The palace scene is set, guests are booking flights, and the shortlist for the awards celebrating Europe's finest business talent can now be announced.
The list of close to 200 nominees for the 2017 European Families in Business Awards has been narrowed down to 31 remarkable leaders and companies across five categories – with six companies vying for the top award.
Come 20 June, the cream of Europe's family-owned enterprises will converge on Prague's spectacular Lobkowicz Palace for a gala dinner where the winners will be announced.
Nicholas Moody, CampdenFB editor, was among the five family business experts who had the tough task of narrowing down this year's competitive nominee pool.
He said the awards were now in their sixth year, with the calibre of entries once again extremely high.
“It's brilliant to see the same high standard year after year, though it does make the job of the judges a very difficult one,” Moody said.
This year's shortlisted nominees were notable for their geographic diversity.
“Hosting the awards in the Czech Republic meant getting entries from across Central and Eastern Europe, plus some great fast-growing companies from Europe who were part of the Top 50 Global Challengers group,” Moody said.
Patrick Folléa, deputy head of Societe Generale Private Banking, said the quality and diversity of the finalists illustrates the vital economic role family businesses play in Europe.
“Societe Generale Private Banking is very proud to be associated to the celebration of their successes,” Folléa said. “Congratulations to all the nominees, we look forward to meeting the winners in Prague.”
While the awards were always held at glamourous venues, Lobkowicz Palace would ensure this year's ceremony was particularly special.
The 16th century palace, part of Prague Castle, is perched overlooking a breath-taking 180-degree panorama of the city and houses priceless paintings, rare books, musical memorabilia and furniture.
The nominees for this year's European Families in Business Awards are:
TOP FAMILY BUSINESS
- Akka Technologies (France)
- Bata (Czech Republic)
- Starhotels (Italy)
- Ottobock (Germany)
- Solaris (Poland)
- Van Oord (Netherlands)
TOP FAMILY BUSINESS LEADER
- Cyril Camus, Camus Cognac (France)
- Axel Dumas, Hermes (France)
- Elisabetta Fabri, Starhotels (Italy)
- Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Silversea Cruises (Italy)
- Dik Wessels, VolkerWessels (Netherlands)
TOP NEXT-GENERATION EXECUTIVE (RISING STAR)
- Mariella Bottiglieri, Bottiglieri Shipping (Italy)
- James Ferragamo, Ferragamo (Italy)
- Jean-Victor Meyers, L'Oréal (France)
- Andreas and Martin Prinz, Croma-Pharma (Austria)
- Geordie Willis, Berry Bros & Rudd (UK)
TOP NEXT-GENERATION ENTREPRENEUR
- Marc-Antoine Brochard, Stimul (France)
- Galahad Clark, VivoBarefoot (UK)
- Jake Dyson, Dyson (UK)
- Dr Wolfgang Haupt and Edoardo Ferragamo, StopThirst.org (Germany, Italy)
- Risto Väyrynen, Leipomo Väyrynen (Finland)
TOP SUSTAINABLE FAMILY BUSINESS
- Bavaria (Netherlands)
- CIR Group (Italy)
- IKEA (Sweden)
- Kone (Finland)
- Wyke Farms (UK)
TOP NON-FAMILY DIRECTOR
- John Browett, Dunhelm (UK)
- Michaela Doll-Lämmer, Europa-Park (Germany)
- Jakub Kolodziej, Roleski (Poland)
- Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann (Germany)
- Klaus Rosenfeld, Schaeffler (Germany)