. Eeva Pakkanen and Mr. Marco Righetti were confirmed as Vice-Presidents for another term of three years.
IUCAB is eager to widen its network and constantly cooperates with various partners. In the last month several exchanges took place with SME Connect, which was established in 2017 and seeks to maximise the impact of SMEs and one-person-companies on the European level. Mr. Mazoyer and Mr. Rebernig took the chance to introduce the profession to Mr. Horst Heitz, Secretary General of SME Connect. IUCAB and SME Connect will strengthen further their collaboration.
An important focus is currently on expanding the IUCAB network and global contacts. IUCAB has therefore recently started a research on commercial agents as well as on manufacturers associations in 19 countries from 5 continents. In some regions, such as South America or South Korea, India and Indonesia, there are organisations for commercial agents. In other parts of the world agents are working on the market but are not organised in associations. It is estimated that in addition to the approximately 600,000 commercial agents in the IUCAB member countries, around 2 million agents are active worldwide. Manufacturers associations will be informed about the advantages of the distribution channel via commercial agents.
IUCAB applied for an EU Erasmus+ project called LUCA (Leveling up commercial agents competences), where new competences, training programs and skills will be developed. The aim of this project is to elaborate an online training tool for commercial agents and to create a certification system that can be offered to agents around the world. The approval is expected in summer. Other project partners are universities and companies from some European countries.
Fourteen National or Regional Member Associations fullfill the requirements according to IUCAB Training Standards and are allowed to use the IUCAB Training Label. The following association received a confirmation: APAC (France), ARAA (Southeast-European countries), ATPS (Sweden), CDH (Germany), CCRA (Cyprus), The MAA (United Kingdom & Ireland), CGAC, COAC Barcelona, COAC Valencia (Spain), FNAC (France), USARCI, USARCI Piedmont (Italy), VNHI (The Netherlands) and WKO Handelsagenten (Austria).
The International Agent of the Year 2023 is Mr. Arnaud Heteau, owner of HCA Consulting & Actions, France. He was selected by the Executive Committee during its meeting in March 2023 in Boston. The agency has 2 employees, represents three principals and is active in the water infrastructure (flowmeter rentals, water quality probes, water equipment). The trophy will be handed over to Mr. Heteau by the IUCAB Secretary General during an event in Paris in June.
On 19th May, the international congress of IUCAB under the motto “Unifying cultures. Connecting business!” took place in the CDH association building in Berlin. The result was enthusiastic participants and international networking. A report on this will follow separately.
Next year the Annual Meeting will take place from 9th to 11th May 2024 in Vienna, Austria.