Opening the Chamber of Secrets
Your DECA chapter should no longer consider its local chamber of commerce a “chamber of secrets.” Cactus Shadows DECA reached out to the Cave Creek/Carefree Chamber of Commerce for the first time last year, and the benefits were far greater than expected. By promoting our chapter throughout the community, our members gained a lot of support from local business owners and discovered a previously untapped source of guest speakers, professional members, mock competition judges and future opportunities.
It doesn’t take much to get your foot in the door. Get a couple of your chapter officers together and find out when your local chamber is hosting events. Show up professionally dressed and prepared to speak to business professionals who will want to learn more about DECA or even reminisce about their old DECA days!
Many of the people you’ll meet by attending a few chamber meetings will want to know how they can support your chapter. If they don’t ask you, though, don’t be afraid to ask them! You’d be surprised how many businesses truly want to help high school organizations like DECA. Ask for their business card (give them yours, too), follow up with a phone call, and get them involved with an upcoming chapter event so they can see for themselves the amazing future leaders and entrepreneurs of DECA. There are so many opportunities for your chapter to grow, and your local chamber of commerce can help you make the most of them.
Follow Kyle Kuo on Twitter @kylepkuo.