The Wycombe Management Conference 2021
19 March 2021 - All
The Wycombe Management Conference has been a staple of the Wycombe Abbey Sixth Form experience for the last 30 years. In collaboration with the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, and now nicknamed ManCon, its aim has always been to provide an experiential learning opportunity to develop commercial awareness, leadership and teamwork, creativity, and project management.
In our 30th year, we were determined that even a global pandemic wouldn’t prevent the event from happening. We were proud to deliver a virtual conference for almost 200 delegates that we think may have been even better than in previous years. Throughout the two-day conference, delegates from both schools worked in small teams to set up and run a coffee shop using a virtual simulation typically employed by major corporations and business schools. The delegates needed to make decisions on branding, location, staffing, products, pricing, advertising, and deal with a changing market. They were guided in their decision making by expert mentors, and we are hugely grateful to the parents and Seniors and who gave up their time to take on this role. We were also delighted that during the conference we hosted three keynote speeches from Lord Bilimoria (Founder of Cobra Beer and President CBI), Jo Hilditch (Managing Director of White Heron Drinks and Wycombe Abbey Senior) and Peter Higgins (Co-Founder of Charles Tyrwhitt), all of whom shared their personal experiences and advice on how to succeed in business. The overriding messages were that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you have to follow your passion.
‘ManCon was extremely stimulating and exciting, faced with the task of running a coffee shop – something we had never encountered or thought about before. It was so interesting to see our ideas and decisions play out in a real-life scenario, seeing where our strengths and weaknesses lay and where improvements should be made. Listening to the mentors and guest speakers was definitely my favourite part. It was so inspiring hearing such successful people speak about their experiences, emphasising that you must get things wrong in order to excel and achieve your goals. It allowed us to understand that starting a business is not easy, but incredibly rewarding when you get it right!’
‘The Management Conference gave all of the Wycombe Abbey pupils such a unique opportunity to culminate new skills surrounding analytical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. Although the global pandemic halted some social aspects of the conference, it was still incredibly enjoyable to discuss the project with RGS pupils and to make new friends with our neighbours from just up the hill. Hearing the keynote speakers and mentors talk was a real highlight for me personally, as I loved learning about all the different aspects of entrepreneurship and business and gaining knowledge about a whole range of different careers. Additionally, the mentors were gracious in fielding a whole range of questions from the pupils, giving us a real insight into the world of work, which we may not have fully understood beforehand.’
Ms Emma Bowen
Deputy Head of Sixth Form (Enrichment)