By Ross Creech
With excitement building for dressage to descend on Omaha for the 2023 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention, USDF wants to ensure that attendees make the most of their experience and allow the experience to make the most of them. To that end, here are five ways you can Maximize Your Convention Potential!
PARTICIPATE IN YOUR REGIONAL MEETING
Regional meetings serve many purposes and really set the tone for your convention experience. It is here that attendees are briefed on the hottest topics dominating the year’s conversation, and get the opportunity to coordinate with their regional colleagues to develop a ‘divide and conquer’ plan to gather the most information possible, while maximizing their opportunities to be a part of the conversation. These meetings also provide an opportunity to hear from Officer and At-Large Director candidates, in contested races, in a more intimate setting and prior to their address to the BOG.
DON’T MISS THE MUST-ATTENDS
The Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention offers a unique opportunity for attendees to attend open forums that feature panels and moderator lineups comprised of the most knowledgeable, respected, influential, and recognizable names in the organization and sport. As something found only at the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention, every attendee should flag each of these in their agendas as ‘must-attends’. The 2023 forum lineup includes the Activities, Administrative, and Technical Councils Open Forums, the US Dressage Finals Open Forum, the Competition Open Forum, and the always highly anticipated, joint USEF/USDF Open Forum, which includes open discussion on the latest trends in the sport, as well as new and upcoming rule change proposals.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE LOCATION
Whether a year in our ‘old Kentucky home’, or another location around the country, every city and Region that play host to the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention has something special to offer. Host Regions and their Group Member Organizations (GMOs) are always very well represented when the annual convention comes to town, and provide an unparalleled resource when it comes to local culture, fare, and otherwise. With the amazing networking opportunities during the convention week, attendees should definitely take an opportunity to bend their ear on where best to venture out for an authentic experience and to get a true taste of the area!
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
While, on paper, something called “The Board of Governors (BOG) General Assembly” may not sound like it belongs on a convention attendee’s Top Ten list, it is quite literally the MOST important meeting on the agenda. Even if you do not hold any personal voting strength, every attendee should make a point to be in attendance. It is at the BOG where all decisions facing the organization for the coming year, and beyond, are ultimately made, and for anyone who has attended some of the more “active” BOG meetings in the past, they can certainly attest that it is anything but boring!
CLOSE OUT YOUR WEEK IN STYLE
As a last stand before the inevitable exhaustion sets in from the week (albeit welcome and “fun” exhaustion), take the opportunity to close out your convention experience on a true high. The week culminates with the Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet*, where we come together to share drinks, delicious food, smiles, laughs, and maybe even some tears, as we honor dignitaries and champions of both the sport and organization. Every attendee is invited to celebrate with us as we recognize the year’s Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Inductees, Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients, USDF Members of Distinction, Volunteer and Youth Volunteers of the Year, as well as all USDF Rider Award and Adequan®/USDF Year-End and All-Breeds Awards winners. It’s a night of true celebration, recognizing the outstanding achievements of the dressage community in this country and all those dedicated to its enduring success!