Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

European CI Summit - From Rome 2008 to Amsterdam 2009

Arrivederci Roma
“From Rome with love…” We were not sure which language was spoken at this year’s EU Summit because Rome turned into Babylon for a couple of days. This year’s European Conference was, as expected, multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-background, multi-level with approx. 300 participants. High quality content, including: 1) two Italian breakthrough keynotes that demonstrated ‘glocalization’, 2) great discussions at the Exhibition Hall, as well as informally, 3) lots of take home messages and “memories of the future”, when embarking towards the 2009’s EU Summit.

Eric Glitman, Milena Motta, Arik Johnson

The Organizing Committee
Months of planning, brain storming, teleconferences, coordination, fine-tuning, logistics have made the Organizing Committee deliver the promise. Engagement of all those involved led to a successful cooperation between the Organizing Committee and SCIP staff to orchestrate the 2009 EU Summit in Rome. Once again, the volunteering effort has resulted decisive: to involve experienced talents to contribute to our Society’s objectives and activities. The hard work behind the results deserves high appreciation as well as recognition. Great team work and chairing; the latter under the leadership of Milena Motta.

The organizing committee played the right profile by continuing their activities until the end. These colleagues contributed with introduction of speakers, moderation of sessions and making sure all worked out well. Volunteers in the background looking after technicalities, evaluation forms and supporting in every possible way deserve a huge applause. Thank you SCIP Italia for this!

It is worthwhile mentioning, that SCIP’s commitment to the annual European Conference has been made patent. It is now, more than ever, noticeable as well as comforting. We will continue this tradition at the 14th EU Meeting next year. The European Summit 2009 has been launched at this Conference (details at the end of this report) and this confirms internationalization of SCIP.

The Hotel Crowne Plaza proved to be a worthy venue, meeting the expectations of all those involved. Exhibition space allowed for booths to be well placed and not being overcrowded. Walks to and from sessions rooms were short with hardly any transfer time. Due to the amount of participants the Restaurant did reach its limit during lunchtime.

EU Summit – International and at the same time at home
Colleagues from all continents found their way to Rome. Participants came from such exotic or far away countries like: Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa. Europeans came from the Black Sea to the “End of the World” (farthest western spot of the continent), from close to the Polar Circle (an embellished expression…Scandinavia) to the Mediterranean Sea. Italian hospitality, food and culture were present at all times and made us feel quite at home.

US – Israeli - French Connection

There was something for everyone: beginners could get their hands full of content and experience, meet (new) colleagues, suffer the burden of not knowing who is who, serve as objects of some “friendly elicitation”, enjoy steep learning curves. Those who knew each other interacted promptly, shared new experiences, bounced issues off of each other and exchanged updates. Old friends met and new friends were made. It was highly interesting to notice how good (old) friends discussed some topics in depth, thoroughly and extensively. Debates were not restricted to pure CI and included issues around our Society, extending to organizational aspects, be it of companies, departments, or co-operations as well as hands-on subjects. Experienced individuals conduct an open dialogue, deposit the right amount of confidence in each other, knowing how to deal with confidentiality and openness, at the same time. (see two good friends at another good friend’s site:

Vendors’ support contributes strongly to making an event successful. There were old and new faces and all of them with new offers. All booths were at all times well visited and one could appreciate a constant interaction with attendees. Challenging discussions took place, projects and their status could be updated on site, new ideas were generated. Feedback from the vendors was that the degree of interest from participants was very high and their being there had been rewarding. A very good outcome.

The presence of SCIP, as a Society was felt. It goes without saying that Ken Garrison, SCIP’s new Executive Director, exercised the right amount of exposure and visibility. He personally opened the EU Summit by not only welcoming all attendees, but by “breaking the ice” with a warm up activity. One of his strengths is to be everywhere without necessarily occupying the stage. His experience and personality allows for a cool appreciation and a realistic expectation of events. He was of great support for all those liaising with him. Ken and SCIP’s staff have been key in making this conference work.

Those SCIP Officers and Leaders present, participating actively or not, need to be mentioned:
• Joe Goldberg, the President of the Board of Directors together with three further Directors (including Past-President Martha Matteo). Joe introduced us all in his opening speech to SCIP’s new Strategic Plan.
• Arik Johnson, member of the Board of Trustees of the Competitive Intelligence Foundation (CIF). On Day Two Arik introduced a new hands-on approach towards the business model of the CIF.
• Erik Glitman, chair of SCIP’s Awards Committee.
• Michael Belkine, chair of the International Advisory Committee.
• Ellen Naylor, one of the Heads of the Women’s Leadership Council.
• Rainer Michaeli, past member of SCIP’s Board of Directors.
• Leaders of the various international SCIP partners/affiliates
(a respectable list).
• Members ofSCIP’s Communications Advisory Committee, Membership Advisory Committee and the Web Task Force.

Arik Johnson (CIF)

This notable presence strengthens the message of “One SCIP”. We see SCIP “walk the talk” and are enthusiastic of being a part of it and contributing to its success. Further volunteering is, nevertheless, required to keep it all rolling.

I will not refer to the opening of Day One, since Arik has already reported on this in detail (

Eduardo together with Catia Bastioli

Nevertheless, I wish to express my excitement of having heard Catia Bastioli’s lecture (Innovator’s Prize 2007). Without disclosing any CI of her company, the intelligence deployed was exposed making us all hungry for more.

Day Two was occupied by Fabio De’Longhi who delivered a very inspiring keynote presentation. After a brief overview of the historical past of his company, Fabio took us by hand through the strategic decisions his company took covering: the range of products (including their “raison d’être”), their production concept, their extension into the distribution part of the supply chain.

He strongly stressed “branding” and allowed for us to fantasize on the “Italian way of life” wishing to enjoy a delightful De’Longhi Espresso.

De’Longhi Homepage:
De’Longhi Team:
De’Longhi 360°:'longhi/--ID__101232--/free-co-factsheet.x...

De’Longhi’s successful business case looks very easy after overcoming the many difficulties and reaching current accomplishments. His vision (originally his father’s) is exemplary. Fabio, still, remains down to earth and ready to take De’Longhi forward, to overcome new challenges, while expanding to new frontiers. For De’Longhi’s achievements, lots of intelligence, strategy, marketing, forecasting, passion and risk have been professionally set in place. And if you don’t want to believe it, just ask George (…for a NESPRESSO).

The EU Summit started with a number of Workshops on Monday, October 20. These had full houses and were very lively. Once again: high learning curves and great interaction. Asking the right and challenging questions proved to be the best way to profit most out of these. Both those running the Workshops, as well as those taking them were very satisfied with the results.

Jens Thieme and Hans Hedin in a tête-à-tête

Adrian Alvarez in lively discussions

Time keeping and logistics were very well set into place; as if everything has been rehearsed before. The chosen tracks received a warm welcome. In general, colleagues’ feedback, as well as my own experience were positive. As always, some sessions were more attractive than others. The general impression being a very positive one, we can build upon for future events.

Feminine presence at SCIP

Michael B and Elisa T doing lunch

New faces presented their hands-on experiences and discussed in depth their approaches and processes. Academics were set to draw attention by displaying new techniques, modalities, procedures, research, drawbacks. Vendors flew high in their sessions and displayed the advantages of their products. Presentation of business cases played a role within the sessions; there could have been more of these. More than general comments here could result unfair.

This year’s Summit did beat the 80/20 Pareto principle by far, with a much, much higher positive feedback than 80%. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement, be it: a short program containing a quick overview, a blackboard for notes, more space for participant support, Summit Proceedings including a complete set of all presentations, more Business Cases.

EU Summit 2009

Our path takes us next year to Amsterdam, Netherlands. We travel under the slogan:

Power of CI accelerated by SCIP.

Our Chairman of the 2009 European Competitive Intelligence Summit will be Joseph Rodenberg (SCIP Benelux).

Negotiations are already underway regarding Hotel to host the Conference and the date.

Dear Colleagues: We shall meet again.

Welkomst in Amsterdam!

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Comment by Martha R. Matteo, PhD on November 12, 2008 at 1:19pm
It was a treat to be part of the planning for this meeting. The Committee not only had good ideas, but they also followed through with timely information-sharing and networking. Milena, you made it seem so easy!!! Ken and the SCIP staff were very positive and able guides in this venture, sensitive to the Committee's goals concerning content and atmosphere at the meeting, while minding SCIP's financial responsibilities. In that regard, I wish to give special thanks to the sponsors and exhibitors, who responded early and vigorously in support of this meeting. I, too, regret not being able to get to all of the sessions, but thoroughly enjoyed the CTI track this year. I hope to see you all in Amsterdam in 2009!

Martha Matteo
Comment by Ellen Naylor on October 28, 2008 at 8:16pm
Hi Eduardo,

Great write-up on the conference following Arik's initial write-up. It brought me back to this wonderful sharing experience in Roma. Thank you, Milena, Martha and the other members of the planning committee for such a great conference. I liked every presentation I attended, and really struggled about what presentation to attend since the quality and material of most presentations were of interest.

Thanks for the fashionable, delicate Italian scarf which SCIP gave to the lady presenters (wink, wink Milena). I like the smaller size and the intimacy of this conference as well as the diversity among attendees which Eduardo shared. I felt right at home as I grew up in an international community in Yokohama, Japan. We all spoke English, but for many of us English was not our mother tongue.

I have heard mostly very positive comments about this conference, and think this good experience will influence many of us to attend next year's European conference in Amsterdam, another great European city!

Ellen Naylor
Comment by Adrian Alvarez on October 28, 2008 at 4:33pm
Very well summed up Eduardo!

I have to say that I really liked the conference, speakers and the overall level of the conference. I particularly liked Mr De Longhi and his way of devising a blue ocean for his company. Very inspirational.

I also liked some sessions (of course I will not comment on mine ;)), such as the one of Laura Conejos, the one of Luc Rooms or the one of Michel Bernaiche. Unfortunately, time is a finite resource and I could not attend to some of the sessions I wanted, but being a friend of the presenters. I can ask them for their presentations and have a one on one discussion with them.

Another interesting part was the good networking possibilities there were at the conference. I got to know a lot of new people, who were first class and with whom I share a lot of points of view, such as Claudia, John, Jens, Laura. Sometimes you also have known with people for a long time over the phone or email and you get to know them in person. It happened to me with Suki, I had monthly teleconferences with her (sometimes it was even more frequent), but we never ever met till San Diego this year. This happened to me with Luis from Portugal in Rome, we had extensive contact before the conference, but we never met in person.

I said to Milena today, any time you organize a conference in Italy, please count me in!

But I guess that she wants some rest now!

Anyway, my congratulations to the organizing committee!

I look forward to going to Chicago first and Amsterdam later!

Comment by Arik Johnson on October 28, 2008 at 2:14pm
Wow Eduardo - really, really well said all throughout - great to see you last week my friend and congratulations on your vice presidency in 2009 - you will certainly continue your most excellent contributions to the Society, its members and the field of CI going forward.
Comment by Suki Fuller on October 27, 2008 at 8:18pm
Eduardo -
Thank you so much for providing that great overview of the conference, just showing once again that in 2009 I must attend Amsterdam. :-)
Comment by Jens Thieme on October 27, 2008 at 4:46pm
I can't agree more to have experienced one of the best if not THE best and most productive CI conference in Europe.

Diversity in attendance and balance in program in a world class city location have offered value way beyond expectation for me.

The international SCIP events grow every year and Amsterdam Fall 2009 will be a huge success both in numbers and outcome.

Milena: if it wasn't that much of an exhausting job we all would love to have you lead all committees in future. Extremely well done! Tell your employer he's got a gold mine in you :-)
Comment by Andrew Beurschgens on October 27, 2008 at 3:42pm
Thank you Eduardo, thank you very was a blast and very much worth the effort...

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