Welcome to the forum.
Do not treat if they are not sick.
It is a matter of debate whether top bars are more natural than langstroth. Do what you are more at ease with.
What is the agenda of the State convention? Is it just a poltical type business meeting for the big guys, or does it have seminars for the enthusiasts. If it is the former, I would guess you will get much more from your local bee meetings. Ask at your meeting about mentoring. There may be some volunteers available to guide you in your decisions. Small scale beekeepers are usually more than happy to share their opinions on how to do things.
And to say the least,we have 6500 members here on the forum. Many are very active and will be more than glad to answer any questions you may have. You most likely will find some of the members are from your neck of the woods sharing the same type of problems you may encounter.
Do not be afraid to ask questions here, we keep it family friendly , and most of us here remember that we were first timers with a lot of the same questions.