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  • 16 Dec 2021

Young Managers – Elke Verbaarschot

Elke Verbaarschot

Elke Verbaarschot, marketing and communication manager at Finat, discusses the recent European Label Forum. Interview by Jordan Hart.

I was first introduced to Finat when I started working at Lejeune Association Management back in 2008. Lejeune is specialized in managing national and international associations with 50 to over 500 members. We mainly support our organizations in strategy, project, and office management. This means that we are involved in strategy planning, but also manage the daily business of our clients. That is how I became the marketing and communications manager for Finat.

When I was introduced to labels, I was amazed at how big the industry is behind the label. As a consumer, you walk into the supermarket and you aren’t aware of the large organization that goes behind producing even one of these labels.

When I started at Finat, the Young Managers Club had just been introduced and I supported them with organizing the events together with my colleges. In 2019 we did the relaunch from the Young Managers Club to the Young Professionals Network so I helped them with the rebranding project, coming up with the new logo, strategy, and new formats that we are rolling out. I’m always happy to support them in shaping the future of the label industry.

What I really love about this industry is the people. It feels like we are all one big family when we are at these events. Of course, there is competition, there is enough room for everyone. Everyone is collaborating and connecting in an association like Finat – that’s what I really like about this industry. Also seeing all these developments and learning more about these labels that we see everyday but are not necessarily aware of what goes behind it.

European Label Forum

With the recent European Label Forum, of course we were happy that we could finally organize an event, even though it was online. We can see that people were happy to connect again and the program committee did a very good job in creating a nice program for each day. Of course, we all just want to get together again in real life. We try to do some of the networking online but it will never be the same as when you can meet up at an actual event in person. We will have to figure out how to do the hybrid format in the future, where we can offer the content online as well as in person.

With the YPN, we just started publishing a bi-monthly newsletters for all our members. Everyone in the Finat community can join the YPN free of charge. We started publishing this to share our thoughts about ongoing topics such as sustainability. Our latest issue was with a guest author Alastair Banks and he discussed personal branding in a short video course for our members. We try to help young professionals with their own personal development and give them a platform where they can meet up with like-minded people. We started in March and have now published two issues.

Watch Verbaarschot's full young managers interview here