There are two shows coming up in NC that might be worthwhile to try to get to. Shows are a great place to meet breeders, dogs and dog owners. I think the shows have some obedience competition so you can watch a variety of activities.
There is a show in Raleigh March 20 - 24 and in Concord March 28 - 31.
Take a look on info dog for shows that might be closer to you. InfoDog AKC Dog Show Information - Search by State