The 48th Conference on National Affairs featured a new way for delegates to meet and mingle inside Eureka Hall on Saturday.

The delegates took part in a swap reception where delegates were able to trade shirts and pins and chat about the conference in general. The reception had music playing as well as water, tea and food. The governors also had a governor rap cypher or “rap battle” in the lobby during the reception.

“It’s a great bonding experience, and then a great reunion experience for some of us that know each other,” Indiana governor Jeff Owens said. “It’s a great chance for other governors to reach out to other delegations.”

Many delegates from previous years brought their pins from past years. Each state had a wide variety of pins alongside shirts. South Carolina for example had a pin that gave tribute to the victims of the Charleston shooting.

“I have a few [pins] from last year,” Florida delegate Kimmey McMillin said. “What I did since I’m from Florida is I got some Walt Disney World pins.”

In the last few years, mixers have been from dances to other events. This year the mixer is a more laid back approach for delegates to mingle before the conference.

“Last year there was a lot more dancing,” McMillin said. “It’s a lot more fun to mingle with everybody.”

One of the many goals of the mixer is to create a bonding experience for not only returning delegates but for first-year delegates. Many delegates have said that they feel that the trade reception worked great.

“This is the best way to kickoff a conference in my opinion,” Oklahoma delegate Luke Davis said. “Most conferences you go to, it’s more structured when you go there, but this conference is pretty much ‘alright everybody, meet’, and it’s great.”

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