The European Association of Directory and Database Publishers (EADP) congress in Munich looked at ways to attack new opportunities in the emerging European market.
Invited speakers from around Europe addressed the theme – Confront the European Future. At the same time expert panels of European directory publishers discussed important questions facing the industry.
The congress was held in difficult circumstances as the attacks on the USA took place the day before the conference was scheduled to start. Therefore one of the keynote speakers Professor Robert Worcester, chairman of MORI, was unable to attend.
The deputy managing director of Yellow Pages, Peter Hutton gave a speech on how the socio-cultural trends around Europe could affect business. His message centred around the need of consumers to create meaning in what they consume, and that brands needed to address this and invest value in their product. It was perhaps apt, as the Yellow Pages is one of Europe's biggest and best-known brands.
The next speaker, Phillip Bouti, of Groupe Publicis La Rochefoucauld showed that creativity was the way to attack the European market. Worrying about local versus global marketing was a non-debate in his opinion; the real key to the European market preached by Bouti, was a creative approach to advertising that concentrated more on impact than copy or big logos.
The speakers' presentations were complimented by panel discussions on topics ranging from taxonomies to revenue models. The groups were split into electronic and print directory publishers, both looking in-depth at the issues facing their industries.
How to address customer satisfaction and how this can be achieved when moving from print to online directories was one part of one discussion. Marketing and sales strategies were also discussed, and again the context of the discussion was moving from print to on-line products and but more specifically the need to make sure that sales staff could support both the electronic and print product.
Outside the conference hall more than 25 companies supplying products took part in the congresses exhibition. Many companies displayed products that were designed to help directory publishers manage their content more effectively.
The congress finished with the third annual awards ceremony for excellence and quality in directory publishing. There were four awards in two categories, each category was subdivided into two sections, print and on-line directories. The winners included the Belgium website as well as The Knowledge 2001.
• The next EADP conference on electronic directories will be held in Cannes from the 30-31 May. For more information or to read more about the proceedings of the Munich conference, see the website below.