JCI Michigan Conference Handbook
Registration is very important when planning on attending a Jaycee conference. We need to have final counts to the hotels for food prior to the event as well as know how many people plan on attending trainings. We offer a special Early Bird registration to encourage attendees to sign up early. You do not need to bring printed event registration tickets. Please be prepared to give your name and Photo ID when checking in to receive your registration packet.
We encourage you to check with your chapter to see if they provide registration for their members or if each attendee representing the chapter is expected to register separately.
Registrations are non-refundable. If you need to transfer a registration please email the Chief Operations Officer with the name of the person you are transferring your registration to. It is up to the original owner of the registration to work out a payment arrangement. JCI Michigan will not be responsible for transferring money between parties.
The event organizers will include information about lodging when you register. Typically a limited number of rooms are available at the host hotel. We have a room block with discounted pricing that is available on a first-come first-served basis. Check with your chapter again to see if they provide lodging for you. You will find that some chapters provide a certain number of rooms and attendees are expected to share with multiple roommates. If you prefer a room to yourself, you will need to make your own reservation. The Jaycees are pretty good at sharing rooms, so if you would like a roommate, let the event organizers know as they may have an idea of others that are looking to split room costs.
Occasionally not enough lodging is available at the host location. In this case, additional rooms will be offered at nearby locations. Please plan accordingly if you will need to travel back and forth.
If you need to cancel your room, we encourage you to notify the event organizer as there is usually a list of attendees that are looking for rooms once the block is filled. They will help put you in contact with someone that you can transfer the room to.
What Do I Bring?
Conference clothing and expected dress code are pretty steady. Watch the event page to find out if there are any themes or specific training requirements.
Friday night – this is usually the night to show off your Chapter Swag. Some chapters have created some pretty fantastic logos and logo-wear over the years, from Redford Red to Westland black and white, you’ll see a full range of cool stuff. Show yours off too. Check with your chapter to find out if you need to order swag ahead of time or if you are rolling out new stuff just for this conference. Some chapters also use this as an opportunity to unveil new stuff for their events. Jeans are a common clothing choice for Friday night.
Saturday Business Meeting/Trainings – this is your opportunity to show off how good you look in Business Attire. People will be dressed in a full range of business casual – from khakis and polos to suits and dresses. But, please don’t attend in jeans and a t-shirt. Think of this sort of like a job interview; you should look your best, while being comfortable.
Saturday Night – the attire for Saturday night is Formal/Semi-formal. This is an awards ceremony and a great excuse to dress up. You will want to pay attention to see if there is a conference theme that you want to participate in prior to choosing your outfit. Or check with your chapter to see if they are planning a theme (for example, Frankenmuth has group attire). Your chapter should give you a heads up if this is the case. You can choose how formal you want to go. For the ladies, this can be your chance to get a new little black dress, or time to rock a full ball gown. Gentleman, go with a nice button-up shirt and tie, a suit, or a tux. Again, no jeans or t-shirts. Keep in mind that you may have to go up on stage or may want to go up to the stage, so keep your outfit functional.
Saturday Night Party – the tradition for the Saturday night party is to rock your new conference swag. Often you will have received a new shirt in your packet, that is what you will want to wear. If there is not a t-shirt, this is another chance to wear your chapter gear. Jeans, leggings, shorts, etc. are all welcome.
Nobody likes a stinky Jaycee and even though you may be sharing a bed with a chapter member, they probably will not be too excited to share a toothbrush. Please keep in mind that you may not have easy access to a store, so bring what you anticipate needing.
If you are giving a presentation or hosting a table at the welcome party, remember to bring your copies and display items. If you are going to be talking about an upcoming event, bring handouts.
Don’t forget that this weekend is about a lot of networking and training. Bring your chapter name tag and your state name tag (if applicable). Bring your chapter shirt/sweatshirt/jacket/etc. Also, most conference hotels have a pool, so don’t forget your swimsuit. If you are a note-taker, be sure to bring whichever tools you prefer. If you are bringing a laptop, don’t forget your charger.
Medications – again, you won’t always have access to stores near the conference location, so remember to bring all of the meds you will need for a long weekend.
Snacks – you may find yourself in need of snacks throughout the weekend, so be sure to bring some with you. It doesn’t hurt to have a bag of chips or a box of granola bars to help with missed breakfast or late night fill-ups.
Water – bottled water or a reusable water bottle are always a good idea at conference. Late nights and lots of talking will make you thirsty.
Drinks – during the evening at conferences, bar service is available in the ballroom. But, it never hurts to have a couple extra drinks or pops available for after-hours get-togethers. In general, if you are someplace in the hotel that can sell alcohol you are not allowed to bring in your own. So this means in the lobby bar, conference rooms, ballroom, break out rooms, etc. you will not be able to bring in your own drinks. If you are suspected of drinking your own alcohol in these areas you will be asked to discard your drink. This is a legal policy set by the State of Michigan, not to mention the fact that we don’t want to tarnish our relationship with our conference locations. Be responsible in your alcohol consumption, particularly on Friday night, as you’ll be getting up early the following day to take advantage of the training opportunities.
Cash – most people find it handy to have some cash on hand during conference weekends. It makes it easier to get drinks during the ceremonies. And often there is an opportunity to buy new swag or guides, etc.
Chargers – don’t forget your phone and laptop chargers that you will need. Nothing is sadder than a dead phone in the middle of the weekend.
Friday Night Welcome
On Friday night, the Conference includes a welcome party and awards ceremony. You will want to plan on being in attendance. It is a great way to see which chapters are in attendance and get to know some of the key people that will be appearing throughout the weekend.
If you are a first-timer, the Senators host a great First-Timers challenge. The challenge is designed to help you learn a little more about the Jaycees and get to meet new people. It is absolutely worth participating in. You can even earn a free registration for an upcoming conference.
The awards portion of the evening is typically narrowing down the field of awards that will be handed out on Saturday night. It is a great way to see which awards you want to try for in your Jaycee career. There is a separate section below on award etiquette.
After the awards ceremony, get to know some of your fellow Jaycees or hang with your chapter, but don’t forget to get some sleep before your long day ahead.
Saturday Morning Business Meeting
Plan on attending the Business Meeting if you have an interest in the procedures of the Michigan Jaycees as an organization or if you want an update on upcoming projects and goals. If you like live updates about the workings of the organization, this is a must-attend. It is often very informative and highly entertaining. This meeting leads into the trainings for the day. Pay attention to your schedule to see if breakfast is included or if you need to make time before the meeting or between the meeting and trainings.
The Michigan Jaycees strive to offer some of the best trainings around. They offer trainings designed to provide you with personal and professional knowledge and guidance. If you are a new board member for your chapter or want to fulfill a need in your chapter, there will be trainings for that, too. The quality of these trainings alone is worth your registration fee. Plan on taking notes.
This is by invitation only and gives the president and other state leaders an opportunity to invite members who have performed above and beyond. It is an honor to receive an invitation and you should be dressed for the evening ceremony if you are asked to attend.
The Saturday evening ceremony is the big celebration held during the conference. They will be handing out awards for either the trimester end or year end. Check with your schedule to see whether or not dinner is included. If not, check with your chapter or district to see if there are group dinner plans. There is a lot of celebration that happens during this ceremony, so be ready for a wonderful, if long evening. Plan to be on your best behavior. If you are looking for cues on how to behave, your District Director is often a good place to start. Award etiquette will be covered just a little bit later. It is really hard not to be super excited to get going on projects for your chapter once you hear all of the awesome ones the are given awards during this ceremony.
Saturday After Party
After the awards ceremony, there is a tradition called Chapter Wrap. This is where chapters and/or Districts get together to toast the award winners on a smaller, more intimate scale. They will also toast other achievements by members and cheer on an upcoming year. Your chapter leader or your District Director will be able to tell you when/where this is happening.
After the wraps, there is a dance party in the ballroom. This is a great place to hang out with everyone. Typically the hotel bar is still available during the party, so no outside beverages. There are a lot of fun traditions that take place during the party, so have fun.
After the after party, there are always groups that continue celebrating. Watch to see if there are rooms designated for these late nights or find someone that is also a night owl. Party responsibly. The Michigan Jaycees know how to have a lot of fun, but we also represent the whole organization. Respect the hotel and their property, please.
There is typically a fellowship breakfast on Sunday morning. This is a wonderful event to attend if you would like to network and leave the conference with some extra uplifting motivation. Depending on the various conference packages available, you may need to purchase the fellowship breakfast separately. Check your registration details to confirm.
One thing you may find unique at a Jaycees conference is the different etiquette surrounding the different awards. Some are steeped in tradition and highly sought-after. Here is your quick guide on how to act when awards are presented to you, your chapter, or to others.
Do I go up on the stage?
This is a tough question for some people. We all love a little stage time, but sometimes we need to let others shine.
If your name is called as an individual or part of a group, you will be invited to go up on stage.
If your chapter is given an award as a whole or for a chapter project, go up on stage.
Once you are on stage, remember to pause for a photo op.
If it is not appropriate for you to be on stage, but you are part of the chapter or district or team that was given the award, the best place for you to be is either on your feet cheering them on or on the dance floor waiting for them to come off stage.
How much should I be cheering?
Cheer for everyone, that’s the big rule. We especially like to cheer for our chapters and districts. Support our teammates. Most of these award winners have worked really hard to be there and deserve to be the center of attention. No talking while awards are being announced. If someone in your chapter wins an award, but you don’t want to go to the dance floor, it’s okay to wait until they get back to their seat. High fives are perfectly acceptable.
Why are they closing the doors?
Some awards require an extra amount of deference. One example is a Presidential Medallion. The Michigan Jaycee President is only allowed to recognize a certain number of outstanding people during their year. Receiving a Presidential Medallion is one of the highest honors that you can be given. You will notice a hush among the crowd (if someone near you is talking loudly, have them stop). The doors close. The recipients of the medallions have no idea that they are receiving this award and the speech being made by the President is often quite moving. Once the recipient is announced, now is your time to cheer. The doors will then be opened for people to pass through for bathroom breaks, phone calls, etc. If you are outside of the ballroom and come to closed doors, please wait for them to be opened again. It will be an unwelcome distraction if you attempt to get in.
When do I get to congratulate the award winner?
There is a hierarchy when it comes to congratulations. The spouse/significant other always gets the first hug, followed by members of their chapter, followed by everyone else.
What do these awards mean and why are they given out?
The Michigan Jaycees have a long list of very meaningful awards that are presented throughout the year. These awards are often named after a former Jaycee that exemplified an aspect of what it means to be a Jaycee. It is a great honor to receive any of these awards and they should be cherished for your whole career and beyond. Your program/schedule for the conference typically has a list of the larger awards that will be handed out. It is a great way to learn about our history as an organization.
Can I leave an award unattended after it is received?
The etiquette for “stealing” Jaycee-related items is rather detailed. However, awards are not stealable during the awards ceremony. We don’t want members to worry about either getting an award stolen while they’re on stage receiving additional recognition or feeling like they need to bring it with them to the stage. That being said, you may want to ask another trusted chapter member to keep an eye on it while you’re away from the table. Once the awards ceremony is over, put your award safely away to prevent unwanted ransoms!