Image: Irina Graf und Bernd Fritzges (c)VDVO
With the appointment of its international relations officer, the German Event Planners Association – VDVO (Verband der Veranstaltungsorganisatoren e.V.) – is aiming for growth beyond national borders. Following the recent uptake of members and partners from overseas, this new position was created to foster international expansion.
Irina Graf, the founder of The MICE Blog and Event Planners Talk, has taken up this position following a board meeting on 24thMay, 2018, in Berlin, Germany, and will act as a delegate of the board.
Irina Graf founded her blog in 2011, as well as completing her events internship in Germany, while studying tourism in Switzerland. Securing a research-based scholarship with Regent’s University in 2011 brought her to London, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in International Events Management and worked for the Event Marketing Association. In 2015, she turned her blog into a full-time business, with the subsequent launch of Event Planners Talk, a digital agency for the MICE sector. With her move to Heidelberg, Germany, in 2016, she continued her active involvement and networking that introduced her to VDVO: “VDVO has a strong sense of community and commitment to progress of the MICE industry in Germany, and from the beginning I was very impressed with how they engage with different stakeholders to provide more value to members. That is why I am very happy to join as a delegate of the board and contribute to its further growth.”
The VDVO board has been seeking international expansion following the growing demand from members for more ideas, expertise and knowledge exchange. Irina Graf will report on international news and build a stronger network for the association. With her expertise in the international MICE market, Irina has been working with convention bureaux, DMCs and event agencies.
Bernd Fritzges, CEO of VDVO, welcomes this new chapter for the association: “We’ve been working with Irina previously on exciting projects that added educational value to our members. We are happy to have Irina on board, and with the help of her international network, we will develop partnerships and work collaboratively with international stakeholders.” For Irina, this position is a natural fit, as she previously lived in Russia, Switzerland, Israel, the UK and Germany. Her passion for the MICE industry knows no bounds, and she will use her expertise and network to support VDVO and the progression of the MICE industry in Germany.