Eumabois, the European Federation of woodworking machinery and tools manufacturer, held its annual General Assembly on September 18th, 2020. The Corona virus drove the decision to unite all delegates and the board on a digital platform, in order to protect all participants. 

The twenty-one representatives together with the Eumabois President, Jürgen Köppel, and the Eumabois Vice President, Luigi De Vito, used the 2020 general assembly to address the challenges and chances Europe and the world is facing during the last months of Corona pandemic.

Considering the serious and deep impact of the Corona virus on many industries, especially the exhibition industry, the participants discussed measures to be taken and alternative ways to be implemented. 

They agreed on the fact that the Corona pandemic is accelerating the digital transformation, which can be seen already at some exhibitions, planning hybrid solutions as a combination of digital and presence events. 

However, Jürgen Köppel stated that “no digital solution can really substitute the experience of a live demo giving the visitors the chance to eyewitness and compare latest technology”. 

Looking at Eumabois global fair network, many exhibitions have been called of for 2020 or are postponed to 2021, which was for sure the right step at that point of time. Other fairs developed safety and hygienic plans for protecting participants, exhibitors and everyone being involved in the exhibition to avoid a complete cancellation. “A huge challenge but an important step back to normal” as Luigi De Vito emphasised during the general assembly. 

Beside the Corona topic, which overshadowed the general assembly to a certain degree, due to the significant effects on all industries and economies, the various Eumabois technical and marketing projects were reviewed. Jürgen Köppel emphasized the importance of a joint European approach because the expertise and knowhow of all member associations and their over 850 member companies are the power which is required to create and set trends in the woodworking industry on a European and global basis. 

The status of two very important technical projects was presented and further steps were discussed. Both projects, namely OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture) and ETML (European Tool Machine Language) are giving answers on European level to today’s questions related to the digitalisation. 

The participants were quite satisfied with the proceedings of both projects and it was agreed upon to even increase the efforts to set joint European trends in the digitalization of the woodworking industry. Luigi De Vito took the opportunity to also present the results of the Market Intelligence Project (MIP) which was recently completed by Eumabois.  

Finally, Jürgen Köppel expressed his sincere thanks to all associations, member companies and people who continuously drive the success of Eumabois by dedicating their knowhow and power to support the joint European ideas in the woodworking industry. 

He closed the meeting with the statement: “I am confident that the actual, challenging times are also offering opportunities that can be the starting point for new approaches and ideas in our industry”. 

Even so the first Eumabois digital general assembly was finished perfectly in time without any problem, all delegates are looking forward to the next face-to-face general assembly which will take place on June, 25th 2021 in Vienna.