Europe's largest event on digital procurement celebrates 20 years. eBF Conference transforms Ostrava for 4 days

Semantic Visions
5 min read

A place for establishing contacts and creating new business

This year's edition will feature a record 150 speakers from companies like Amazon, Asahi (Plzeňský Prazdroj), Siemens Energy, SAP, Semantic Visions, ESET, MOL Group, Deloitte, Havel & Partners, Konica Minolta, Prague Airport, GasNet, and Veolia. It will also include representatives from ministries, industry associations, and universities.

eBF traditionally serves as a meeting point for market leaders from large corporations and the public sector, offering a unique opportunity to gain their know-how. This year, you can look forward to speakers like former Governor of the Czech National Bank Miroslav Singer, Vice-Chairman of the Confederation of Industry and Transport Radek Špicar, Doctors Without Borders' Tomáš Šebek, geopolitical expert Vladimír Baar, best-selling author Mimi Nicklin, the senior director of the section for public investment, construction, and social inclusion at the Ministry of Regional Development Leona Gergelová Šteigrová, and the global procurement director at Asahi Tomáš Veit. The lectures are complemented by numerous informal activities during which long-term business partnerships and professional friendships often form, opening up entirely new business opportunities.

Experience the unique atmosphere of Ostrava with the festival city within a city, "Havaj," and the newly opened Ostravica

Anyone who has ever been to Ostrava can attest to its uniquely captivating atmosphere. As conference attendees, you will have the chance to fully immerse yourselves in its charm. A significant part of eBF takes place outdoors in the historic center of this Moravian-Silesian metropolis. Last year set a precedent with the highest attendance in history, prompting the organizers to ask, "Where do we put them?" As a result, one of the stages was moved to a shipping container in front of the Imperial Hotel. This year, a full festival village called Havaj will spring up around the Imperial Hotel. In the heart of Ostrava, a unique space will be created, combining expert lectures, networking, gastronomy, culture, and relaxation.

Just a stone's throw from the Imperial Hotel, another attraction awaits. The newly opened legendary Ostravica, once the most luxurious department store in Ostrava from the late 1920s, which had fallen into disrepair, will celebrate a grand comeback just before the conference begins. Now renamed the Boutique Business Incubator Ostravica, it will offer ultra-modern spaces for Ostrava's startups. During the eBF, partners of the event will have their booths there, presenting their innovative ideas and tools. The conference itself will dedicate an entire stage to the startup scene. And if you find yourself dizzy from all the lectures, debates, and networking, you can head to the banks of the Ostravica River under the Silesian Ostrava Castle, where a legendary raft race called the Procurement Regatta will take place on Thursday. Whether you compete or just watch, fun is guaranteed.

ebf networkingeBF 2024 in numbers

✔ Over 150 speakers from companies like Amazon, Asahi, Siemens Energy, SAP, Deloitte, Behind Inventions, Dun & Bradstreet, and public institutions from ministries to municipalities and hospitals

✔ 20 themed stages from large ones accommodating hundreds of viewers to training sessions for the fastest few participants

✔ Approximately 1,000 participants from the private and public sectors, among whom friendships often form during the event

✔ 134 expert program blocks covering topics from mental health to artificial intelligence and economic opportunities and trends

✔ Havaj - a festival village in the center of Ostrava for lectures, networking, gastronomy, culture, and relaxation

✔ Dozens of interactive booths by partners – presenting useful tools and techniques that advance your skills

Artificial intelligence is fundamentally changing the business world. We'll show you how

The twentieth edition of eBF closely follows modern trends, and so throughout the program, you'll often encounter terms like AI, generative artificial intelligence, or ChatGPT. We've made an effort to ensure that attendees learn the concrete benefits of these modern tools and understand their potential risks. Those who master artificial intelligence tools can gain a significant advantage. Thanks to the lectures, demonstrations, and practical workshops, you'll gain that edge at eBF.

The icing on the "AI" cake will be Jaromír Šponar, a recognized expert in the field of artificial intelligence. His lecture will discuss how AI in procurement can revolutionize ways of identifying suppliers, automating purchasing processes, and optimizing transaction costs.

Women in business and procurement

This year's eBF will also dedicate significant space to inspiring women. Invitations have been accepted by the likes of Diana Rádl Rogerová, former Director of Deloitte and Manager of the Year 2022, who is now focusing on investments and is the founder of the Behind Inventions fund. Forbes regularly ranks her among the most influential businesswomen. Best-selling author Mimi Nicklin will give a lecture titled How Humanity's Oldest Leadership Trait Is Changing Our World, touching on emotional intelligence and human relationships during her session.

You can also look forward to Leona Gergelová Šteigrová, a leader in the section for public investment, construction, and social inclusion at the Ministry of Regional Development. She is definitely an innovator who will inspire you in many ways. At the conference, she will speak on models of cooperation, how to assess the level of economic, environmental, and technological progress, and will lead the entire scene of the Ministry for Local Development.

Strong stories not only from the world of procurement

Beyond the well-known names in procurement, you can look forward to exceptionally interesting guests from other areas. One of the stars will be Miroslav Singer, former Governor of the Czech National Bank. He will include forecasts for new markets and economic predictions from the perspective of financial institutions in his lecture. Doctor Without Borders, surgeon, and evangelist for digital health, promoter of telemedicine, and co-founder of the uLékař platform, the largest medical online consultancy on the Czech web today, Tomáš Šebek, will discuss the importance of employee health and decision-making in critical situations in his presentations.

Geopolitical expert Vladimír Baar in his session will describe the sometimes depressing state of the world, but primarily focus on possible solutions, opportunities, and risk management. You will also be moved by Nela Ďopanová from FPOHYBU, whose story will touch you both professionally and personally. Despite her disability, Nela founded a successful company six years ago that encompasses a range of physiotherapists and psychologists.

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