Tuesday, October 28, 2014

National Convention Tips and Tricks

“You have to witness the Sea of Blue!” one older FFA member yelled at me trying to convince me to go to National FFA Convention when I was in 10th grade. Confused by what they meant, I managed to wipe the strange look off my face and replied with a long, “Sure…”. That next month I did witness the Sea of Blue and all of it’s glory while walking down the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana. I found myself often times looking around to see the name of the state on the nearby jackets. I returned from the National FFA Convention that year with a brand new perspective of the National FFA Organization and was energized from what I heard during the sessions and what I saw from the Expo center. Since that first year, I have made my way to National FFA Convention a few more times. So I have created 10 tips for you about National FFA Convention…

1. Go to the First General Session. I promise, you won’t regret it! Imagine 60,000 members and guests gather in one building. The energy level is crazy!

2.   Do the signature page challenge at the back of the Convention Handbooks. It’s a great way to meet new friends and members from all over the nation!

3.  Get some sleep. Wither it’s in the bus/car beforehand or while convention is going on, sleep is very important. Convention is constant ‘high energy’ and you’ll want to not be tired for the experiences of a lifetime!

4. Have a buddy! Everything is always better when you experience it with someone else. Plus, you won’t get lost! 

5. Communication! It’s important that you stay connected with your advisor or whoever is liable for you. Have a game play with your advisor and try to keep your phone charged!

6. Expo! Take advantage of the National FFA Expo. You’ll get the chance to network and explore opportunities with over 450 industry-leading exhibitors. Bring a drawstring bag/backpack to collect all the awesome stuff they give away!

7.  Stay alert! The sessions are a great time to be inspired by the National FFA Officers or Session Speakers! Take notes and get ready to take action.

8.  Got Social Media? Post about your adventures of the day to keep those at home informed. Does your FFA chapter have Facebook or Twitter? Great! Post on the chapter page as well. It’s great to get updates from the National FFA Convention and Expo!

9. Branch out. National FFA Convention is a great time to know others wither they’re from your home state or not. Some of the best friendships are FFA friendships.

10. Have fun! It’s all around you. Not only are there multiple concerts and dances, but you’re with the future leaders of agriculture and people with the same PASSION as you! Celebrate!

How you use your time at National FFA Convention & Expo is up to you. Be sure to bring ideas back to your chapter and get ready to make a difference and GO ALL OUT!

Grow Always, Serve Endlessly,

Erin Larson
MN FFA State Reporter 

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