Emerging Europe celebrates the inaugural Awards
The inaugural edition of the Emerging Europe Awards in London has taken place.
“It was a fantastic success, massively exceeding even our highest expectations,” said Richard Stephens, director & co-founder of the Emerging Europe Awards.
“This was the very first edition of the Awards and we were blown away by the reach and engagement that the programme attracted. Over the course of three days, posts with the hashtag #EEAwards were seen 3 million times on Twitter alone. As far as we’ve been able to track, 80+ websites and media vehicles from more than a dozen countries have written about the Awards, including Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland, Georgia Today, and Belarus’ leading portal, tut.by,” said Emiliano Ramos, Partner at Emerging Europe.
Business leaders, heads of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), senior city & regional authorities, ambassadors, embassy officials, entrepreneurs and social movements from across the Emerging Europe region and Western Europe gathered in the UK capital to debate key issues and recognise excellence in the region.
The event was also an opportunity to emphasise and advance Emerging Europe’s core aim of bringing the countries of emerging Europe closer together, especially on the global stage. “The region can better leverage its strength – and is a more attractive proposition to international investors and businesses – if it projects a united front and coordinates internally,” said Andrew Wrobel, founding partner, content & strategy at Emerging Europe. “Emerging Europe is ideally placed to lead this effort, and the Emerging Europe Awards moved this forward dramatically.”
The event consisted of four parts:
The Evening Welcome Reception at the Palace of Westminster
Selected guests were hosted at the Churchill Room in the very heart of the Palace, located next to the House of Lords terrace overlooking the River Thames. The gathering was a chance to meet & network in this grand environment, and the guests were addressed by Andrew Wrobel from Emerging Europe, Günter Verheugen, former European Commissioner for Enlargement (1999-2004), Richard Stephens, and – last but not least – by Andrew Rosindell MP, who kindly hosted the reception and gave the attendees a very personal speech about the importance of the CEE region for Britain and himself personally.
The Morning Conference & Presentation of the Investment Promotion Agency Survey at the EBRD HQ
The day started with a Keynote Presentation by Helena Schweiger, Associate Director and Senior Economist from the EBRD, entitled Sustaining Emerging Europe’s Impressive Growth.
Then Andrew Wrobel, Head of Content Strategy and Publishing from Emerging Europe, presented the much-awaited highlights from the landmark study & research into the 23 national investment promotion agencies of the emerging Europe region.
This was followed by the official launch of the Emerging Europe Alliance of Business Services, Innovation and Technology by Tom Quigley, CEO of the Alliance.
The Morning Breakout Sessions (EBRD)
Attendees then divided into two groups, with the business leaders, IPAs and embassy representatives heading to the grand Boardroom, on the 10th floor, to discuss the findings from the IPA survey under the title Destination Investment (read more about the session).
The more entrepreneurial and social movement-minded participants headed to the ultra-cool discussion room for a session about innovation in the emerging Europe region under the title Social Innovation & Dynamic Entrepreneurship. (to read more, click here).
The Afternoon Conference & Awards Ceremony (EBRD)
The much-anticipated climax of the event kicked off with a Welcome Address by Philip ter Woort, Director, Head of Business Development at the EBRD.
Next came one of the major parts of the day, the Keynote Speech by Günter Veuheugen, who put the whole event, and raison d’être of the Emerging Europe Awards, in context by telling participants about the early days when expansion further east was by no means a foregone conclusion.
The former commissioner’s address was followed by another highlight of the day, a very lively Business Leaders Fireside Chat with Olga Grygier-Siddons, CEO of PwC Central & Eastern Europe, and Peter Stracar, president & CEO of GE Europe, and moderated by Samuel Burke from CNN.
Then came the Emerging Europe Awards ceremony, the part nominees from all of the categories had been anticipating for the last few weeks. The ceremony was led by Richard Stephens, ably assisted by Simon Bračun, partner of KBP law firm, Olga Grygier-Siddons and Claudia Patricolo, deputy editor of Emerging Europe.
The event finished with a celebratory drinks reception, hosted by KBP law firm, followed by an unofficial after-party next to the Gherkin, which lasted late into the night.
“We will definitely be repeating the Emerging Europe Awards on an annual basis, starting in 2019,” said Richard Stephens, Director & co-Founder of the Emerging Europe Awards.
“We are already planning for 2019 with some more innovations and attractions to build on what we have already achieved with our partners and all the participants from this edition, to make it bigger and stronger.”
The event could not have taken place, let alone been such a success, without the support of our Partners, who we would like to thank.
PwC CEE, our Strategic Partner; GE Europe, our Landmark Partner; KBP law firm, a member of Adriala, our Networking Cocktail Reception Partner; The UK Department of International Trade and COBCOE, the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe – our Institutional Partners; and our Venue Partner, EBRD, the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, who kindly given us use of their wonderful HQ building with its state-of-the-art rooms.