Go To That Conference

by Matt Mattson

This is a simple blog post with a simple piece of advice.  If you have a chance, GO!

  • Do you have a fraternity/sorority conference or convention this summer?  Go.
  • Do you have a chance to attend UIFI, Leadershape, or some other life-changing experience like those in the next year?  Go.
  • Does it sound like a cool idea to go do service in Central America with a bunch of other Greeks this winter? Go.

And yes, this does have something to do with recruitment.  If you attend really any of the above opportunities (or anything like them) you’ll get at least these three things from it  a) you’ll understand your organization a million times better, b) you’ll learn from other people doing recruitment (among other things) better than you, and c) you’ll have cooler stories to tell potential members. 

You’ll get other stuff as well.  I can honestly trace the impetus for my career success back to two experiences.  The first national fraternity conference that I attended was in Norfolk, Virginia.  It was there that I met two alumni that helped me understand the true scope of what fraternity was all about (Thanks Stuart and Kevin, if you’re reading this).  Then I attended Leadershape the next summer and learned what it really means to boldly lead with integrity. 

Both of those were dramatic life changing experiences for me.  Both of which I could have easily chosen to not attend — I had a summer job, I had a girlfriend, I had a softball team, I had some summer classes, I had very little money, I had stuff to do… I had excuses.  But I chose to go.  I’m glad I made that choice.

Seriously, Go. 

I ask students nearly everywhere I go whether they’ll be attending their organization’s inter/national conference or convention during the upcoming summer.  The typical answer is either, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure I can afford it.”  Fair enough.  I’ll just say this…  Making that decision has led me down a path of personal fulfillment and a deeper understanding of and connection to my organization.  So, you should go.