Category: Best Host
- InterNations Global Awards: Ambassador Winners
- Category: Innovation Awards
- Category: Community of One
- Category: Best Venues 2017
- Category: Newcomers’ Ambassador of the Year
- Category: Breakout Ambassador
- Category: Communication Awards
- Category: Looking Ahead Honors
- Category: Members’ Choice Award
- Category: Teamwork Circle of Excellence
For the Ambassador who is the ideal host, and truly embodies the spirit of “Nobody Stands Alone”.
2017 Winner: Akinyi Adongo (“Grace”) in Nairobi
2017 Honorable Mention: Sony Jethnani, Mark Blackwell, and Mariko Yoshihara in Jakarta
Why She Won
One of the biggest qualities we look for when choosing Ambassadors is their ability to be a great host to our members. This category was a tough one, since our Ambassadors already are stars at welcoming members. When making the selection for this year’s best host, the Global Awards Jury considered Ambassadors who take it to the next level.
The strongest nominees for this award continually make an effort to be extremely present during their events, both at the entrance and while mingling throughout the night. They take an active role in responding to member questions in person, online, and on the event walls, while also sending updates to the guestlist before events. Furthermore, the electronic check-in process is as smooth as possible with easy-to-find InterNations signs and name tags, no matter how many members show up.
As detailed by one of 2017’s Jury Members:
“If you come to Grace's events you will never stand alone! Instead, you will get the feeling that Grace has been your best friend for many years. She is very communicative, bubbly and she can always find the best approach to every member. She knows so many people in Nairobi. InterNations members are always looking forward to having lots of fun at her events. She creates an unforgettable experience for the members, making them feel at home abroad and sharing her positive vibe with them. She always has creative ideas on how to make her events special and engaging for everybody, organizing raffles with valuable prizes, introducing new members to the community or taking fun pictures of the members with their country flags. If you know Grace you definitely can’t help but love her!”
Why do you think we chose you as 2017’s Best Host?
Grace: I think it is because it is evident that I really enjoy hosting InterNations events! I love meeting new people and with InterNations I have had the pleasure of fulfilling this hobby.
You really embody the InterNations motto “Nobody Stands Alone”. Do you have any advice for other Ambassadors hoping to strengthen their presence at events?
Grace: Well, for starters welcome as many guests personally as you can. Some of the shyest guests come alone for their first events, and if they feel welcome, they will definitely come again. If you can, pair the shy newcomers with enthusiastic regular members so that they are able to meet new people even when you go back to welcoming other guests.
How has using the Guest List Manager app and the branded event materials (or any other means) helped you to create a memorable entrance at events?
Grace: The best part about the branded materials is that it really helps us stand out. Other international networking events like the Chamber of Commerce events only give out the name tag, while at the entrance of our paid events, we have branded name tags, wristbands, branded tokens, etc. and these make us special in all of Nairobi.
The Guest List Manager is especially useful because sometimes it helps you remember the names of guests who are then extremely happy to be welcomed by their first names. It is something small but I have noticed that it makes a difference. The guest list has also helped us greatly reduce the amount of time guests have to wait before entering the venue.
Congratulations to Grace, 2017’s winner for Best Host, as well as our honorable mentions in Jakarta, Sony Jethnani, Mark Blackwell, and Mariko Yoshihara, for embodying the spirit of this role — being the best host for our members!
About the Winner:
Akinyi (Grace) Adongo was born and raised in Kenya. She has been the Ambassador of the Nairobi Community since 2011, and hosts two monthly events for her community. She is also actively involved in the real estate market in Nairobi.