At the end of June, my sorority is having our national convention in Disney World. If you know anything about me, you know my family loves Disney. This Convention is a culmination of some of my favorite things in the world: Disney, business sessions that actually use parliamentary procedure, dressing up, and being with my sorority sisters. In 2010, I attended my first convention as a collegiate member. I remember being a bit intimidated;so, I’m going to compile some of my best tips for heading to Convention.
1. Pack adequately, but lightly.
Over packing not only can cause you extras fees at the airport but it can also lead to having a million things thrown around your hotel room. I am notorious for over packing. You can find a ton of suggestion on pinterest about how to pack lightly. I suggest packing 2 extra outfits in case of spills or simply not wanting to wear something you’ve packed. Also, find a carry on bag that you can use as your tote for the weekend. I splurged and bought myself a new bag from Vera Bradley. Their patterns are fun but also classy. Here’s their grand tote. Is your event giving you any free shirts? Plan to wear it during casual time or during your trip home. Use the accommodation’s laundry service or wear a tank under them.
2. Always have some cash with you.
Don’t rely on plastic. Some places in the airport or the convention center won’t take debit/credit cards. Also, if you’re traveling a large distance, most credit card companies have identity theft features that may flag your account for out of state purchases. Always notify your bank/credit card companies if you’ll be traveling out of town.
3. Always have a business card to give your contact information.
Although you’ll know a good amount of people, you’ll definitely be meeting a lot of new faces. Having a business card will save you the time of trying to write down your contact information, especially if it’s not a convenient time. Don’t have a business card? Me either. All I did was get some card stock and make them on Word. They’re not the fanciest cards ever, but they serve their purpose.
3. Don’t cling to the friends you already have.
Obviously, you’ll want to spend time with your friends who are also attending the conference, but make sure you don’t become inseparable. This is a great time to branch out and network.
4. Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Do your dress shoes hurt your feet after time? Have a pair of flats you can slip into your bag right before walking into business sessions. This way, if the elevator is full and you’re stuck taking the stairs, you will still be able to walk the next day!
5. Warn your family/friends at home that you won’t have a lot of free time.
Our convention happens once every three years. I only see some of these women at Convention. I always remind family/friends that I’ll be unavailable for our normal chats until I get home. I’ll text my mom a general “Hey, love you. See you in a few days” but she knows we won’t be having a 20 minute discussion about the latest episode of her favorite show.
I think those are my best tips for now. Stay tuned for specifics about packing, using your time wisely, and other miscellaneous tips.