*This post was written by Guest Blogger Erinn Richert, Zeta Gamma*
I was excited to attend the 2018 convention, as it would be my first convention. I knew sisters that had gone before and they would always talk about how much they loved convention and couldn’t wait to attend another one. As convention drew closer, I began to worry about what to expect at convention and if I would enjoy it. Now with one convention under my belt, I can give my five tips on surviving your first convention.
Wear comfortable shoes
It may be tempting to go shoe shopping before convention to find that perfect shoe for an outfit. Hopefully, you have enough time beforehand to break the shoes in, because you will be doing a lot of walking at convention, and blisters will become your new friends. My advice is to skip the shoe shopping trip and bring shoes that are already broken in.
2. Bring snacks
Being in business sessions during the day is hard work, and if you’re like me, you’re going to get hungry. Another reason for bringing snacks was due to the time change. Coming from the Midwest to Las Vegas meant that I was going to be two hours behind. It would be around 3 PM that my body would start telling me that it was dinner time, even though I was in the middle of a breakout workshop and dinner wouldn’t be served for another three hours.
3. Network, network, network
Convention is a great time to meet other sisters from all over the country. My roommate for the week was from Kentucky and it was wonderful to bounce ideas off of each other. During the breakout workshops, I met collegiate members and alumnae from different chapters and learned new ideas from them to bring back to my chapter. At the Carnation Banquet, I sat next to a member from the chapter at the University of Hawaii and learned more about their culture. The Adviser’s Forum was perfect for connecting with other chapter advisers and learn new things to bring back to the chapter. Social media makes it easy to stay in contact with all of our sisters and helps form a lifelong bond.
This one may seem silly, but believe me, you will want to. I was excited to learn that Carnation Collection would be selling merchandise at convention. I told myself to try and limit what I bought. It was hard to stick to that once I saw all of the shirts, sweaters, and bags. Did I really need two new shirts? Not really, but it was hard to resist buying both! One way to help budget is to just wait for Midnight Madness, which is equivalent to Black Friday for Carnation Collection. Items are marked down and a few new items are available, making it a huge event during convention.
5. Have fun
Convention is a great time to reconnect with Phi Mu and your sisters. We remember those that have passed on, we celebrate those joining our bond. We give back to the community through a service project and we commemorate all of the work that we’ve done for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Convention helps to remind us why we are a Phi Mu and what our amazing sisterhood has to offer us.