Posts tagged ‘Baltimore’

March 4, 2020

Is the AFP International Conference in Jeopardy?

[BREAKING NEWS (March 12, 2020): The AFP ICON in-person experience has been canceled. The AFP ICON VIRTUAL will still take place. Learn more by clicking here.]

[UPDATE (March 16, 2020): The Association of Fundraising Professionals has announced the schedule for the AFP ICON VIRTUAL while slashing the price. The cost is now $799 (members) and $999 (non-members). You can review the schedule, discover the extras included with registration, and learn how to register by clicking here.]

Will thousands of fundraising professionals from around the world have their plans derailed by the coronavirus (COVID-19)? With the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference scheduled to run from March 29 – 31, in Baltimore, MD, it’s natural for people to have concerns.

As I write this post, there have been 95,481 global documented cases of COVID-19 resulting in 3,285 deaths. Business supply chains have been interrupted. The stock market has fallen significantly. Airlines have canceled flights. Governments have imposed quarantines and travel restrictions. The World Health Organization says that the spread of coronavirus could lead to an international pandemic.

While the threat from coronavirus is real, we need to keep it in perspective. For example, influenza has resulted in over 18,000 deaths in the US this flu season alone compared to 11 deaths resulting from coronavirus.

I’m not being dismissive about the threat from coronavirus. I’m just suggesting we need to prepare rather than panic.

That is exactly AFP’s perspective.

Mike Geiger, AFP President and CEO, announced the show will go on:

AFP ICON 2020 in Baltimore is ready to go, featuring over 100 educational sessions, two amazing keynote speakers and plenty of networking opportunities for you to see old friends and make new ones.”

While Geiger looks forward to welcoming thousands of fundraisers to Baltimore, he remains focused on the health, safety, and comfort of all participants. Underscoring this, Geiger issued a statement saying:

  1. We have been in contact with the Baltimore City Health Department to let them know of our conference and open lines of communications.
  2. We have been in discussions with visitors’ bureaus, health professionals and other associations to gain an understanding of the true travel and health environments across North America and around the world.
  3. We continue to monitor announcements and updates from the US Department of Labor and the Centers for Disease Control and will take our guidance from them and other key agencies.
  4. At AFP ICON, we will institute the following policies and procedures:
    • We are encouraging participants to make AFP ICON a “handshake-free” meeting.
    • We will be providing hand sanitizers and recommending hand washing as much as possible.
    • We will have a medical office onsite in case participants are feeling unwell and would like medical guidance.
    • The Baltimore Convention Center is increasing the amount of hand sanitizing stations that are available throughout the facility and taking a pro-active approach to cleaning the facility every day.

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