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Over the past year, our QLEAD Executive Team has been busy working on creating the most inspiring and impactful conference possible. We have invited a variety of compelling speakers, created engaging activities, and have selected the strongest pool of delegates. We have played our part in shaping the weekend. Now, it is up to you, the delegates, to shape the next four days. It is through your energy, your ideas, and your passion that the conference will come to life. For many of you, this will be the first conference that you attend. Although you may have a rough idea of what to expect, I’m sure that there is still a lot of ambiguity in your understanding of how the next four days will unfold. To counteract this, we have put together a few tips to help you get prepared to make the most of the conference!

1. Be Engaged

Live above the line this weekend! Take the opportunity to fuel your desire for learning and growth. The most obvious way to do so is by asking questions and by actively participating. There will be times throughout the weekend where we will ask you to be focused, times we will ask you to be goofy, and times that we just ask that you be yourself! Challenge yourself to engage. This will foster a more open, comfortable and fun environment for everyone at the conference!

The other ways to make the most of this weekend may not necessarily be quite as obvious as direct engagement, but are undoubtedly just as important. The next two points will give you a sneak peek into these ideas.

2. Open Your Mind

It’s impossible to deny the importance of a strong leader, especially at a conference with leadership in the name! Another part of the QLEAD acronym, however; is development. The prospect of personal development is a huge building block of the conference.

We know that you are a strong leader. Everyone at the conference will know that you are a strong leader… This is why you got in. Our executive team is stoked to see you all bring these abilities to the conference! At the same time, it’s important to remember that leading can often come from following. Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to take a step back and just listen. Remember that, when you speak you are just reiterating things that you already know. It is when you open your ears and listen that you are able to truly learn. This weekend, you will be surrounded by hundreds of delegates, exec members, and speakers with ideas, backgrounds and experiences that are unique to your own. Sitting back, opening your mind, and taking time to listen is the best way to learn from those around you!

3. Be Fully Present

The opportunity to spend four days with 150 leaders from across the country is not one that most people get a chance at. We encourage you to practice being fully present to soak up every minute of it! Yes, there will inevitably be things going on at home that you will miss out on, but staying connected to them while at the conference will, in no way, allow you to fully experience either. Make the conscious effort to focus on being where you are!

Although throughout the conference, we will encourage you to be on your phone to send snapchats to the QLEAD account and keep updated on the app, be deliberate about focusing more screen-time on things related to the conference and less to things going on at home. I can’t even begin to explain how much this enriches the experience.

Don’t Stress!

Over the past month, 470 delegates from across the country applied to come join us at Queen’s this weekend. Of those applicants, 150 were chosen. Congratulations on making it this far already! (Also congrats on making it this far through this lengthy post). Everyone that was accepted deserves to be at the conference, and our executive is so so excited to meet you all. Our team has deliberately picked a diverse pool of candidates, and we are hoping that you will use your unique skills and interests to help shape the weekend! Don’t be nervous if you don’t feel that you are a business wiz, if you are unsure about your abilities as a leadership guru, or even if you are questioning whether you want to pursue business. Focus instead on what you are good at and you will leave the conference better for it!

We hope you are all as excited for the weekend as we are… It is going to be an absolute blast! See you all in T-1 day! *Under the blogs tab on the QLEAD website is a variety of other blog posts written by executive members. These blogs were written for first year students, and offer a great deal of insight (from upper years) into what life as a Queen’s Commerce student is like. We encourage you to check these out!*

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