10 Reasons You Should Join Us for Our First Ever Virtual Convention!

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By Chelsey Burris

This week marks the start of the first Adequan®/USDF Virtual Convention.  If you’re still on the fence about joining us, here are ten reasons you should register now and not let this opportunity pass you by!  

A Full Slate of Education

Janet Foy, who will present a session on training issues.

The annual convention is always a great place to further your dressage education.  This year is no different, as we have a full schedule of education sessions featuring experts from various industries.  These include presentations on equine nutrition, training issues, proper bitting, growing your Group Member Organization, horse health, and much more.  There are also numerous roundtable discussions and open forums planned, giving you a chance to engage with others about a variety of topics facing and related to our sport.  Learn more about all the interesting education sessions you can attend this week here!

A Convenient Schedule

CrowdCompass Events, the official app of our convention

One thing that sometimes happens during in-person conventions is issues with conflicting scheduled events –causing attendees to miss one or more sessions they’d like to attend. That will all be avoided this year, as the Virtual Convention schedule has no overlapping sessions.  Also, none of the events begin before 11AM ET, or end later than 9PM ET.  Our à la carte registration, which allows attendees to select which sessions they wish to attend, will also help to keep a convenient schedule that best fits around other things that may need to get done throughout this week. Check out the full agenda here to plan your week!

Networking Opportunities

For all of us, 2020 has reduced the amount of in-person activities we have been able to participate in – so you won’t want to miss this opportunity to network with others, all from the comfort of your home.  Additionally, the Virtual Convention still provides numerous opportunities to connect with others, including our custom event app, Convention CrowdCompass, which allows attendees to link their social media pages, including their LinkedIn, directly to their profile on the app, a great way to connect with other attendees.  Get all the details for how to download and utilize the app here.

Experience Governance in Action

Your voice and opinions are important to USDF! Did you know that each year, at Convention, the Board of Governors General Assembly holds its annual meeting to discuss and vote on the future of our organization and sport in the US. By attending this year, you can join your elected governance representatives in these efforts and be a part of the future of dressage. 

Celebrate Accomplishments

Champion Verdades is among the class of 2020 Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame inductees. Photo by Susan J. Stickle Equestrian Photography.

While we always celebrate our horses’ and riders’ accomplishments during the convention, this year holds an extra special meaning, since 2020 presented equestrians with so many added hurdles to overcome due to the pandemic. Between postponed shows and travel restrictions, this year’s award recipients persevered and were able to triumph against all odds.  Help us celebrate everyone’s accomplishments by joining us for the Salute Gala, featuring inductees to the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, 2020 Volunteer and Youth Volunteer of the Year celebrations, and USDF Rider Awards on Friday night. The celebration will continue on Saturday night, with the Adequan®/USDF Year-End and All-Breeds Awards presentations. Make sure to plan to join us as we celebrate some of the bright spots from the year that was 2020.

Witness History

At this year’s Convention, we will be inducting Dr. Hilary Clayton, Gary Rockwell, and Verdades (owned by Laura Graves) into the 2020 Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame.  Attendees can witness the inductions of these icons of our sport at our Friday night’s celebration.  Read more about this year’s Hall of Fame class here.

Do a Little Holiday Shopping

The holidays are right around the corner and USDF wants to help to provide you some quintessential holiday shopping opportunities! This year’s convention website features a special Marketplace page, where you can check out deals on tack, apparel, jewelry, things to make your life easier around the barn, art, and much more. As always we want to support our partners, sponsors, and comrades in the equestrian world, and in 2020 it is even more important to support our businesses, so Marketplace seemed like the perfect opportunity to accomplish all of this while providing an additional element to the convention for our attendees.

Get More Connected to Your Dressage Community

While we are more apart than ever with the pandemic, remember, we are all in this together!  Thursday’s Regional meetings may be of special interest to those who have never attended a USDF convention before. Here, attendees can hear directly from their Regional Director and learn more about the top issues, ideas, and upcoming events within their region.  With the other various Q&As scheduled, there will also be ample opportunity for attendees to raise any questions or concerns they may have. 

Access from Anywhere

Our in-person conventions rotate locations each year – so sometimes interested equestrians are unable to attend because of travel costs, the time they’d have to be away from their farm to attend, or their work schedules.  This year, that barrier to attend is no longer there.  From home, the barn, or the passenger seat of a car, attendees can access all the convention has to offer from almost any computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. 

It’s FREE

Perhaps the most exciting part of the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention?  It’s free for 2020 and 2021 USDF members to register!!  (If you’re not a USDF Member and still want to attend, you can join USDF as an Education Member for just $35 if you’re an adult, or $10 if you’re a youth.) With everything this convention has to offer, and the availability of the USDF Education membership, how can you afford not to attend?

What are you waiting for? Register for the Adequan®/USDF Virtual Convention today! The future of dressage is in your hands, and the future is now! Registration closes December 2, 2020.

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