What to Expect
Please be sure to read your program – review it often as names will become more familiar each time you look through it. If you feel a little unsure upon arrival – find the welcome table near registration and ask a staff member for help. You will be surprised how quickly you’ll become a part of the group. Those first few hours can make all the difference in your enjoyment of the conference.
First-Timers Welcome – We have put special effort toward making our First-timers feel welcome. There will be a Welcome Table near registration, please check-in there first so we can get you headed in the right direction. The specific goal of our planners is to get the “First-Time-Outer” comfortable enough to not only leave their room, but participate and enjoy the many events available during the conference.
Sign-up for Big Brother/Big Sister or Princess Day to get started on the right track. Attend the First-Timers Welcome Meet & Greet. Meet as many new friends as possible. Get to know the staff and volunteers. Attend seminars – there is something to learn in each of them! Have Fun! Dress appropriately for you gender, age, and event.
- Be Your Best! You are an ambassador for our cause and anytime that we are seen in a positive light is good for us all. Have Fun! Get out there to meet and mingle. Most of us are strangers to each other so do not hesitate to make new friends. Please don’t hide in your room – we are all friends and welcome you to our group.
- Leave those self-conscious feelings at the curb – we are your brothers and sisters and have all been where you are. The difficult part was getting here and actually deciding to come out of your room, don’t miss your opportunity to experience it all.
- The hotel has learned much about our group and they WELCOME us. They have learned that we are very nice people. The longest walk is the first journey from your room to the conference area. If you have this concern, then check with the welcome table at registration or ask a staff member. This is where a Big Brother / Big Sister can be helpful. HINT- there is no reason to be concerned – this is a very safe environment with very few “civilians” so hold your head up – shoulders back, walk down the hall, get into the elevator, and fold into the group!
- Limits with the mainstream public: Please remember that you are representing our community in the mainstream so present yourself in a good light. Use Good Judgment – The mainstream public does not pay much attention if we present ourselves and behave like ladies and gentlemen. When outside the hotel please dress and act appropriately for your age and gender. Even if we are “read” we want to be seen as normal people expressing themselves in a non-threatening way. Remember that during the day there are families with children in the mainstream so we are invading their space to some extent. Travel in small groups, 1-4 ladies together is not unusual (unless they are all tall with the wrong lipstick, lol!).
- Restrooms – Play the part of the gender you are presenting! Ladies – when in the stall – always sit, feet facing the door, and leave the seat down when you leave! In many mainstream locations there are family restrooms which makes things easier. If you can minimize drawing negative attention to yourself you will have fewer problems.
- Expressing Yourself – For many of us this is the first (or only) time of the year when we get to show our “other side”. You can be more “expressive” (within reason) in the hotel (but use modesty in the lobby and common areas) than in the mainstream. Please remember the “Good Judgment rule” to be more ”expressive”.
- Don’t get political – we all have views and this conference is more educational and social than it is for political activism. DO NOT worry about your real identity – share where you are from and what you do – you will be surprised!
- DO NOT miss something you may regret when you get home because you didn’t give it your “best shot”.
- DO NOT Drink and Drive! EVER! NEVER, EVER!
- DRESS CODE – DO NOT dress like a hooker for the seminars or banquets – you have the freedom to express yourself later in the evening. This is NOT a sex convention, nor is it a fashion show so there is no “wrong” outfit within the guidelines of decency and appropriateness for any event. Casual or professional during the day, the Friday night events are a bit more flashy while Saturday night is more of a formal event. Gowns and tuxes if you like to really go formal. We all understand that this is a rare opportunity to explore the other side of our lives and that maybe our wardrobes is limited, no worries, no judgment. With that in mind, casual attire is appropriate anytime. If you sign-up for the mainstream events like day-trips or dinner-out, appropriate attire would be daytime casual or a bit dressier for evening. Be comfortable yet appropriate.