Nearly 700 delegates on one place, gathering all in a baroque, golden-painted hall in presidential representative spaces. And not just some people. Representatives of one of the leading and fastest growing economies in the world! They are all awaiting perfect service and comfortable atmosphere for the business they came to do in a foreign country, thousand of miles away from their hometowns.
The Czech-Chinese Investment Forum, held at the end of September 2014 in Prague, aimed to bring the businessmen from both countries together to share best-case practices, know-hows and funds. In the past couple of years, this event was the biggest attempt of local leaders to boost the local economy with foreign investment.
Just behind the door of the hall, the anxiety among all those in the organizing team who are standing in front of the room and awaiting their delegates to finish the official dinner is in the air. “What would they ask for? What do they need? Can I talk to them or will I be too shy?” most of them would be asking themselves – often unnecessarily. After all, all those businessmen are people as anyone else.
AIESEC in Austria holds about four or five conferences every year – from very small ones to conferences with over two hundred participants; for both members and international delegates. The organising team works on the project from the moment budget is set and the theme of a conference chosen, until the moment when the very last delegate leaves the venue. The team is there to make sure the conference not only happens, but is also a real pleasure for the delegates. As the Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing for AIESEC in University of Vienna, I had the chance to co-organize a conference for our new members. That is why I already had experience when it came to organizing the Czech-Chinese Investment forum.
I was thankful for the practical knowledge I gained while organizing AIESEC conferences, because the experience and skills acquired prepared me for this. What is also unique about acquiring experience and trying out managerial positions is that in the case anything goes wrong, no one gets fired. Quite opposite – failure is considered a learning point as well. And this doesn’t just apply to the members of the organizing team, but the whole organisation.
If you have the opportunity to be part of an international conference as early as during your studies, why should you be scared of servicing delegates from all around the world later, in your professional life?
The Czech-Chinese Investment forum was one of the highlights of my summer. An exhausting week full of learning points and sleepless nights. But not a time of anxiety or questioning myself – “Can I do this?”. I can because I have done it before. I am really happy that I have numerous experiences behind me that prepped me well for my future career.
Author: Barbora Spacilova