Associations… a vitale part of my business

As the attention for what i was doing grew in the market, people started to ask me to engage more on a non-commercial level.

Our industry has some great associations of which i am still a member. They are vital in offering a platform between the industry and the end users, the stadium & club owners, the sports organisations.

Around 2010 ESSMA (European Stadium & Safety Managers Association)  was facing difficult times. Founded by the late Lionel Drechsler (former Paris Saint Germain Parc des Princes stadium director) the organisation had shrinked untill only a handfull of clubs were left over as a member.

John Beattie, current Arsenal FC Emirates stadium director, who still is ESSMA’s president today, called a crisis meeting in London in 2012. We had no decent meeting room, no coffee, no nothing. John, Declan O’Brien, Paul Anderson, Patrick M. Martin and myself were present.

It was do or die at that time.

As one of the 3 sponsors, we asked for a rebooth, a total remake of the association and the way it was being managed.

That was the moment Dimitri Huygen was introduced to ESSMA. I knew Dimitri from the Belgian Sports Technology Club where he was the manager of the club. Dimitri wanted to take the next step and go international.

This was the perfect moment.

Ever since, ESSMA has had a steady growth both in turn over and memberships. Professionalism and seriousness were the new leads.

And i grew more into a leading role as well.

Over the years i have met so many wonderfull people during the ESSMA summits and work shops. With my colleague directors of ESSMA vzw, as board member and advisory committee member i have always felt privileged to be part of such an important association.

A good part of the network i have built has its roots within ESSMA.

Another association that i have joined for many years now is ESSG (European Stadium Suppliers Group). This initiative has been started up by my good friend Paul Anderson. If Paul doesn’t know you in the industry, it simply means you don’t exist…

Alongside these great associations, my time as president of the Belgian Sports & Entertainment Technology Club has also brought me great pleasure and fabulous opportunities. I have met Kings, Princes & Princesses. Presidents, CEO’s of FIFA World Cup organisations, the former IOC president Dr Jacques Rogge, and so many more inspiring people.

But above all, i had the opportunity to listen and talk to so many ordinary people who worked for all of these great venues, organisations, events… they thought me how to deal with the every day business and turning problems into opportunities.

Being a member of these associations also contributes to the value i want to offer you with PitchTecConcept. Building, maintaining and operating a pitch is more than just technology. It is about people. Team work.

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