Philanthrapalooza (Part 2)

Every day brings us a little bit closer to the Council on Foundation's national conference in DC on May 4-7, and I, for one, am very excited. I know that the words excitement and conference don't usually go together. Convention halls filled with people twice your age with less than half an interest in anything that you have to say is not usually how you might like to spend your out-of-town time but this conference promises to be different. So today I bring you the top 10 reasons why the Philanthropy Summit is going to be the best four professional development days of 2008:

  1. Thanks to the hard work of EPIP, RG, and 21/64 there will be a whole conference track devoted to generational issues (a COF first)
  2. There will be Emerging Leaders Salons which give you an opportunity to have engaging discussions with philanthropy's greatest thinkers like Luz Vega-Marquis (Marguerite Casey Foundation) and Susan V. Berresford (recently retired from Ford Foundation).
  3. There will be an Emerging Leader Reception and I don't want to raise any hopes here, but last year this fabulous event included a macaroni and cheese bar, where you picked your own toppings. This has to be the most innovative thing that has happened to food since the creation of macaroni and cheese.
  4. Right in the exhibition hall there will be a Next Gen lounge where you can get great resources and meet new colleagues from across the country.
  5. EPIP will have a hosted suite in the conference hotel where you can relax with new friends and have some refreshments, instead of the normal evening conference activity of watching Discovery Channel alone in your hotel room.
  6. A Generational Leadership Program Facebook Group has been created. I will admit that I have already hooked my proverbial online social networking wagon to LinkedIn but if you are already Facebook proficient or can even handle more than one social networking site, I commend your multitasking skills and this Facebook group is meant for you.
  7. There are opportunities for you to blog about the programs at the COF conference for New Voices of Philanthropy and EPIPhanies. You can write about one session or ten to provide valuable information to our colleagues nationally and internationally who aren't able to attend the conference. Just contact me at tristaharris (at) gmail (dot) com to get set up.
  8. There will be Next Gen scholarships available to cover registration costs, which will bring many new philanthropy professionals to the conference that might not otherwise be able to attend.
  9. We will be one of the first groups to use the Gaylord Conference center, which is a beautiful new facility that many groups will be using for their conferences, so the next time you have something scheduled there you will already be an old pro.
  10. The biggest reason why I am so excited to go to the conference is because I will be able to meet many of this blog's readers for the first time in person. I think online communities are fabulous and I truly appreciate the great conversations that happen on this blog but there is nothing like meeting people face to face. So if you see me in the Next Gen lounge or if you come to the session where I am presenting, come say hi. I can't wait to meet you.