ECHO® International Agriculture Conference

The ECHO International Agriculture Conference has a rich history of international workers and visitors attending our conference. We are always delighted to receive guests who bring perspectives from the field into the conference. Please use this page to help you navigate the process of attending this conference. We have divided into two sections Before You Leave and Planning for your Arrival

Before you Leave:

Read below for information on registration, payment, visa letters, health insurance, and what to pack!


1. Register

Everyone interested in attending ECHO's International Agriculture Conference must first register. You can do that by following this link. Before you click, please continue to read below for further instructions regarding confirmation letters and visa invitation letters.

If you do not yet have a visa to come to the United States, you do not need to pay when registering. Simply select the "Bill Me" option when you are completing the registration.

Payment will not guarantee or increase your chances of receiving an invitation letter. Once you have secured a visa to the United States for this conference, we will review payment options with you. We do not accept payments made via Western Union.

2. Request a Visa Letter

Many of our Non-US/Canada citizens request a letter from ECHO to support their visa application. When you register, the registration process will collect the relevant information needed for a letter.

This year, ECHO will send via email two kinds of letters:

  1. A confirmation letter confirming registration (sent to everyone)
  2. An invitation letter to those selected through our screening process. These will be issued later, around August/September

Only a select few will receive an invitation letter. If you would like an invitation letter, please register for the conference, selecting “Bill Me” and once your registration is complete, send us supplementary information about your work, for instance, an official letter from your sending organization, news articles or other updates about your work in the field to conference@echonet.org. We will give preference to those working in international development and/or missions.

Please let us know when you have scheduled your Visa appointment with the US Embassy, and the outcome of the appointment

3. Get Health Insurance

If you are traveling internationally, you will need international health insurance for your stay. You can buy your international health insurance through ECHO for $30 per person. When you register, add health insurance to your order in addition to your ticket.

Planning your arrival

Read below for information on how to best travel to the ECHO Conference and what to bring with you!


Arrival by plane in Fort Myers

The hotel offers complimentary transportation to and from the Fort Myers airport. We highly recommend that you book all travel to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW).

Arrival by plane in other Florida airports

There are several large international airports within several hours drive from the conference venue including Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Miami (MIA), Tampa (TPA), and Orlando (MCO). These are not recommended as we do not provide transportation to and from these airports. Each of these airports are:

  1. 3-4 hours away from Fort Myers
  2. Require a rental car to drive to Fort Myers
  3. Miami (MIA) has limited public transportation: Greyhound Bus to Fort Myers
    • Customer service number: +1 (214) 849-8966
    • local office: +1 (239) 334-1011)

If you book a rental car ahead of time, you can usually get a good price, from $20 / day. You will need car insurance (most major credit cards will have rental insurance built in- check with your bank). If you are able to carpool with other delegates, this is a good way to save money.

We have created a forum on ECHOcommunity.org for ride sharing. You must be a member of our website and sign in to use the forum. Please sign in and then follow the link to the forum here.

Ride Share Forum


Hotel

The conference registration fee does not include hotel costs. The ECHO International Agriculture Conference encourages guests to take advantage of the reduced –cost hotel rate through the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where the Conference will be held. This is typically $97.00/night (before tax) per room.

If you are able to room with another attendee, this will lower costs. ECHO does try to match single attendees who are traveling alone with others who are interested in sharing a room. ECHO will only match women with women and men with men.

Sign up for room share!

What to Pack

November in Southwest Florida is the beginning of the cold season. If you are used to more tropical climates, please pack a light sweater or other warm clothing. There is also air conditioning in the hotel venue, and some find it colder than what they are used to. Average temperatures Highs / Lows in November are 81° / 62°F or 27.2°C / 16.7 °C. We recommend bringing:

  • A light jacket that can get wet
  • A water bottle
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen is also recommended.