President's Perspective Blog

Mike’s Monday Message: Launching AFP ICON—Virtual (and Hopefully) In-Person!

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Today, we’re launching Early Bird Registration for AFP ICON 2021, our international conference, June 28 – 30, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s a little later in the year than usual, and you might be wondering what AFP ICON is going to look like in 2021 and why we’re launching now. So, here’s the story and what we’re planning.

What we know for sure right now is that ICON will feature the traditional number of educational sessions—typically around 100—covering every aspect of fundraising, along with issues and trends related to leadership, diversity and inclusion, mental health and self-care, and so much more.

Those sessions will be presented by, as always, top leaders, diverse and cutting-edge innovators, and fundraising pioneers, as well as new voices and up-and-comers in the profession. You’ll get to hear from amazing keynote speakers like Wes Moore—Army combat veteran, best-selling author and CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation.

We’ll also offer all the networking opportunities you have come to expect at AFP ICON, allowing you to meet new friends and colleagues and rekindle existing relationships. There’s no better place to create meaningful connections in the profession than at the largest gathering of fundraisers in the world.

What we also know is that AFP ICON will definitely contain a virtual experience. From the comfort of your home or office, you’ll be able to watch any session you want while saving on travel and hotel costs. You’ll also have access to EVERY SINGLE SESSION offered at AFP ICON when the recordings are ready. No matter what, AFP ICON VIRTUAL is on!

But we know that many of you want to have an in-person conference experience—as do we—assuming it’s safe. It’s been too long since the fundraising profession has gathered together in one place, and we hope to see everyone in Minnesota, especially with a vaccine looking more and more likely in the near future.

Safety is our number one concern. If we don’t believe we can hold a safe and comfortable AFP ICON, we will focus solely on the virtual experience. If you’ve registered for the in-person conference, you’ll be able to switch to a virtual registration WORRY-FREE at any time (whether we’ve had to cancel the in-person event or you just don’t feel comfortable). The reverse is also true: If you’ve registered for the virtual conference, but later decide you want the in-person experience, you’ll be able to switch easily and worry-free.

If you’ve been to an AFP ICON before, you know there’s nothing like it. The sessions, the presenters, the networking—the experience can transform your career. We are hoping we can provide that experience in-person, and I can’t wait to say hi to everyone personally.

But if we can’t hold the in-person conference, or if you simply want to experience the conference online, you’ll be able to. We’re committed to providing you the AFP ICON experience however you want it. And with Early Bird registration, available now through Feb. 28, 2021, you’ll be able to get your experience at a huge discount.

I encourage you to register for AFP ICON 2021 today. I can’t promise you an in-person experience yet (as much as I want to), but I can promise you an extraordinary gathering that will provide you so much fundraising knowledge and leave you reinvigorated and reenergized about the incredible work we do every day!

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Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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