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Future Business Leaders of America | Guide to National Leadership Conference

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Letter to Competitors

FBLA logo My name is Michael Gargiulo and over the next three minutes you will discover everything you need to know about your FBLA National Leadership Conference.

For many of you, this will be your first or last trip with your FBLA Chapter. Most of you are representing your school and state as you have progressed through your Region and State Leadership Conferences to reach this point.

I ran for National President of FBLA in 2010 under Executive Director Monty Rhodes of Georgia FBLA. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a member and more so as alumni. Now, I run where we help people find the right VPN for them.

A VPN helps people securely connect to the internet and public WiFi. You can learn about our journey towards helping 1 billion people access more privacy and security here.

Since leaving Georgia FBLA and Brookwood High School, I helped restart the Phi Beta Lambda chapter of FBLA-PBL at the University of Georgia. More importantly, as an alumni I have had the opportunity to help more than 78 students from Georgia place in the top 10 of their respective events at NLC over the last six years.

This article includes many of the tips I give to our past competitors and I hope that you find them just as useful. Share this link with your friends and family easily keep up with you while you have an amazing week in Baltimore.

Good luck to everyone competing and make sure to use a VPN!

Signature of CEO Michael Gargiulo



Michael Gargiulo
CEO at

NLC General Details

Tagline: Elevate Your Future
Attendance: 14,000+

PBL Dates: June 23–26
FBLA Dates: June 28–July 1
Location: The Baltimore Convention Center
Address: 1 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21201
Parking for Conference

Program Books: PBL | FBLA
State Meetings: PBL | FBLA

PBL Awards of Excellence Seating Chart
FBLA Opening General Session Seating Chart

Download FBLA App – The easiest way to stay up to date

Competition & Top 5 Tips

I have judged over 20 different events and the following tips are where I see most competitors losing points.

1. STUDY YOUR RUBRIC – Every event has a rubric you can access. Study it and know what you need to do to get all your points.

2. GREETING & SMILE – Judges get bored with boring presentations. A firm handshake and smiling throughout lets them know you are happy and excited to be there.

3. PRE-JUDGE vs PERFORMANCE – Your pre-judge component is over. The only thing that separates you from winning 1st place is your ability to get your performance points.

4. MISTAKES – Every one makes them and stumbling is okay. Collect yourself, collect your thoughts and keep going. If a teammate sees you struggling, it is okay for them to step in and keep things moving. Avoid complete meltdowns.

5. PRACTICE 10x Under Time – Do NOT go over time AND practice your presentation with your team 10x the night before and 3-5x the morning of.

Other things to note – Do NOT be late. Know where your event is the day before you go on. Do NOT receive a dress code violation. And drink water and eat a banana the morning of if you get nervous.

Baltimore Entertainment Information

Food Near BCC
Foot Open Late
Things to Do
Movie Theaters
Nail & Salon

Tickets for Orioles Baseball Game
Flyer (PDF) | Buy Tickets

Washington DC

Baltimore Emergency Information

Fire/Police/Medical: 911
Non-Emergency Police: 311
Baltimore Convention Center Public Safety: 410-649-7081
Hospitals | Urgent Cares | Animal Hospitals | Sherriff’s Office

Meet the FBLA-PPL Organization

National Officers
National Staff
State Chapters
National President of FBLA: Max Michel, Florida
National President of Phi Beta Lambda: Kimberly Clark, Missouri
CEO of Future Business Leaders of America: Jean Buckley

Next FBLA-PPL National Leadership Conferences

2019 NLC–San Antonio
Texas PBL: June 24–27
FBLA: June 29–July 2

2020 NLC–Salt Lake City
Utah PBL: June 24–27
FBLA: June 29–July 2

2021 NLC–Anaheim, California
PBL: June 24–27
FBLA: June 29–July 2

Other FBLA Conferences Protection Status