By Avani Rai, Illionis FBLA State Vice President, Central Area
Among the vast offerings that involvement with FBLA provides, Conferences often stand out as the highlight of many students' experiences. The opportunity to travel, make new friends, and learn about everything business and beyond is always something to look forward to. While most FBLA students are familiar with competitive conferences (Area, State, and Nationals,) FBLA typically hosts a few additional Conferences throughout the year as well—one of which is the National Fall Leadership Conference (NFLC). However, this year FBLA's NFLCs were farther away than in previous years, and many schools would be unable to take their students to attend. Thus, Illinois FBLA decided to host its own Illinois Fall Retreat!
In early November, 312 Illinois FBLA-ers and advisers from 16 chapters across the state united for a weekend of professional development, networking, and fun at the first-ever Illinois Fall Retreat hosted in Normal, Illinois. Attendees learned from phenomenal speakers, FBLA alum, and Illinois FBLA State Officers to develop a stronger understanding of the business world and get the "Conference experience." Don't let that fool you though—from a private Children's Discovery Museum experience to a late-night trip to Insomnia Cookies, the conference was filled with tons of activities with the purpose of pure fun as well!
So, what if you didn't have the opportunity to attend? Well, I've got some good news: moving forward IFR will become a staple of the Illinois FBLA experience, allowing more Illinois FBLA'ers than ever before to experience Conferences. Plans are to host the Conference around the same time period but shift the location between northern, central, and southern Illinois to ensure every student has an equal opportunity to attend and give our attendees a varied experience each year. Until then, stay involved with FBLA through your upcoming Area Conference so that you have the chance to qualify for the State and National Conferences this year. Also, be on the lookout for the annual Summer Leadership Workshop in late July. Every chapter has the opportunity to send a delegation of students to attend and take part in this great Conference as well!
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