This past weekend I got the amazing opportunity to travel to Chicago, IL (or rather Schaumburg, IL) to attend my sororities 44th National Convention. Sigma Sigma Sigma only has convention once every three years, so each time you get to go to convention is really special. I am going to give you the day-by-day breakdown on all the fun things I was able to do this weekend. I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing organization.
Friday was the first day of convention, and my travel day to Chicago. I woke up at the bright and early time of 5:30 AM, a little earlier than I wanted to get up. I was at my sisters house and my nephew was upset and crying so I attended to him and got him back to bed–right as it was time to make sure everything was packed and get to the airport.
It was my first time flying so I was way nervous, but I was able to quickly check my bag, get through TSA, get some breakfast, and sit down way before my flight ever thought about leaving. Here is me drinking some iced coffee that I wished was way sweeter.
I got to meet a number of wonderful people in the airport that helped me ease my nerves about my first flight. Drinking coffee before I got on my first flight probably wasn't helpful but when you only got 4 hours of sleep the night before coffee is your best friend.
Getting through O'Hare was pretty easy coming in, the hardest part was finding where bagage claim was, but after I found that some of my sisters in the Chicago area that served as the welcome crew at O'Hare helped me get set up with the shuttle and I caught it with another Sigma from Arkansas and a few other alumnae from across the country. It was fun getting to know sisters. Then, as soon as I got to Schaumburg, I put my stuff up in the convention hotel (I ended up staying at a different hotel a few blocks away.) and got to work listening to a few trainings for volunteers.
During the first training we talked about being a volunteer for Tri Sigma, learning about how we always need to take the awesome opportunities we are given if we can handle them, and just learning why being a volunteer is so important. The next training was mainly about Robert's Rules of Order and learning some basic business meeting things for our business/general sessions throughout our time at convention. After that I got a ride to my hotel, dropped off my belongings in the room, and got ready to take my head shot.
GreekYearbook, who did all of the photography for our convention was amazing and did head shots for members as well. I am so excited about getting my head shots back, I really loved them and I can't wait to add them to my LinkedIn profile. Can't wait to show y'all my new photos soon.
After photos I went to our opening ceremony. We had a lot of fun, did our hanging of the shields ceremony (where each voting delegate from a collegiate chapter or alumnae chapter hangs the shield their corresponds to that chapter and introduces themselves.) We had a lot of fun with that, and finally we ended the night with an awesome party to celebrate the launch of the new branding for Tri Sigma.
The first day was very fun and I was so excited to see the new branding for Sigma Sigma Sigma. Our new website is absolutely gorgeous, well done, and features my favorite thing–glitter.
The next day was pretty awesome as well. I started my day admiring the items I had already obtained from convention, you could say I was getting a little too excited about all the fun items that were being sold.
We started the day bright and early with our first general session. This session was great. We did a 20K challenge where we tried to raise $20,000 for our Foundation in 24 hours (we didn't quite reach it within 24 hours, but we reached it within 48 hours!) and we unveiled a brand new philanthropic partner–March of Dimes. I love the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation, but explaining our philanthropy will be so much easier now that we have the March of Dimes on our side. Having the March of Dimes will also allow our chapters to get more involved with philanthropy on a local level.
After the first general session we had our first educational session. I ended up going to the branding session because I wanted to know a little more about the behind the scenes part of making the new brand. Then after our first educational session we had our first luncheon. This luncheon was all about Panhellenic life and being a part of the greater Panhellenic community. We specifically had guests from Kappa Delta, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Zeta Tau Alpha because their sororities and Sigma Sigma Sigma were all founded at the same college.
After a nice lunch (which also included sandwhiches which I didn't picture) we were off to the next event–fun day! We had two choices for fun day: dinner and a guided tour of Chicago or a trip to see the Sound of Music (with dinner on your own before the show.) I decided to go for dinner and a tour of Chicago, and I absolutely loved our tour guide. He was quite knowledgeable about the city, funny, and he made sure we all made it back on the bus after stops where we got off (so that's a definite plus!) Here are some pictures I took throughout the city.
Saturday was just a really great day all around. Great food, great sisters, what more could you want?
Sunday should have been longer, but I ended up skipping a few of the activities to do some grading and get some rest. After I went to the convention hotel though, I had a lot of fun. I got to convention just in time for our general session, most of the time there was spent trying to get through some of the resolutions we had to vote on. After our general session though, I had a few minutes and finally got a fun picture comemorating our new connection with March of Dimes.
I am really excited about our new philanthropic partner, if you can't tell already!
After our general session we got a huge convention picture taken and went to our first dinner banquet. It was so fun to sit with some sisters from my chapter, hear about what was happening in their lives, and talk about things happening with the sorority.
As you can tell, taking pictures of my food is kinda my thing.
Monday was the last day of convention, and that really started to hit me mid-day. Monday started off with two great educational sessions. I went to the educational sessions called “Scrum: The Art Of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time” and “Fierce Networking: Learn How To Make Meaningful Connections” both sessions were really valuable, especially the session on Scrum. I even bought the book on Audible so I could listen to the book on the way back from Chicago.
After the educational sessions we went to another great luncheon all about being women of character. We had an amazing speaker at this luncheon, whose name was Erin Fischer. Erin is the CEO and Founder of The Leadership and Training Studio and she was the best. At the end of her presentation we all got up and sang and danced to “Sugar” by Maroon 5 and everything was awesome. I didn't really take any pictures of the food from this luncheon because it was buffet style, but it was a taste of Chicago themed. We had deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and more!
After the luncheon we had our last general session and it was so amazing. We voted on some last resolutions and introduced where our next convention will be–Las Vegas, Nevada. My sorority is seriously so amazing. They hired an Elvis impersonator to come to convention and help announce our next convention location. I captured a bit of the performance on my phone.
Before I went to the last convention banquet I got the awesome opportunity to speak with a Sigma Sigma Sigma alumna–Kaki. Kaki is one of the founders of a great site called Upper Network and Mentor Score which helps connect college students and recent college graduates to great networking and mentoring opportunities. It was so fun talking about my blog and social media with someone else.
After my conversation with Kaki we had our last banquet of convention–the Festival of Lights banquet. Our new executive council took office, we got to hear from our new president, and we got to do a great ceremony. During the Festival of Lights we start with all the sisters who were initiated into the Alpha chapter, then we slowly progress through all our chapter names until all of the women at the banquet have their candles lit. It was such an amazing experience to see all those candles lit and all the amazing sisters holding those lights.
The end of convention was such an emotional experience. Being a part of this organization and experiencing my first convention was such an amazing blessing. I can't be more excited for Las Vegas in 2019. It's going to be such a great experience for me and I am so blessed to have this opportunity to serve my sorority.
This was such a boost to my Sigma love. I am so honored to be able to spend this weekend with my sisters and they have helped me so much. My sisters even helped me navigate Chicago and O'Hare on the way back home. I have no idea if I could have navigated TSA as easily without the help of my sisters.
I am obsessed with Sigma Sigma Sigma and my time at convention. If you ever get the chance to attend a convention for your sorority or any club that you are in–do it. You will not regret the travel, sleepless nights, and money spent. I have made so many new friends, acquaintances, and more. I have gotten the chance to meet and talk with all sorts of new people and have some amazing conversations about how to keep moving our sorority ever forward. I feel empowered after attending convention, which is great because that is what our new branding is all about.
Have you ever gone to a sorority convention or a convention for another organization? Let me know about your experience in the comments below!