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 Frode Aasheim
I joined the meeting industry and ICCA in 1998, then as a sales manager at Bergen Convention Bureau in Norway. My first ICCA congress was in Hong Kong, where I learned a lot through fellow colleagues, both experienced and new to the industry. In 2000 I became the director of Bergen Convention Bureau, and also had the privilege to chair the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter. After 15 years in Bergen I moved to Oslo, the capital of Norway, as the director of the national convention bureau - Norway Convention Bureau. The national bureau merged with the governmental body Innovation Norway/ visitNorway in 2018, where I now head all activities within meetings, conventions and events. 21 years after my first congress, I am still in the industry and are looking forward to another inspiring ICCA congress.
Why being a mentor? When I attended my first ICCA Congress in Hong Kong, my biggest advantage was that the director of Oslo Convention Bureau, Anne Wallin Rødven, had already taken me under her wings – and she knew literally everybody and everything and gave me a flying start! If I can assist others like Anne assisted me, it will be my privilege to share my knowledge and connections with First Time Attendees from all over the world.
Thank you to Frode 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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