President's Perspective Blog

AFP ICON Virtual 2021 and Returning to “Normalcy”

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ICON

My post is going to be a little shorter than usual because all of us here at AFP Global are busy working away on AFP ICON Virtual 2021—which kicks off two weeks from today! Almost 1,400 of your colleagues have already registered for this event, and I hope to see you there as well.

I was in Florida last week to give a speech for the AFP Florida Caucus’s state conference, Planet Philanthropy. It was the first in-person AFP event I had attended since the pandemic began. There were 350 people in attendance, and the excitement at the conference was palpable everywhere!

It was another sign that we are returning to some sense of “normalcy.” Of course, different communities and different countries are experiencing it differently. This will be a time of constant change and adaptation. But for many of us, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I felt that poignantly when I realized we could hold AFP LEAD, our leadership conference scheduled for Oct. 18 – 20 in Indianapolis, Ind., as an in-person event. Anytime we can have the AFP community together like that, after being apart for so long, is always very meaningful.

You’ll get the same sort of feeling at AFP ICON Virtual 2021. Last year, the pandemic forced us to cancel our in-person AFP ICON, scheduled for Baltimore, Md., just three weeks before the conference was to begin. We were not caught entirely unprepared, but we did have to scramble. This year, we’ve had a whole year to plan a best-of-class virtual conference with an amazing platform that will feel as close to an in-person experience as you can get.

You’ll get to choose from 12 different sessions during each educational session block. You’ll get to ask questions of presenters live during their sessions. You’ve got two amazing keynote speakers in Heather McGhee and Wes Moore. You’ve got networking opportunities galore, and the ability to reach out to all attendees. And even better, you will have free access to EVERY single session presented at ICON so you can watch and learn whenever you want at your convenience.

We are returning—slowly but surely—to “normalcy,” and your AFP experience is part of that. We are all looking forward to being able to meet up with our friends and colleagues again at in-person chapter events, as well as conferences like AFP ICON. Not everyone is in the same space to be able to meet in-person yet, so let’s all proceed with optimism, caution and patience as we plan our events.

And, of course, let’s all proceed to AFP ICON Virtual 2021. See you in two weeks!

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Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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