Seattle Skyline

The Countdown For Seattle Begins

Seattle Skyline

Every year when we begin promoting our annual conference, we hold our breath, cross our fingers and take some side bets about when — not if — it will sell out.  Last week, we signed up our 300th attendee for our upcoming event in Seattle, making our fourth sellout in as many years. As much as we’re gratified by this success — especially with still two months to go before the conference begins — what’s more meaningful is what makes our conferences so attractive. To us it’s the fact that people who do communications for foundations have a strong desire to connect with peers, trade information, learn new skills and share knowledge — something our conferences offer.

This year’s event, held in partnership with our friends from CommA, is no exception.  Between formal programs and lots of opportunities to network with colleagues, this promises to be an engaging, fun and energizing event – just like all our conferences

We’ve been updating our website — and will continue to do so — to make it easy for everyone coming (and those just looking in) to stay current on developments. A good starting place is the Fall Conference section of our site, which also has helpful links to information about the schedule of events, program line-up and a list of who’s coming.

Here are some highlights and other information worth noting:

  • Although the conference is sold out, if you have friends or colleagues who want to be added to our waiting list tell them to email
  • Our conference hashtag is #comnetwork12. We encourage you to start using it now. Also, this year we’ve added Twitter handles to the attendees listed on our website.  If you want to add yours, email
  • We have some special activities planned for Friday that are described below, including “hot topic” breakfast roundtables you are welcome to host and a drawing we’re holding for an iPad and other cool high-tech gadgets.

Here are other highlights:

We kick off the conference with a reception on Wednesday evening that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is generously hosting at its must-see new headquarters building.

Our Thursday program features special guests Sherman Alexie, author, poet and screenwriter; and Jane McGonigal, creative director, Social Chocolate.  In between their presentations, you can choose from a wide range of educational, thought-provoking and skill-building breakout sessions. Attendees can choose from a wide range of educational, thought-provoking and skill-building breakouts. The full descriptions for these sessions are on our website.

On Friday morning, we’ve asked some folks to lead “hot topic” breakfast roundtable discussions about trendy, maybe even edgy issues affecting our work and field. We’ll be posting our offerings soon. If you would like to organize a session, email

Also on Friday, everyone is invited to join in a conversation about the future of the Network and how you can help shape these plans.  As an incentive, everyone who stays will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad or other cool high-tech gadgets.  Make sure you plan your travel to be there.

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