All district conventions are different. The schedule, events and theme vary depending on the district and its size, but each one shares a common goal: celebrating service and fostering friendships. These tips will help you maximize your DCON experience.

Plan with your roommates

“Hangriness” strikes at the oddest moments. Divide up snack duties with your roommates and pack accordingly so something’s always handy during your busy DCON schedule.

Dress up for your convention’s theme

DCON themes range far and wide, from Space Odyssey to Around the World to “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Show your enthusiasm by donning a costume or coordinate with your club to go all out. Begin with an open mind and be optimistic about your experience.

Show your club or division spirit

Show your division pride. Dress up as the division mascot or make division T-shirts. You could even fundraise for a charity by designing and selling the T-shirts. Work with your lieutenant governor to make this a success.

Introduce yourself to new people/ schools/districts

DCON usually serves as the largest annual congregation of your district, so take advantage of the opportunity and make new friends. You’ll also be able to learn from other clubs and gain a new perspective on your division and district.

Strike up a conversation with a district board member

Maybe you’re thinking about running for office next year, or you’re simply curious about the inner workings of a district. Don’t be afraid to ask a district board member about something that piques your interest.

Lead or participate in workshops

During workshop sessions, you can either share your own knowledge and experience or learn from others. If your DCON is adult-led, you still can gain leadership skills and more by listening to the presenters’ words of wisdom.

Compete in a speech or impromptu writing contest

Are you a great speaker or writer? This is the perfect opportunity to use those skills while also showing your passion for service and Key Club. Your district website should post prompts for the speech contest, while the impromptu writing event will be introduced at your DCON.

Perform in the talent show

Show off your skills in front of an eager audience by dancing, singing or displaying whatever talent makes you shine.

Run for district office — or vote for candidates and take notes during caucusing

Being a candidate changes your DCON experience significantly, since you’ll be considerably busier and more stressed. But it’s still an invaluable passage and can create moments that will challenge and inspire you. As a voter, you also have the responsibility to understand who and what you’re voting for. Dig into candidates’ platforms and ensure that they can do the best for your district.

Brush up on parliamentary procedure and be an educated voter

House of Delegates can be extremely confusing even when you understand the process, so look over Robert’s Rules of Order and your district bylaws to review protocol.

Remember: The best way to enjoy DCON is to be open to new things

Get involved. There are so many things to do, and your experience is what you make it.