I have just returned from Monterrey, Mexico, where I attended the sixth Hemispheric Congress–Latin America and the first virtual congress AFP has ever held. I admit that I had been somewhat skeptical of a virtual congress, but the tremendous success of the event proved me wrong!
Our partner in the event was Tecnológico de Monterrey, and sponsors included FUNDAMEX, Massociedad, Microsoft, FEMSA and Banorte. More than 300 people participated in the congress overall. We had more than 150 on-site attendees on the Monterrey campus and there were 20 other participating Tec campuses throughout Mexico, with each site having between one and 50 attendees. In addition, people throughout Latin America were able to participate online.
The day was full of excellent speakers, including:
• Marcelo Iñarra Iraegui, CEO, Marceloiniarra.com
• Rubén D. Sánchez, education lead, Microsoft Colombia
• José María Anton, secretary general, Virtual Educa
• Martha Smith de Rangel, executive president, FUNDEMEX
• Deborah San Román, director, Fundación ABC
• María Elena Noriega, president and founder, Office of Consultants in Strategic Planning, Organization of Financial Campaigns and Obtaining of Self-sufficient Resources, Noriega Malo and Associates, S.C.
• Alma Delia Ábrego, representative from the AFP Tijuana Chapter
• Rocío Álvarez Máynez, representative from the AFP Monterrey Chapter
• Elvira Van Daele, officer of operations, International Financial Corporation
• Alejandro Ferraez O., independent consultant and member of the AFP Mexico City Chapter
What was really fascinating was how the technology was set up so that virtual attendees could really feel like they were there. In some cases, speakers could see each virtual participant, and there was a lot of great conversation among attendees, both physical and virtual. I think the Congress is a great model for future virtual gatherings and something that AFP will be exploring more in the future.
For more information, go to the Hemispheric Congress website. And you can also find pictures here.
This was my last Hemispheric Congress as president and CEO of AFP, and I am so proud of the work the association has done to grow the fundraising profession in Latin America. Many thanks to all of my colleagues and friends in Latin America who have helped us along the way. It’s been so wonderful getting to know you all. Latin America has so much to offer the fundraising profession, and this year’s virtual Congress proves it.