The night of the award ceremony is a different story. The students and teachers arrive at the venue. Perfectly dressed for success. They are proud that they have finally arrived in the evening, ready to celebrate, but also a little worried because they know that not all of them will end up in the top places.
We announce the winners of the different categories. We choose the pieces of music which will carry the winners on stage. They will forget the music, they will remember the endless 20 metres it took them to get on stage and enter the spotlight. There is a moment of relief and true happiness when they receive their trophies and certificates.
The runners-up are very disappointed, but some have a real fighting spirit and will try again next year. In the end, everyone is a winner at the awards ceremony. We eat and drink, take photos and, of course, conduct interviews in the Champions Corner.
The day after, back at the congress hotel, we brought the students together with converts from their respective home countries for the first time this year. They presented their projects to leading representatives of our industry. This was the first organised effort on our part. We will continue to improve this process. This is the ultimate learning experience.