FCCLA Conferences are a great chance for everyone to take their leadership skills "Towards New Horizons!" However, how do you know when you are getting the most out of the conference? Here are a few tips that I try to keep in mind in order to get the Ultimate Leadership Experience:
- Read the Program!—Occasionally people will miss out on great events because they do not actually read the program! The program has valuable information about what is going on, when it is happening, and where it is going to be. I know that the first thing I do when I register at a conference is to read the program and plan which workshops I will be able to attend. The program will usually have information about corporate sponsors or donors. This can be helpful if you are fundraising for your chapter because these sponsors or donors will sometimes help you out!
- Participate!—Do not just sit around in sessions or workshops; participate! I always advise people to ask questions, and take part in group discussions. This will not only make your presenter feel welcome, but it will also help you grow as a leader. Sometimes when you are an active participant, you can be rewarded. I personally love the workshops where you get a piece of candy when you answer a question. I have even heard of some workshops where you can win a scholarship if you really impress the company that is presenting. If you are in a large session, such as a general session, your participation will be a little bit different. In large sessions, you should participate by listening and responding positively to speakers/presenters.
- Have Fun—Attending FCCLA Conferences are a great chance to enjoy yourself! One of the best parts about attending FCCLA Conferences is that you get the chance to meet and network with people from all over. At this upcoming state conference, you will have the chance to meet people from across Missouri. You could meet the star basketball player from a neighboring high school. Or if you are not a sports person, you could meet the Missouri Spelling Bee Champion. Regardless of who it is, you get the opportunity to meet and befriend people from across the state! Because FCCLA Conferences are usually held in larger cities, you have the opportunity to do some sightseeing. If you have time, go on a tour of the city or visit one of the local colleges. I know that when I am landing in St. Louis for the conference, I will be snapping several pictures of the arch! Make memories with your friends. One of the best ways to have fun at FCCLA Conferences is to enjoy yourself with your friends and advisers/students. Eat dinner together with your chapter, or play board games on the ride to the conference. Whatever you do, just enjoy it and have fun!
I always get the most out of conferences when I keep these three things in mind: Read the Program, Participate, and Have Fun. I hope that you will be able to use these tips when you attend one of the upcoming conferences!