Meet the faces behind ICCA's famous First Time Attendee programme! ICCA places huge importance on giving First Time Attendees (FTAs) at the ICCA Congress a very warm welcome. Each year, just before the ICCA Congress begins, new attendees are invited to join a specialised session that aims to prepare them for success. Jam-packed full of helpful advice that is delivered from member to member, the programme has been delivered to over 3,000 delegates since it initially began and is designed with care to help them network, do business, learn, and maximise the benefits of attending their first ICCA Congress.
At the centre of the entire programme are the people we couldn’t do it without: our mentors, an amazing group of ICCA members and #ICCAFriends who are Congress veterans and want to help support and steer our newbies as they join the ICCA Family.
Meet Natasha Richards
I joined the IMEX team in 2010 with no meetings and events experience whatsoever. However, having a strong background in international relations has proven to be very helpful as we work in a very culturally diverse and global industry. ICCA is a perfect example of this. For many years a core part of my evolving role at IMEX has been to oversee all our industry partnerships and all association and related co-located education at both IMEX shows.
In 2016, in addition to my existing responsibilities I had the exciting opportunity to take the helm of IMEX Policy Forum and assume my advocate role. The overarching aim of the Policy Forum is to provide a collaborative global discussion platform critical to the creation of policy that directly benefits the meetings and business events industry. In this role I am extremely fortunate to work closely with a number of key industry organisations including ICCA.
I am a passionate advocate of the value of the meetings and business events industry as an economic driver and agent of innovation and change. Mentorship has played a key part in this and I am eternally grateful to those who have taken me under their wing.
Left to my own devices I enjoy nothing more than a good book, long walk (not hike!) or just relaxing with friends and family or “liming” as they say in the Caribbean.
Thank you to Natasha for becoming an FTA mentor at the 58th ICCA Congress in Houston, U.S.A.! Are you interested in helping our First Time Attendees to settle in? Find out more about the programme or email Ksenija.firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can become a mentor.
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