The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Senior Leadership Conference offers a variety of networking opportunities to help participants make connections and build enduring professional relationships.

Maximize Your Networking Opportunities

Long-lasting connections can be made when you least expect it. Take advantage of these little moments between formal networking activities:

Conference Registration Desk

Introduce yourself to others while waiting in line to pass the time and meet someone new right away. Commiserate about your travel, rave about the weather, or compare notes on the workshops you plan to attend.

First-Time Attendee or Welcome Reception

Plan to mix and mingle at these receptions. Don’t be a wallflower, work the room! We’ve asked everyone to wear something with their organization's logo to serve as a conversation starter. Do you have your 30-second elevator speech ready?


You can't meet new people if you sit with those you already know. Find an open chair, and start the conversation by asking if you can join the table. Have a seat, introduce yourself, and start chatting. 


Introduce yourself to the people sitting next to you. Since you’re all at the same session, you automatically have a common interest. 


Introduce yourself to the person in front of you while you fix your cup of coffee.

Remember to wear your conference name badge, which identifies you as part of the SLC group. Starting conversations is easy, as everyone is having a shared experience.

First-Time Attendee Reception

Saturday, Feb. 16 from 5-6 p.m.

The Senior Leadership Conference Council invites all first-time attendees to this special reception. Meet the council, establish valuable professional contacts, and enjoy a few light hors d'oeuvres. For those who have attended the conference in the past, we ask that you help us give our first-time participants a more intimate setting to begin their networking journey by not participating in this reception.

Welcome Reception

Saturday, Feb. 16 from 6-7 p.m.

Nibble on light refreshments, mingle with past conference attendees and make new connections at this kickoff to the conference. We encourage everyone to wear their agency apparel or logo to our opening night receptions. This will be a great way to see which agencies are represented at the conference and be a good conversation starter.

Mix & Mingle Happy Hour

Sunday, Feb. 17 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Join your colleagues at the hotel bar to build your professional network at this informal event. Remember to wear your conference name badge. The purpose of those badges is to identify you as part of the conference group. Starting a conversation should be easy as you’re all there, having the same shared experience. The moral of the story … don’t be shy, introduce yourself, and open the door for networking to begin. 

Peer Group Meetups/Dine Arounds 

Sunday, Feb. 17 at 6:45 p.m. 

Meet up with colleagues who truly understand your day-to-day struggles and speak your language. Join your affinity group for a meal and feel at home in conversation. With no formal agenda, the Alliance Peer Exchange (APEX) group meetups and dine arounds will provide ample opportunity to connect in a casual setting and discuss topics that are important and relevant to your work. 

Specific groups that are meeting are:

  • Advancing equity
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Fund development and marketing
  • Senior leadership

Start networking before you arrive in Clearwater by joining these APEX groups on myAlliance.

Boat Building Competition and Race

Monday, Feb. 18 from 1:30-4 p.m.

Join us for a little friendly competition. Participants will be split into teams, which will each be given several materials (cardboard and duct tape to name a couple) to build a boat. We’ll then race the boats in the hotel pool. Don’t forget to name your boat and create a team cheer! Limited to 50 participants. Cost $36.