5 Steps to Picking the Perfect Competitive Event for You

It’s that time of year again! The time when DECA members across the world start deciding which event they’re going to choose for the coming DECA year. With over 50 different competitive events to choose from, you may be wondering how to make the right decision.

Here are five steps to help you find the event that is perfect for you.

1. Choose Your Cluster

Most DECA events are one of four clusters: Marketing, Hospitality and Tourism, Finance, and Business Management and Administration. Each cluster has events that revolve around the fundamental principles of its cluster’s title: events in the marketing cluster focus on marketing to consumers, those in the finance cluster center around financial aspects of maintaining a business, and so forth. Try thinking about which area is most interesting for you. By researching and learning about each cluster, you can narrow down which cluster you’re definitely not interested in and look through events that are in clusters that appeal to you.

2. Written vs. Role-play

If your chapter requires you to do both a written and a role-play event, you can skip this step. If not, choosing between the two may seem rather easy, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons of both types of events. If you enjoy thinking on your feet and don’t mind improvising a presentation in 10 to 30 minutes – depending on the event – then role-plays are for you. However, if you prefer preparing beforehand to present but don’t mind writing anywhere from five to 30 pages, consider doing a written event. However, don’t let the thought of writing a prospectus prevent you from contemplating a written event. A little added time and effort can go a long way in helping you proceed to DECA’s International Career Development Conference.

3. Consider Chapter Events

Chapter events are written projects on a larger scale. By choosing a chapter event, you agree to represent your entire chapter. Only one person or group per chapter can do a specific chapter event. However, if your school participates in regionals, chapter events enable you to go straight to your association’s conference, so even if your role-play doesn’t go too well, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll still have another chance to show the world what you’re made of with your chapter event. However, chapter events are quite a lot of work and require planning and effort. These events also give you a chance to improve your chapter or community.

4. Ask an Officer

If you’re still in a quandary over what to choose, reach out to your chapter’s advisor or officers. They probably know your skills very well and are the best people to go to if you’re open to suggestions on what event to choose. Even if you’re a new member and the advisor or officers don’t know you that well, they can still gauge which event suits you best. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with your chapter advisors!

5. Personal Touch

Think about how you can put a personal spin on your event. How can you take an event and make it your own?

“My number one piece of advice is to pick an event that you know you can get creative with,” Amador Valley High School Co-President Janel Lee said. “I’ll pick an Operations Research written event one year, because there are so many possibilities with the yearly topic, and then the next year I’ll pick a chapter event because I may have an idea that is unique and sounds like a lot of fun to pursue.”

If you can think of an interesting and unique way to present a topic and can have fun with it, that event is probably perfect for you!

These steps are just a few ways to find the event that is right for you. Visit http://www.deca.org/competitions/highschool/ to see the various events that you can choose from, and have fun deciding!

Follow Amador Valley on Twitter @AVHSDECA.

Categories: Compete, HS Competitive Events, Role Play, Written