A #DECAICDC Opening Session for the Record Books

Over 17,500 DECA members flooded into the Bridgestone Arena Saturday night for the opening session of DECA’s 2016 International Career Development Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Members from all fifty states, Canadian provinces, and other countries waited anxiously outside the arena for the doors to open. Members and advisors were milling around buzzing with excitement trading pins and hats.

“Hey where are you from?” was by far the most common phrase of the day.

Everyone was using pin trading as a way to network and meet other DECA members from around the globe. The environment was electric and you could literally feel the excitement in the air as the doors to the arena opened.

Members ran to find their seats and the crowd filed into the arena. The pre-show entertainment was provided by Jet Black and the Cadillacs and they rocked the house!

As 8:30 pm grew closer, the arena was completely full of members with light up toys, flashing hats and flags showing off their regional pride. Then, the countdown began –  10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1!

The executive officers took the stage and announced the official beginning of #DECAICDC. The crowd was wild and let out a roar of excitement. 

The session progressed with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) DEBUT fashion show, and went on to the classic #DECAICDC parade of flags. 

Every country, province, and state in attendance was represented in the parade, and each association cheered with gusto when their flag was showcased. Shortly thereafter, two executives from Marriott International, Inc. Erika Alexander and Melissa Froehlich Flood gave keynote speeches on their career paths, their responsibilities within Marriott, and Marriott’s milestones.

The session wrapped up with a sensational performance from American Idol star Lauren Alaina.  She performed some of her her hit songs and had the whole arena jumping.

This #DECAICDC opening session was surely one for the record books! The session was streamed live on deca.org/icdc, as will the Achievement Awards Session and the Grand Awards Session on Tuesday, April 26.

Make sure to tune in and witness the EPIC conclusion to the 2016 International Career Development Conference!

Follow Charlie on Twitter @Charlie_Rgrs.  

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