CYGNA @EIBA Madrid 2021

Report and pictures by members of the CYGNA network at the EIBA conference

Ciara O’Higgins, Inés Escobar, Madeleine Raupp, Elena Poliakova and Paula Erthal

After two years of online conferences, it was a great opportunity to meet colleagues again at the 47th Edition of the EIBA Annual Conference, organised at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid from the 10th to the 12th of December 2021.

Nevertheless, after such a long time, and with COVID contagion numbers rising all over Europe, the prospect of attending an in-person conference was a bit daunting. Some CYGNA members were attending EIBA for the first time, but even for those who are experienced conference-goers, entering a packed room alone can be quite intimidating. With this in mind, CYGNA sisters attending EIBA decided to connect beforehand, create a WhatsApp phone group to reach out and meet up as the conference progressed.

And so the conference unfolded…. On the first night, after the Plenary Opening Session, conference attendees gathered at the Welcome Cocktail (see picture above), and several CYGNA members who had never met before managed to meet up. It was great fun and ties were created for the rest of the weekend!

Pre-conference activities

CYGNA members were active in the pre-conference activities, both as panellists and attendees! First, the Danny Van den Bulcke Doctoral Symposium, where CYGNA member Jelena Cerar (in the middle in the picture below) was a huge hit, alongside senior scholars Rebecca Piekkari and Udo Zander, talking about different career options after the PhD!

CYGNA senior Axèle Giroud was organiser (with Roger Strange) of the International Business Review Professional Development Workshop (left). CYGNA member Natalia Fey participated in the EIASM John H. Dunning Doctoral Tutorial (right).

Paper presentations

Various CYGNA sisters presented their work over the weekend, in competitive, interactive and poster sessions, and on a number of occasions other members attended to provide moral support and constructive feedback.

Above: Left Inés Escobar, with co-author Rodrigo Mesa. Right, Elena Poliakova presenting her work. Below: Jelena Cerar presenting her poster (to Ciara O’Higgins).

Social occasions

But there was also plenty of time for the social events, with different CYGNA sisters catching up for coffee, meeting for dinner on Saturday or sitting together at the Gala Dinner on Sunday.

Above: Margaret Fletcher, Natalia Fey, Inés Escobar and Monique Raupp with EIBA colleagues (left). Ciara O’Higgins & Natalia Fey enjoying the Madrid sun (right). Below: GLOMO Project collaborators Inés Escobar & Monique Raupp (left) and Elena Poliakova and Natalia Fey (right)

In sum...

The initiative to create a smaller network of CYGNA sisters within the context of the conference was useful to many of us, as well as great fun. Each of us had our own timetable of sessions and meetings, but we knew that at the drop of a WhatsApp message, other CYGNA members were around to meet up and disperse the all too familiar feelings of isolation within a crowd! We hope the success of the initiative will encourage others to do the same in future conferences!!

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