Topic of this year's 2 day conference (8th edition already): "New Horizons for Financial Markets - Investing in a Changing World". I quickly learned that the organization of the conference was completely in hands of students. Key note speaker this year: Dr. Josef Ackermann, CEO Deutsche Bank. Our contact person, Mr.-Core-Team-Sebastian-Pollok, turned out to be student, responsible for the press.
I organized some events in my time as a student, but nothing compared to this event. My admiration for the organizing student team at WHU grew whole day long.
Some small facts:
- They booked my hotel. When I arrived after midnight, I ended up in a beautiful castle overlooking the Rhein under my window.
- 2.000 students from 83 countries from approx. 600 universities applied for a ticket to the event.
- only 160 students were selected. As such the event is not that big, 250 participants top (of which 160 selected students)
- all attending students had to pay 70 Euro entrance fee upfront
- at the event, all students - except those living in a 30 km circle around the WHU school- were reimbursed a significant part of their transportation costs, all food and all boarding was...free
- 2 days about financing with top level speakers
- impeccable organization ('core team' -red / last year students- and 'team' - green/3rd year- students)
- whole day long free cold buffet and drinks
- Audi limousine service to escort all guest speakers to trains, hotels and airports ... manned by students
- complete video captation unit ... manned by students
- when I checked out and wanted to pay, hotel-reception told me WHU conference had already paid
Only one conclusion: the students must have raised a enormous amount of money to organize this event. It is a pity that the key note speaker, the CEO of Deutsche Bank, informed them Thursday night he would not come. I heard some very unhappy comments about this amongst the organizing and attending students.
I am sure that we will be seeing some of the students of this year's 'core team' as CEO's or well known politicians in Germany in about 20 years.