To those unfamiliar with or new to PRSSA, ICON may appear like any other Conference. However, for those deeply involved in the organization, ICON holds the potential to be a life-changing event.

When I first got involved with PRSSA, I had little knowledge about what it entailed; what it means to be a Chapter leader or what is the significance of ICON. Yet, as I became more engaged, I found myself leading my Chapter and even being part of the ICON 2023 Conference Committee. 

Initially, stepping into the world of ICON felt overwhelming, but the more I delved into it, the more I realized that attending or even hosting this event could be an experience of a lifetime. Working directly with PRSSA National opened my eyes to the immense effort

required to host a large Conference like ICON. The speed at which we had to work to elevate ICON 2023 to its full potential, the process of reaching out to sponsors and speakers, and the myriad of other responsibilities were mind–boggling. Yet, that is precisely what made it exciting.

Being on your toes, ready to adapt and create comprehensive itineraries, added a thrilling edge to hosting ICON. As pre–professionals, we often learn in a structured environment, breaking tasks down into manageable pieces. However, ICON presented a multifaceted challenge, and the guidance we received has made it an incredibly enriching experience. 

I strongly encourage other PRSSA Chapters to consider bidding for hosting opportunities like ICON, District Conferences or running for PRSSA National. Embrace these seemingly gigantic and intimidating tasks because they can truly transform your life, leading to rapid personal growth and development.

On the attending side, it’s impossible not to be excited about ICON. This event offers an unparalleled opportunity to meet high–caliber professionals, gain insights and tricks of the trade and establish valuable connections with experienced individuals. Moreover, ICON allows attendees to interact with like–minded peers who share similar ambitions and aspirations. This Conference fosters an environment of learning, bonding and networking that is unparalleled in any other experience I’ve encountered. And to top it all off, it takes place in the vibrant city of Nashville. Who doesn’t love the music city?

ICON is a rare and significant experience for many. Even if it turns out to be a one–time opportunity for you, that only heightens its importance. Imagine the possibility of meeting the professional you’ve admired throughout your college career or forming connections that can shape your future in unimaginable ways.

Could your Chapter benefit immensely from the knowledge and insights gained at ICON? The answer is a resounding yes. So, why hesitate? There are abundant resources available for fundraising, scholarships and grants to support your journey to ICON. Alongside the hard work, you’ll have plenty of fun while striving for your ultimate goal. Most importantly, ICON could be the catalyst that changes your life, equipping you with invaluable tools and connections that will stay with you throughout your professional journey. Embrace the opportunity, attend ICON and open yourself up to a world of possibilities. It just may change your life.

Ro Lane (she/they) is the logistics director on the ICON 2023 Conference Committee. She is a sophomore at the University of Memphis, double-majoring in creative media and public relations. After college, she hopes to work in talent management or digital design.

After changing their majors to creative media and public relations, Ro took a class that sparked her love for all things planning and design. Through their hard work in said class, Ro was offered the vice presidency of the UofM’s PRSSA Chapter, where she will hopefully be involved for her next two years. 

Ro is completing her first internship on campus through the Undergraduate Office of Admissions and Orientation, where she works directly for the campus visit program. She hopes to complete two more internships before she graduates. Ro is also the president and social media manager for the honors student program and is managing her own freelancing to gain experience whenever and whereever they can.

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