A Team That Knows How to Have Fun!
In InterNations Nairobi, Akinyi ‘Grace’ Adongo and Fabrizio Bucci are proof that working together as part of a strong Ambassador team is key to building a strong InterNations Community.
Grace’s experience organizing and hosting large events for embassies and other international bodies has enabled her to develop a strong network within Nairobi’s expatriate community. Grace became an Ambassador in 2013 and since then, she has worked well with past Ambassadors to continually host events that members of the InterNations Nairobi Community love.
With the previous member of the Ambassador team leaving, Grace was searching for someone to join her. “I remember for 6 months the former Ambassador and I would scan the crowd at our events to see if the right person was there who could join us. It’s just so hard to find the right person who really enjoys being with people and would be dedicated to the role. I still remember the day I saw Fabrizio arrive for the first time at one of our events. I thought 'wow, this guy looks cool!' she says.
“In the Ambassador role, you really need someone with that extra ‘kick’. Someone who can read a crowd, who can step outside their comfort zone and still be a great event host even at the end of a long day of work. The former Ambassador saw that Fabrizio had the right personality to be a great fit for the role and for me as well — she could see we would be a great combination as an Ambassador team and she was right,” Grace says.
After moving to Nairobi in 2013, Fabrizio joined Grace as an Ambassador in December 2014. Having been raised in a family with a background in hospitality, Fabrizio is no stranger to the event host role.
“When the former Ambassador approached me to take on the role, she said ‘you are the guy we’ve been looking for!’ By chance I knew Grace already and we got on really well, so I knew we would have a lot of fun together,” Fabrizio says.
Speaking with Fabrizio and Grace, you would think they had been working together for years. They have such a great chemistry as a team and it’s clear to see this carries through to their events.
“When we organize our events we take turns. We divide the responsibility up depending on the event. One person may know a great venue, so while they handle the venue side the other will handle the online component. We work together on the night of the event to make sure we welcome everyone at the door. Then, once everyone has arrived we move into the crowd and start to mingle with the people. We try and speak to everybody if we can,” Fabrizio says.
“Our members are really warm and friendly. Seeing all those smiling faces enjoying the events and for people to approach us outside of InterNations and tell us how much of a great time they had, that really makes this worthwhile for us.”
And what are their top tips for new Ambassadors?
Really go the extra mile to welcome newcomers; this is so important! If newcomers have a great time and feel really welcome at their first event, they will return. This is how your community grows.
Identify several experienced InterNations members who can support you. When you are busy at the door, introduce newcomers to these members and they can host them until you have a chance to talk to them.
- While we have had some really fantastic comments from our members, you cannot please everybody. Don’t be disheartened if you hear critical comments. Remember, for every frown you will see 10,000 smiles.
About Akinyi 'Grace' Adongo
Born and raised in Kenya, Grace knows Nairobi like the back of her hand. After studying medicine, she is now involved in Nairobi's booming real estate market. Grace loves connecting with people, is crazy about sushi and is also currently learning Japanese (ask her about it!).
About Fabrizio Bucci
As an Italian born and raised in Belgium, Fabrizio speaks six languages and thrives off connecting with others. Having led a diverse career in Europe, a keen sense of adventure brought Fabrizio to Nairobi where he works as a Purchasing Manager for a Belgian construction company.
Recent Events Organized by Akinyi and Fabrizio
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Facts & Figures
- 420 InterNations Communities worldwide
- 1,010 InterNations Ambassadors representing 139 nationalities
- 300 InterNations Official Events hosted per month across the globe