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Energy. Competition. Networking

                Energy. Competition. Networking. This year, the FBLA National Conference was held in San Antonio, Texas, on the Riverwalk. With the Alamo just down the road, a mall across the street, 3 large hotels, and more than 8,000 conference attendees, it was the perfect spot, and FBLA made it come alive with people. The theme for the conference was “Gateway to Greatness”, and several Indiana members discovered their own Gateway to Greatness by making it to the Finals round in their respective events, and placing nationally. Others discovered their own gateway by interacting with members from across our nation, as well as strengthening bonds with fellow Indiana members. Also at Nationals, there was a host of workshops, educating people on how to “Dress for Success”, turn their swag on (with our very own Laymon Hicks), help promote FBLA’s National Charity Partner—the March of Dimes, and much, much more.

However, the part of Nationals that can’t be truly communicated is the energy—you just have to be there and experience it. At the opening session, members walk into an enormous convention center with more than 8,000 proud FBLA members cheering and demonstrating their state pride. The whole conference is immersed in this energy—energy derived from being in a new, exciting place, being around other people who have a similar passion for FBLA, and participating in the many events that our National Officers organized for us, such as the March of Dimes Mini Walk & Dance Party, free massages, Awards of Excellence, Regional and State Meetings, General Sessions, Motivational Speakers, and the closing event.

Having attended 2 National Conferences, I consider it a MUST for members to go at least once. It is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have within FBLA, and it is well worth the work to get there. A lot of the time, people don’t even give it a second thought because of the price tag that comes with it; however the best solution is to innovate, and find ways around the cost in our struggling economy. This year I was able to fundraise more than enough money to cover the cost of nationals, and have some to help for next year, just by buying bulk candy bars at Sam’s Club, and selling them at my school for a dollar a piece; be creative and find a way that works for you!. By starting early (now) you’ll have almost a full year to raise the money without having to empty your own wallet; talk with your advisor and figure out how you can work with other members to get to Nationals next year in Anaheim, California. The National Competition is a great opportunity to develop leadership skills, learn important business knowledge, establish life-long connections with others members, and foster your passion for FBLA, all while having a great time!

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