State Conference Advice For New Advisors

The state conference can be overwhelming even for experienced advisors. In order to help new advisors make the most of their first time at states, the Membership Committee sat down with three veteran advisors and asked them what they wish they had known before their first state conference. Here’s what they told us.


Rules to Remember

  • Students are required to wear their name badges at all times. Tell your students know that they should only take their lanyards off when they are showering or swimming.

  • Make sure your students check the dress code for each of their events before leaving for the conference. Some events require A-attire, which requires a blazer. PA-TSA’s dress code can be found at The dress code required for each event is listed in the conference program (posted under “Tentative Schedule” at

  • Students are not allowed to be in mixed company in their hotel rooms unless an advisor is present.


Business Meeting and Elections

  • Each chapter gets two votes on officer elections and on business at the business meeting (which takes place Friday night). Pick two students to serve as delegates (typically your chapter president and vice-president) and make sure that they attend the candidate speeches and the early delegate seating for the business meeting. If your delegates do not attend the candidate speeches, they will not be able to vote during the business meeting.

  • Your whole chapter should attend the business meeting.

  • Business-like attire is required for all general sessions.


Staying Informed

  • Be sure to attend the advisor meetings. You’ll get all the important updates and a chance to talk to veteran advisors.

  • It’s a good idea to hold chapter meetings every night to go over updates and the next day’s schedule. Many chapters also discuss state officer elections following the candidate speeches Thursday night. Allow your entire chapter to discuss the candidates so your delegates can truly represent your chapter’s wishes.


Other Tips

  • There is no dinner on the first night of the conference. Be sure you eat on the way to the conference, or grab a bite to eat at one of Seven Springs’ restaurants (Pizza Place is a popular choice).

  • Keep a paper with you that lists all of your students and their ID numbers. This will be helpful if students forget them or if problems arise with your students’ events.

  • Balconies are bad news - students have been sent home in the past for balcony-related incidents. If your rooms have balconies, either ban them entirely or warn your chapter about proper conduct.

  • If your students have event conflicts, accompany them to Wintergreen to talk to the judges.

  • You can buy official attire at Stag Pass to avoid shipping costs.


On behalf of the entire state officer team, good luck and we hope you have an amazing conference!

Thank you to Mrs. Jana Bonds, Mr. David Zinn, and Mrs. Melissa Wilson for sharing their advice.