Ecco La Luna 20 years young!

Ecco La Luna looks forward to the next 15 years.


Ecco La Luna looks forward to the next 15 years.

Our manager-owner Geert Debusschere celebrated not only his own birthday this month but also that of Ecco La Luna! Read all about his future plans and reflections in the full interview below.

The Agency Ecco La Luna, specializing in unique and customized corporate team building, events and coaching - for small to very large teams, at a location of your choice - is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. But despite this anniversary, Managing Director Geert Debusschere has no intention of slowing down. On the contrary. Ecco La Luna set out a clear vision for the next 15 years....

It was Geert Debusschere's dream to start his own business before he was 35. "At 34 years and 11 months, I just managed to do that," he laughs. "I think my life goal is to connect people and make them work together in a connecting way. When I worked at P&G, there were regular team building events. But the companies that organized these team buildings often put themselves first. That was for me a drive to do things differently. By focusing on the customer's experience and helping the company realize its dreams. I got the name from the movie ‘Man On The Moon’, which moved me tremendously. In addition to that, I also love Italy. So it all came together: 'look at the moon,' or 'Ecco La Luna.' A nod to the little sandman on the moon who makes children dream.


Ecco La Luna started 20 years ago as a one-man business, originally focusing on team
events. Soon important steps were taken. As of 2007, we started working around coaching. That slowly but surely built up under the waterline, and was further strengthened in 2011 when I met my wife Anne-Astrid Coninx, who is a who is a professional business psychologist. From then on, we started focusing more on that segment. In 2018, we started looking for suitable partner venues - including hotels and seminar locations, which will help us market team building and coaching formats. To do this, we selected locations where we ourselves like to be, and where we feel at home. This has allowed us to have a base with firm tentacles, in Belgium, but also in the rest of Europe. Because we like to work abroad, and do so more and more often.”


In 2020, in full corona crisis, Ecco La Luna moved to a brand new office and warehouse. "That decision was taken after the peak years of 2018 and 2019. Of course, it was a tough sell at the time itself, but the move is now paying off giving more options in terms of logistics and organization. The corona period has been difficult, but in the end it brought with it a positive story. It forced us to reinvent ourselves. The choice of the Wildgoose Mobile Adventures package a few years before was crucial, because it helped us to establish a strong online presence. Within the Wildgoose network, the Darwin Project was established, in which we build programs together with international team building experts. The first result of this is ‘the Wind Farm’, which we created with colleagues from Portugal and Ireland.”


Geert Debusschere realises that people are a crucial factor in the agency's success. "It is these strong figures who give our team buildings form, and who ensure that Ecco La Luna has developed a warm, human style. People like Hans Vanooteghem and Tim Stragier have played a key role in this. By the way, we are very proud of the fact that in 20 years we have had little or no staff turnover. Indeed, no one has ever transferred to competitors or started out on their own. The employees who did leave chose completely different careers Our goal, then, is to create a warm nest in which people can express themselves Where people can hatch their idea in co- creation and work with it.”


Last year was a real grand cru for Ecco La Luna. "In 2022 we passed the mark of 1,000 effective participants in an active team building for the first time. But at the same time, we remain equally at the service of smaller teams. With Crack The Code, we introduced a homemade escape game that is both indoor and outdoor, as a PlanB.

This approach proved to be a success: we grew by 25% in 2022 compared to 2019 - our best year before corona. This will partly be a catch-up movement of the market, but it is also a consequence of the decisions we made during the corona period. In this sense, we also continued to invest in personnel. We hired someone to further set up the logistics story, and additional people joined the sales team. Since January 1, 2023, we also have a colleague who will lead the operations team and who will take a lot of work and responsibilities off my hands. That makes that on our 20th anniversary we will have a team of about 20 people - bigger than ever before - with which we want to continue building a bright future. We also invested in a customized package around event, warehouse and personnel management, so we will soon be able to reap the benefits of that too. We notice that the requests for the new year are coming in nicely. That gives a lot of confidence for the future.”


The 20th anniversary of Ecco La Luna was also the time to draw out a plan for the future.
I am almost 54 years old now, and together with Anne-Astrid we have 4 small children between the ages of 3 and 9. So we still have 15 years before the youngest child finishes high school. That is the horizon we are thinking about right now with Ecco La Luna. We want to grow slowly but surely. Keep doing what we are good at and do better where we can do even better. In doing so, we have identified a few focal points.

For example, we want to market our coaching pillar more clearly. For example, we are working on leadership through working with sheep, and I am taking a postgraduate course in systemic coaching with horses. We are also further specializing in non-violent and connecting communication.” “We also want to maintain a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility. We already had a program on diversity and inclusion. We want to develop this further in collaboration with, among others, the 'Karel de Grote Hogeschool' in Antwerp. Diversity and inclusion are more than buzzwords for us. Our new program ‘the Wind Farm’, in which participants build their own wind turbine, fits within that CSR philosophy. In addition, we also endorse the Commtozero initiative of the events sector".


Another trump card Ecco La Luna wants to play, is the use of the Wildgoose app for total experiences. "For multi-day conferences and seminars, we can provide a 'unique solution' with the app containing not only the program, but also interesting and relevant info about speakers and, for example, the menu of the dinner. One can provide feedback and input from participants, quiz questions about the sessions, reward participants in breakout sessions with extra points, have participants submit photos,... So it will be an interactive event with a live leaderboard. In fact, we provide a 'gamification' of the entire conference. And of course we can provide the necessary icebreakers and energizers."

"We want to further qualitatively expand our existing team building formats, where people compete against each other in smaller groups and where we work with a pass-through system. Thanks to our expertise, we can now handle this for very large groups of more than 1,000 participants. We also want to celebrate our 20th anniversary with 'The Return of the Mole', so that clients can relive this top program with totally new assignments. Finally, we want to continue to innovate and work with other forms of team building. We already have formulas where everyone works together towards a final goal (dominoes, bamboo, musical team buildings, etc). In April 2023 hope to launch two new formats with a totally new and atypical course," concludes Geert Debusschere.

(EXPERIENCE magazine - January 2023)

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