It’s official – the APMP National Capital Area’s Mid-Atlantic Conference IS BACK for 2021!
Check out the Q&A below with Annual Conference Co-chairs Morgan Anderson and Kirstin Billard about what changes we can expect to see at this year’s MAC. Both are first-time board members – perfect for bringing a fresh perspective to the unique challenge of putting on a conference in a post-COVID world.
Morgan: I’ve been proposal writing for years now, but I’ve only recently discovered the amazing proposal/bids and capture community. I come from a background where I’ve worn several hats, so it’s nice to see others who work in the industry who understand how it goes! But overall, it’s really rewarding to see how we’re helping companies to make an impact through deals, partnerships, etc. Similarly, I wanted to be a part of the team that bridges those same types of relationships for us proposal professionals. For our chapter, that’s the MAC.
Kirstin: I’ve been a member of this chapter since 2019, and have been taking advantage of all it has to offer! I currently work as a Proposal Coordinator and it’s incredible to work within my proposal team, but I joined APMP because I wanted to meet other like-minded professionals outside of my work. Along with serving on the board, I’m also a member of the Mentor-Protege program, which has been very beneficial and a great way to network and meet fellow chapter members. I think everyone misses getting together now – I know I do – and so stepping into the role of putting on a large event and having the chance to socialize was very appealing to me.
Morgan: The MAC will be entirely virtual – which means it’ll be accessible for those outside of our usual DC metro region. Which is very exciting – who knows, we might see members from overseas chapters. (Hi APMP Japan!) But after a year of remote posture, I think what’s most important is to create an experience that makes us feel less “at home”. So while we’ll have lots of informative events, we also want to keep the MAC upbeat and fun. In fact, that’s a big part of this year’s theme – which we will be announcing shortly…
Morgan: We’ll give you a hint… it’s kind of a big “deal”! Keep checking our social media (LinkedIn, Facebook) for more hints. The first person to guess the theme correctly is eligible to win a prize!
Kristin: We certainly don’t want to lay all of our cards out on the table, but trust us – you won’t want to miss it!
Kirstin: You can expect plenty of engaging interactivity! We’re aiming for the Virtual MAC to be a fun, social, and engaging experience. We plan to host pre-recorded content as well as live speaker presentations, which still allow for interactive panel discussions and Q&A. There will be other familiar features that we’ve been exposed to in this post-COVID world, such as breakout sessions, and opportunities to have group discussions through chats and video calls. There is also some fun gamification, which means you earn points for participating and attending sessions, which of course means more prizes!
Morgan: The event is open to anyone in the world of proposals and interested in networking. It’s not just proposal folks – if you’re looking to gain insight into the industry or strengthen your business development skills, then the MAC’s for you. If you couldn’t travel to attend in the past, this is a great chance to be able to attend all of the presentations and sessions at your own pace, since all recorded material is available after the conference for 30 days.
Kirstin: Students who are members of the APMP-NCA Graduate Pathway Program will benefit tremendously from attending, due to the capability for networking opportunities. Anyone looking to get into a career in the National Capital area, or with government proposals would benefit. Other professionals looking for work, as well as companies looking to hire proposal talent, should be there. You never know, you may find your next job or hire there. The conference is also a great way to maintain your APMP CEUs, not to mention you earn even more if you’re a presenter, or if you volunteer to help out at the conference.
Morgan: Of course, the more the merrier! Since the MAC will look a bit different this year, we’re seeking tech-savvy volunteers who are interested in supporting logistics, graphics/design and helping to find sponsors. There’s plenty that needs to be done, so we’re happy to accept any and all help. If you’re interested, you can submit your information here. Bonus – all volunteers receive a discount when registering for the MAC.
Kirstin: Yes, great question! Due to the all-virtual platform this year, we are happy to use all kinds of help – but especially the technical kind! Technical volunteers in the fields of Web Development, Streaming, and Graphic Design especially, but we will also still need volunteers who may be interested in helping with logistics, coordinating with presenters, sponsors, vendors, etc., marketing/publicity, and general administrative / event coordination. And don’t forget, volunteers earn extra CEU’s!
Morgan: We’re changing it up a little bit this year – it will be in August 2021, just in time for a nice little break from the busy summer season! Keep your eyes peeled for a Save the Date as well as an announcement on the theme, coming soon!
Calling All Volunteers!