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Catania hosts annual IH conference

The Italian city of Catania hosted the 2019 International House Directors’ Conference, which saw 160 delegates from all over the world attended the four-day event to network, attend sessions and listen to inspiring speakers.

The conference took place in Catania, Italy. Photo: Notiziecatania/Pixabay

The next IH Directors’ Conference will take place in Sydney in 2020

Between a traditional banquet and a gala dinner in a 600-year-old baroque palace, attendees heard from industry stakeholders, celebrated years of affiliation to IH and fundraised for a local school damaged by a recent earthquake.

“Having all my IH colleagues in Catania has been a dream come true,” Palmina La Rosa, director of Giga International House Catania, said in a statement.

“A wonderful feature of our organisation is how ready IH directors are to learn, share and support each other”

La Rosa’s team hosted the 2019 conference  – and on one of the evenings, she hosted a traditional dinner with “plenty of dancing” at her parents’ house, in the hills of Mount Etna.

“Being able to show them my island, my town and my school and introducing them to my staff, my students and family [was] an emotion that I will never forget,” she said.

The sessions included workshops on enhancing customer relations by employing insights from behavioural science, presented by Rupert Daniels of Cambridge University Press and an overview of schools’ role in enhancing students’ career prospects delivered by Jane Forrest of Pearson.

On the second-last day of the conference, the program finished with a charity event to raise money for the local school I.C. Federico De Roberto in Zafferana, which was severely damaged during the earthquake in December 2018.

The conference was closed by a gala dinner at Palazzo Biscari, a 600-year-old baroque palace in Catania which saw delegates enjoy a Sicilian meal and more dancing.

“There are so many elements that need to come together to make a conference really special – excellent speakers, fantastic hospitality, delicious food, good teamwork and enthusiastic delegates,” IH COO Lucy Horsefield explained.

“A wonderful feature of our organisation is how open and ready IH directors are to learn, share and support each other and this conference provided the perfect environment for that to happen.”

The next IH Directors’ Conference will take place in Sydney in 2020.

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