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In the Backstage of Unicorn College Open

As you know, since 2013 Unicorn College has organized daylong conferences twice a year, called Unicorn College Open. The conferences are intended for Unicorn College students and teachers, as well as co-workers of Vladimír Kovář’s companies, representatives of clients, Unicorn partners and wide public.
In this blog, I’d like to share some background information with the readers and reveal what it means to prepare such an event. The first question to answer is why we actually started to organize the conference. We’ve always wanted to provide our students with up-to-date knowledge from their respective fields of study and show them a whole range of things that didn’t make it into standard curriculum. Besides, we want the best experts from the Czech Republic or abroad to pass such knowledge to our students.
One of advantages of Unicorn College is its size. It allows us personal approach to our students in order to help them eliminate their weaknesses and improve their strengths. However, this advantage sometimes turns into a disadvantage, like in the case of ensuring a suitable number of participants at papers held by significant experts and professionals. Therefore, we decided to organize an event which would link Unicorn College students with various professionals and together they would all attend papers on intriguing topics given by leading experts. Thus, Unicorn College Open was born.
In 5 years, we’ve organized 10 highly successful conferences on topics like cloud apps, mobile apps, security, big data and analytics, e-commerce, IoT, geoinformatics or frontends along with user experience.
Every time, the next conference basically starts the very same minute the previous one ends. The last one, Frontends & Future Diversity took place on 3rd November and a week later we started the preparations for the next one, focusing on Industry 4.0. The first step always comprises setting the topic, based on experience and knowledge from practice and global trends. Then we choose an expert guarantor in cooperation with Unicorn, nominate papers, and subsequently speakers from Unicorn as well as partner organizations. Once the programme is settled, we start to take care of the promotion. About a month and a half before the conference, we launch the website and the registrations start. Meanwhile, we tune the individual papers with the speakers. A workshop takes place approximately 14 days before the conference where every speaker (well, almost every speaker) along with Mr. Kovář presents the drafts of their papers. A constructive discussion with feedback follows. The main aim is to tune in the individual topics and papers.
The final week tends to be the most frenzied one. The programme is getting printed, gift bags for participants are being put together, nametags written, etc. Then we prepare the conference hall the night before the conference (projection equipment, sound, lights, recording equipment etc.), bring in refreshment, and we’re ready to roll.
The final 8 hours, dedicated to a regular participant, is the result of several months of preparations, tens of people engaged and hundreds of hours worked.
All conferences always ran smoothly owing to the whole team who prepare the conference and namely the VIG Production s.r.o.
Marek Beránek,
Unicorn College Managing Director