As we come closer to the end of January, that means one thing here at AFLV--the start of conference season! We are so excited to be in Indianapolis in two short weeks for the Central Fraternal Leadership and National Black Greek Leadership Conference and just as excited as we look ahead to Costa Mesa in April for the West Fraternal Leadership and National Cultural Greek Leadership Conference.
As past participants of each conference and current staff members at AFLV, Branden Stewart, Coordinator of Volunteer and Member Engagement, and Monica Ceja, Coordinator of Marketing and Communication, have come up with their top 5 tips to help YOU maximize your conference experience!
Branden Says ...
Attending a Fraternal Leadership Conference was always the highlight of my undergraduate experience. Each year that I attended, I was able to meet and connect with hundreds of other leaders who were committed to their fraternal values and determined to make positive changes in their communities. Here are my tips to make the most of your experience!
- Get out of bed in the morning. No, really. This is my number one tip, and trust me, I love to sleep. There are a TON of things happening all day while at the conference, and you can’t attend any of them if you're in bed. Hearing our expert keynote speakers, attending something during every educational program block, and constantly looking for new people to meet and new things to experience is crucial to having a worthwhile experience. GET OUT OF BED!
- We've set some minimum standards, and our expectation is that you meet them. Really, nothing on that list is hard to follow. You’re attending the conference to become a better leader and help make your chapter, fraternal community, and campus stronger. Late and loud nights, hotel parties, and drugs have no place at an AFLV Fraternal Leadership Conference. Seriously, we're the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values.
- Our Awards & Assessment Process is a huge component of the Conference, and we spend the closing banquet honoring those councils that work tirelessly to be a model community. Check out the awards binders and talk with students from councils who apply. This is an amazing way to pick up new ideas for how to help your council work harder, better, faster, and stronger (cue the Kanye).
- If you’re coming with a large delegation of students from your institution, the worst thing you can do is attend educational programs with your entire delegation. Your council and school sent YOU to bring back as much information and new ideas as possible. Come in with a plan of attack. How many different educational programs can your delegation attend during each time block? The more ideas you check out, the more you’ll have to bring home with you!
- So you've heard a great idea for a program you want to bring back to your campus, but did you get the most crucial information you need to help make that program a success? That would be contact info! Make sure you get some digits, follow people on Twitter, or friend contacts on Facebook! The more contact info you gather, the more your network grows.
The West Fraternal Leadership and National Cultural Greek Leadership Conference was one of the best leadership development opportunities I had as an undergraduate student. Sharing and learning new ideas with other committed leaders from across the country inspired me to do new, big things as a Panhellenic leader on my campus. Here's how I was able to make my conference awesome.
- Participate in the many events at the conference! In addition to the educational sessions offered, participate in events like Ignite Fraternity, the Order of Omega Case Study Competition, or the Stroll Competition. These events are a great way to learn by doing and put your ideas into action!
- Make sure you dress professionally. Nobody wants to talk to the guy that wore jeans as professional attire, the girl in provocative clothing, or the sloppy-looking person with wrinkled clothes. Look nice and make a strong impression. See our Pinterest board for help with what is and is not pin attire.
- Attend all the meals included in the conference. Obvi, these meals are included in your registration, so attending them will make the best use of your funds. Additionally, this is a great chance to network and learn more about the different resources available from AFLV. And, the affiliation luncheon on Friday will seat you with your brothers or sisters from across the country which is always super fun!
- Participate in the AFLV Silent Auction and the T-Shirt Auction! What could be more fun than coming home with new t-shirts and favors? Plus, the funds help students attend future conferences and leadership development opportunities. Bring some spending money and budget accordingly!
- Have a wrap up meeting. We like the idea of debriefing at the end of each day, so you can keep track of what you learned and follow up when you get home. Don't forget to have a closing meeting on the way home or at your first meeting back so you can come up with a plan of action together!