Conference Buddies

As part of the Mentorship Programme, the Active NPs are provided with additional support on site during the Conference. This assistance can be provided by the Active NP’s mentor if possible, or by a distinct Conference Buddy. 

A Conference Buddy will serve as a ‘shepherd’ to the Active NP during the Conference, helping the Active NP navigate the conference by: offering advice about local arrangements or Conference activities, introducing Active NPs to colleagues, and facilitating the Active NP’s attendance at meetings or other events, in order to expose the Active NP to aspects of the ICA’s activities.  

Who can be a Conference Buddy? 

Ideally, the Conference Buddy will be a mid-career professional in archives and records management, who has participated in two or more ICA Conferences or Congresses, giving them experience with how ICA conferences operate and the activities and events New Professionals can undertake. PCOM members are welcome to serve as Conference Buddies if they wish.   

The Conference Buddy will be a member of the profession and either an individual member of the ICA (Category D) or someone working for a Category A or Category C member of the ICA.  

Category A members include central archive directorates or national archival institutions, and Category C members include institutions concerned with the administration or preservation of records and archives or in archival training and education.  

Because Category B membership is specifically for designated representatives of regional, national, or international associations, which could have hundreds of their own members, it is not logistically possible for the ICA to nominate as Conference Buddies any professionals whose only membership link to the ICA is through their Category B association.   

Please note that Conference Buddies are expected to cover their own costs for attendance at the ICA Conference; no funding is available to support travel, accommodation, or conference registration.   

What does a Conference Buddy do? 

Conference Buddies perform the following specific duties:  

  • introduce themselves to the Active NP before the Conference and set up a time to meet the Active NP in person as soon as possible at the Conference to plan their activities together;  
  • introduce their Active NP to colleagues and other professionals at the Conference, to ensure the Active NP has the widest possible exposure to colleagues in the archival community;  
  • facilitate attendance by the Active NP at Conference meetings or other Conference events as possible, to provide them with exposure to the wide range of ICA activities underway at the Conference; and   
  • support the Active NP during the Conference by participating in any NP events that help foster communications and relationship building.  

To ensure the most effective Conference experience possible, Conference Buddies and Active NPs are encouraged to liaise with each other as soon as possible before the Conference, to plan their activities together. The Coordinator for the Mentorship Programme will facilitate introductions and will be available at the Conference to provide additional assistance as needed.   

We encourage the Conference Buddies to attend any presentations given by the Active NPs where possible.  

If you have more questions about the Conference Buddies, feel free to contact the Coordinator for the Mentorship Programme at