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 Dima Azarov
I have been in charge of association meetings and business events at Sapporo Convention Bureau for eight years now, with a primary focus on sales, bidding, pre-event planning, on-site support, as well as research, which ranges from ICCA Database to the legacy aspect of the association meetings. I also oversee the marketing and branding projects of the bureau, in addition to being actively involved in the sustainability programs for our destination, such as the Global Destination Sustainability Index.
My first ICCA Congress was Shanghai 2013, and it gave me a whole new perspective on my career - I was literally blown away by the diversity and talent that make our community truly special. At my First Time Attendee Program, not only was I able to meet new friends, but I also got tons of valuable advice from our mentors, who showed us the way to get the most out of the Congress. In fact, most of the time all we need is a little push, and I believe this Program provides that extra motivation. I hope you take advantage of every networking opportunity you can, because people, their energy and their passion, are what help us grow in this industry.
On the personal level, I guess I can tell you more when we meet on how I got from Kaluga/Russia to Sapporo/Japan to Geneseo/NY to Montpellier/France to Bern/Switzerland, and then back to Sapporo!
Thank you to Dima 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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