Flashback: CEMS V4 Virtual Conference

At the beginning of October 2020, the Prague University of Economics and Business (VSE) hosted the 10th Edition of the Annual CEMS V4 Conference. It was organized by the V4 Organizing team (part of the CEMS Club Prague) in cooperation with strategic partner Google, main partner L’Oréal, conference partners Hilti, Škoda Auto, Procter & Gamble, and social partners Fair Trade and Bátor Tábor.
The 10th annual CEMS V4 Conference was originally planned to take place in April 2020, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, the organizers decided to postpone the date to autumn. Little did all of us know, that the second wave will hit and force the organizing team to shift the Conference to the online format.
Despite the circumstances, 80 participants from 20 countries and 11 universities joined the four days of the vibrant social and academic program. The conference topic was more relevant than ever – Strategic Planning in Today’s Turbulent World. Companies challenged participants through skill seminars, and case competitions focused on learning about the changing strategic landscape in Central Europe’s growing market.
All students were also invited to a lecture on Strategy given by the CEMS Academic Director Ing. Ladislav Tyll, MBA, Ph.D. and to a panel discussion with representatives from L’Oréal, Procter &Gamble, Bátor Tábor and Fair Trade, focusing on how both corporate and social partners can work together to create a more sustainable world.
Apart from the academic program, there were also many exciting social activities. The whole Conference started off on Wednesday evening with Teambuilding and Opening Event, followed by a Rotation Dinner on Thursday and an unforgettable Closing Gala on Friday evening, during which students had the chance to win various sustainability-related and fun prizes. The whole program was rounded up by an inspiring Alumni Brunch on Saturday morning.
The V4 Conference represented a great opportunity for top talented students from different CEMS universities worldwide to meet and interact with the corporate partners on both professional and interpersonal level. Participants appreciated that despite the unfortunate situation and the ban on all face-to-face events, the conference still took place and was shifted to an online format. Students were excited to get the chance to interact with fellow CEMSies and corporate partners regardless of the pandemic restrictions. Just an example of that is the feedback of one of the participants, “Thanks to the whole organization team for making it possible for us to have such a conference in times of COVID!“
Corporate partners appreciated especially the flexibility and adjustment of the conference format on such short notice. In the words of Petr Smid from Google, „The organizing team managed to turn a 3+ day conference into an online format in a very short time and deliver it on such a professional level. I admire the energy and spirit not just of the organizers but of all the participants – it could be a role model for today’s not so positive world.”