Image Credits: CPAC

The Conservative Political Action Conference, lovingly referred to as CPAC by political enthusiasts, is right around the corner. Taking place in Maryland, about 30 minutes from the heart of Washington, D.C., the conference is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22 through Saturday, February 25, 2017. This annual event is one of the largest gatherings of conservative leaders and activists alike. Though the full schedule of speakers won’t be released until closer to the conference, there are still a number of reasons you should be booking your flight right now. Below are just five reasons why you’ll want to attend CPAC this year.

1) Influential speakers

This is perhaps the biggest reason to attend CPAC. This is what this conference is about. It’s about listening to various conservative speakers talk. The speakers range from elected officials to political pundits providing inspirational advice. The speeches given encourage attendees to become better conservative activists and leaders in their communities. How many opportunities will you get to hear all of these influential leaders speak in one place? Not to mention how accessible the speakers are. Yes, the most prominent, generally the politicians, have security, but many of the speakers simply stand amongst the crowd. There are very few places where influential leaders are as accessible as they are here. Listening to the speakers also provides a lot of knowledge on various political happenings.

2) Networking

The people that attend CPAC are those that have a vested interest in politics. Many are the future leaders of America. Since the conference can be expensive and time has to be taken off work, usually only the extremely involved attend. It is very possible that as an attendee, you will be standing next to the future Megyn Kelly or Paul Ryan. Political commentators and congressional aides are intermixed with the audience. This is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals from all over the country.

3) Discounted student tickets

CPAC, like any conference, costs money. This conference can be expensive, with the cost of the ticket, lodging, travel expenses, food, and other logistical requirements. For a college student, the conference is considerably less money, as tickets are offered at a discounted price for students. Take advantage of this. Many conservative groups on campus attend the conference with travel grants, making the lodging expense much cheaper. Check to see if your College Republican or Turning Point chapters are sponsoring trips to CPAC. You’re only a college student once. Don’t regret not going while you easily can.

4) Location

Washington, D.C. is one of those cities that every person should see at least once in their lives. For anyone who’s infatuated with politics, Washington, D.C. is the best place to unleash your inner politician. Though the conference doesn’t take place in Washington, it is a short 30 minute drive to the heart of our nation’s capital. Therefore, a trip to the city is a must. Washington, D.C. is a city that will infuse your soul with the history and government of our great nation. The location is reason enough to attend the event. 

5) Friends

The friends made at CPAC last a lifetime. Whether you connect with students from other schools or with ones from your own school, sharing the wonderful experience of attending the event together creates bonds that last. Even if you don’t know anyone before attending, don’t let that stop you. Friends will be made. I went last year without knowing anyone prior to the flight, yet I was able to meet great people from all across the country. These friendships will be beneficial in your future as many students that attend this conference go on to become future leaders in various fields. CPAC is a great and fun social opportunity.

This event is an action-packed political conference that provides you with many opportunities you’ll never forget. It is an awesome, rewarding experience and I urge everyone to attend. There aren’t many experiences as amazing as CPAC.

Kennedy B
CONTRIBUTOR